Entrepreneur initiative launched in Green Bay
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – A new entrepreneur initiative geared toward helping minority-, women- and veteran-owned startups is taking root at the Urban Hub co-working space in downtown Green Bay.
“If you are a talented, dynamic, interesting individual with a great idea, Green Bay is the place for you, no matter if you’ve been here a week or a year, or you’ve been here for three generations,” Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich said. “The future is very bright in Green Bay, especially in our downtown here.”
The Greater Green Bay Chamber, in partnership with New North, announced the launch of The Blueprint Green Bay, a business accelerator program, at a press conference Tuesday, June 15.
Laurie Radke, president and CEO of the Chamber, said the program is the first of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin.
“This first-of-its-kind offering in our market is key to attracting even more people to the entrepreneurial table with additional points of access to our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Radke said. “We’re pleased to make this initiative accessible to everyone in the Greater Green Bay area and the surrounding communities.”
The launch in Green Bay is an extension of the program’s success in the Milwaukee area.
“The program is truly the brainchild of Que and Khalif El-Amin,” Radke said. “We have seen their success firsthand and the impact they have had with businesses in their previous cohorts. We are extremely excited to partner with them and bring this program and opportunity to the Greater Green Bay area.”
Co-founder Khalif El-Amin said The Blueprint started in August 2018 and has since graduated six cohorts with a total of 60 companies.
“I am a firm believer that this entrepreneur initiative can serve as an equalizer, begin to level the playing field and give these underrepresented founders access, exposure, funding and confidence to continue to build, grow and sustain their respective startups,” he said.
El-Amin said The Blueprint Green Bay program is comprised of two, 12-week cohorts.
The first 12-weeks focus on the ideation phase of businesses – including ensuring an idea is viable and creating revenue models.
The second 12-week cohort is when entrepreneurs learn techniques on identifying market opportunities, including defining target markets, connecting to manufacturers, learning how to take a product/service to market and how to build a customer base.
Those accepted into the program will spend at least four days a week at the Hub following a rigorous curriculum.
Each cohort ends with a demo day where startups have the opportunity to display products and services to the surrounding community and sponsors.
The Blueprint Green Bay will provide seed money, entrepreneurial and technology training.
Kelly Armstrong, vice president of economic development for the Greater Green Bay Chamber, said The Blueprint program is a perfect fit for the Urban Hub and the Rail Yard Innovation District.
“The Urban Hub is the ideal location for innovative programming like this,” Armstrong said. “The Urban Hub is tailored to the entrepreneurs it serves by offering an innovative, collaborative and energizing environment.”
More information on the program and how to apply can be found online by CLICKING HERE.