Civic News

Technical.ly is participating in Milwaukee Tech Week. Here’s why

And the questions we'll pose to roundtable participants during our This Week in Milwaukee Rising Summit, focused on how to better tell the story of the Wisconsin city's innovation progress.

(Technical.ly image)

What does Milwaukee have in common with Philly, Baltimore or Pittsburgh? They’re all growing, but not yet top-tier, tech markets. And plenty of innovation workers within them aim to keep the trajectory pointing up.

For the past year, Technical.ly has been publishing a weekly profile series of influential Milwaukeeans called This Week In Milwaukee Rising. Compiled primarily by Milwaukee-based reporter Sorrina Beecher and underwritten by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, the stories and accompanying Wednesday newsletters highlight the social entrepreneurs, civic technologists, nonprofit pros and creative innovators who are most shaping the Midwest city, especially those focused on bringing a more just, equitable and dynamic economy.

Read the series

Our reporting for the series has introduced readers to a DJ and diversity-in-tech advocate, a pair of formerly incarcerated founders, an arts collective organizer, a professional storyteller and dozens more, many of whom focus their work on boosting the region’s technology and business communities. Some themes have emerged.

It’s an old place with a new tech scene, alongside a lingering reputation as the United States’ most segregated city. In June, we appraised that for growth after stagnation, Milwaukee must both invest in its most established founders and professionals, and develop in-roads for those who want to get there. Individual and organizational collaboration can help. We’ve also asked: Who is involved in this work? How can more people get involved? And just as important, what’s currently working?

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Now, we’re bringing that reporting to life with the This Week in Milwaukee Rising Summit. Held during Milwaukee Tech Week on Tuesday, Oct. 4, this will be a roundtable discussion where everyone is invited to join the conversation. The discussion will follow themes we’ve been reporting in the series over the past year, with a focus on “getting better at telling our own story.” We’ll ask questions such as:

  • What’s working in getting Milwaukee closer to innovation hub status?
  • What progress can be better highlighted?
  • What progress still needs to be made?
  • What industries, investments and DEI/attraction/retention efforts are most promising?
  • And what does it take to thrive here overall?

It’s all happening at Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Labs from 1 to 3 p.m. If you’re in the Milwaukee area, join us (and get ready to share your thoughts) by registering for the event here. Thank you to the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition for having us and for organizing Milwaukee Tech Week overall!

Technical.ly’s participation holds special meaning because it’s reminiscent of the many tech weeks we’ve organized, too. Most notably, that includes Philly Tech Week, which hosted its 12th edition in 2022, as well as Baltimore Innovation Week, which is now hosted by a local startup booster network and in its 11th year. These event series celebrate the people, companies and big ideas propelling their markets forward.

We’re excited to be a part of Milwaukee’s big event, happening Oct. 3 through 7. In one week, you might watch a panel on esports careers, participate in a tech office bus tour or join a happy hour with a keynote by Aol cofounder Steve Case (who Technical.ly also interviewed this week). Check out the full calendar of 40+ events here.

I spent much of early 2021 asking if place still matters. As I wrote before that year’s Philly Tech Week: Cities around the country, including the ones mentioned here, have been growing technology workforces as a result of digital shifts in how business is done and opportunity presented by the career paths that help navigate them. Even as they get bigger, these communities still tend to cluster, and shape the area that surrounds them. It may feel like we’re heading toward something different, but we’re not starting from scratch. Where we live will always be a part of our identity.

Join us in shaping our local tech economies.

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