"When I look at the potential of Milwaukee, I would like to see the collective spirit of disruption and social responsibility take over Milwaukee..."
What is your job and its responsibilities?
I recently joined the UWM Research Foundation, as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence after finishing my Ph.D. Here, I utilize my various platforms and experiences to work closely with students and faculty entrepreneurs by helping them bring their novel ideas to market. I provide the knowledge and assistance needed to evaluate commercial opportunities, define business models, develop business plans, identify resources to advance early stage enterprises, and aid in the many other aspects of the entrepreneurial arena. I help to bridge the gap between entrepreneurial related events and groups on campus, and provide overall support of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization at UWM. One of the best parts of my job, is that I get to work with the UWM Student Startup Challenge and help student entrepreneurs grow their ideas, potentially launch businesses, and learn from their experiences where they will be successful in their future endeavors.
Was there a point where you decided this was the city you wanted to live in?
When I joined the UWM Research Foundation in January 2014 I realized I wanted to make Milwaukee my home. Unlike growing up in the Northeast where you are forever a small fish in a huge pond, here in Milwaukee I have the ability to interact with many different groups and businesses and help to establish the “innovation engine” that will ultimately spur economic and social growth within this city. That is something to be proud about and worth staying in Wisconsin to be apart of.
What strikes you as the most unique thing about Milwaukee?
The most unique trait about Milwaukee is the ability to connect with all the different groups. People here are much more receptive to meeting and working with each other. It is much easier to build coalitions that can generate attention and drive progress.
When I look at the potential of Milwaukee, I would like to see the collective spirit of disruption and social responsibility take over Milwaukee, where individuals feel empowered enough to create their own businesses and disrupt the status quo. It has been happening in San Jose for a while, in Boston, New York, Chicago, and even Madison. I would love to be apart of this revolution here in Milwaukee… and I think it will happen much sooner than we all think.
What is your favorite Milwaukee beer?
My favorite Milwaukee beer is probably Louis Demise from Milwaukee Brewing Company. I always keep a case in my fridge at home.
Is there an issue you believe all Milwaukeeans should turn our attention to?
One of my most passionate issues is financial literacy. I think Milwaukeeans, as a whole needs to examine all the socio-economic classes and break any boundaries that hold our young people back. We can do this by teaching our young people about being financially independent and financial security.