Milky Way Tech Hub
Press Release

Marquette University Partners with The Milky Way Tech Hub to Pilot Product Development Program for BIPOC and Women-led startups

 

By - Oct 5th, 2020 03:19 pm

The Milky Way Tech Hub and Marquette University recognize the difficulties BIPOC entrepreneurs face in the tech industry especially as it relates to raising funds for product and business development. To address these gaps and to accelerate civic tech in the city of Milwaukee the Milky Way Tech Hub has established a partnership with Marquette University to create product development opportunities for nascent startups.

Marquette University’s senior Principles of Design class, which aims to prepare students with industry software development experience will now contribute to Milwaukee’s tech ecosystem by offering product development to startups partnered with the Milky Way Tech Hub. Participating startups will be social impact-oriented and funneled from the Milky Way Tech Hub concierge accelerator. The goal of this program is to provide students with the experience of working with startups in several prevalent industries while giving startups in Milwaukee’s tech ecosystem access to software development at no cost. Startups will have the chance to submit their businesses to the Milky Way Tech Hub Annual Pitch Competition for an opportunity to win $15,000 this November.

“There is a critical need for more programming around product development in the city of Milwaukee. There are huge racial disparities in the VC world that continue to make it difficult for Black founders and other underrepresented demographics to raise funds to develop even a minimum viable product(MVP). Many times, our journey of product development begins with little to no help. Programs like the one we’ve established with Marquette are absolutely essential as we work toward making Milwaukee a Tech Hub that centers marginalized communities.” says Jet Constellations and Milky Way Tech Hub founder, Nadiyah Johnson.

Dr. Dennis Brylow, Vice-Chair of Marquette Computer Science, says, “Marquette seeks to produce graduates who are not merely savvy programmers, but who will use their powers for the good of the community and for the world.  This kind of substantive engagement with our local tech ecosystem provides an ideal educational opportunity for our students at a critical stage of their professional development, while also giving a much-needed boost to budding entrepreneurs in our city.”

Startups interested in participating in the next round should sign up here.

About Milky Way Tech Hub

The Milky Way Tech Hub aims to realize the narrative that Milwaukee’s is a tech hub where Black people and POC are able to thrive in the field of technology. Through venture pitch events, community online workshops and a concierge accelerator, The Milky Way Tech Hub has begun attracting national and international entrepreneurs to Milwaukee in addition to supporting the local talent already here. The Milky Way Tech Hub’s goal is to use its resources, programs, and community partnerships to create equitable opportunities for Milwaukee’s tech ecosystem.

About Marquette University Computer Science Department

The Computer Science department at Marquette University is home to majors in computer science, data science and bioinformatics, as well as masters and doctoral-level programs.  The ABET-accredited bachelors in computer science offers students a rich introduction to the central ideas and methods used in construction of modern software systems, as well as a firm grounding in the social impacts and ethical concerns that arise when computing systems intersect with the real world.  The department is an active champion for increasing access to computing curricula in Milwaukee Public Schools, and frequently seeks opportunities for faculty and students to engage in the broader Milwaukee community.

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Milky Way Tech Hub Partners with American Family Institute and P5 Project to award $15,000 to Startups

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