Next week, about 25 entrepreneurs from as far away as Finland will descend on Milwaukee for the inaugural BREW Week, the kickoff to The Water Council’s BREW Accelerator for water startups.
BREW Week was established this year to lead off the sixth cohort of the accelerator, said Steve Glynn, director of innovation at The Water Council. Glynn led the organization of 25 events around Milwaukee over five days to the startups engaged with the startup ecosystem here, he said.
In addition to the six startups taking part in the new BREW Accelerator cohort, about seven other startups interested in getting involved with the Global Water Center will participate in the programming, Glynn said. Among them is Finland-based Sofi Filtration.
Glynn’s wife Kristin Settle, director of communications at VISIT Milwaukee, sat down with him and helped map out the programming, which includes tours of coworking spaces Ward4, Hudson and The Hive, startup accelerator gener8tor, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Innovation Center, the A.O. Smith Corporate Technology Center, Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Labs and Marquette University’s 707 Hub; a welcome reception with VISIT Milwaukee, a reception with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and a lunch with BREW alumni companies.
The events are closed to the public, he said, but coaches, mentors, alumni and corporate partners will take part in several sessions.
“The goal of the week is to show them not only the water network that is here and support systems around water, but also why Milwaukee and Wisconsin are so welcoming to early stage companies and the other activities that are happening,” he said. “It’s really a way to showcase Milwaukee in general, to really have them experience and feel the support that is here for entrepreneurs and then, I think, finally to show them what they already know and why they’re coming in the first place from as far as Finland in the water ecosystem and network.”
The hope is that some of the startups decide to locate in Milwaukee.
“It’s really just trying to get these businesses as networked as possible, make it as sticky as possible so they want to do business in Wisconsin,” he said.