North Side Business Incubator Hatches Opportunity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Milwaukee WI June 9, 2016

Contact: Sharon Selz

(414) 977-5064; sselz@stanncenter.org

A bookstore that doubles as a children’s theater, a travel agency that makes souvenir T-shirts, and a flower shop that sells live roses embossed with love notes. These enterprising ideas may soon transform into brick and mortar with help from a free business incubator designed to stimulate new and growing businesses on Milwaukee’s near north side.

The neighborhood incubator, launched by 15th District Ald. Russell W. Stamper II, St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care and Marketplace Business Improvement District (BID) 32, is set for Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 to 5 p.m. at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Avenue.

“The imagination and innovation we’re seeing is amazing,” said Sister Edna Lonergan, president of St. Ann Center. “We’re committed to doing all we can to help business hopefuls realize their dreams.” Among the startup ideas submitted so far are a children’s bookstore and creative arts space, a travel agency for low- to middle-income travelers that also prints T-shirts, and an art school that teaches painting for all ages. Other ideas range from a family life-enhancement center to a floral gift business to an e-sports arena that will host video game tournaments.

Residents from the 15th Aldermanic District (53205, 53206, 53208, 53210 and 53212 zip codes) interested in starting or expanding a business are asked to complete a brief questionnaire explaining their business plan. Due to the positive response to the free incubator, the deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, June 17.

The first 20 residents with viable business ideas will be invited to attend the incubator session. Participants will have a chance to meet one-on-one with investors, bankers and lawyers to talk about their business ideas. They will also receive coaching on developing a business plan and possibly find backers for their ventures.

“We are bringing together expert business resources to help build this community from within,” said Ald. Stamper. “I look forward to seeing more great progress in the 15th District.”

Incubator questionnaires have been distributed to neighborhood businesses and churches throughout the 15th District. They are also available at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus and can be completed online at stanncenter.org/biz.

Residents interested in the business incubator, as well as investors who would like to participate in networking and mentoring opportunities, can contact John Jansen with questions or for more information at (414) 977-5031 or jjansen@stanncenter.org.

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