WHY SHOULD I DO THIS?
You should do this if you want to understand how to creatively solve problems. It's a universal skill and needed more than ever. You should do this for the hands-on, real-world professional development. You should do this to learn how to really collaborate, communicate, think critically and be creative. You should do this to join the motivated collegiate minds from across the region, as we throw you into the deep end of innovation and give you direct access to a massive professional network that you will find nowhere else.
Plus, it’s free and we feed you pretty darn well. Can't go wrong there!
WHAT Would I WORK ON?
We'll put you on a cross-functional team of other students and you'll build something from nothing - a new business or a new product for an existing business. We'll guide you through a structured process and help you create something great!
The corporate innovation challenges change each semester, but past challenges have come from Northwestern Mutual, Kohl's, Briggs & Stratton, Direct Supply, Church Mutual, ManpowerGroup, Betty Brinn Children's Museum, Rexnord, Feeding America, We Energies, American Family Insurance and others.
The startup ideas come from you! Each semester we pick five student startup ideas to run through the program. If you have an awesome idea and want to try your hand at being a startup founder, you can let us know in your application and we will follow up via email to talk more. Past ideas have ranged from compression garments outfitted with biometric sensors to grocery delivery services for college students to booking services for musicians.
WOULD I be A GOOD FIT?
We're looking for motivated students that want to solve cool problems. We look for students of ANY major and ANY year in school. And we couldn't care less what your GPA is. Instead, we look at the following "personas" for our program:
Hackers - technical and engineering folks of all types
Hipsters - designers, artists and creatives
Hustlers - sales, marketing, finance and business
Handlers - project coordinators, organizers and team leaders
WHERE IS IT?
Everything happens at downtown Milwaukee's Ward 4 co-working space.
WHEN IS IT?
Kickoff Weekend: Saturday, Feb 9 - Sunday, Feb 10 from 10:00am-4:00pm
Workshops: Tuesday nights Feb 12 - April 16 from 6:30-9:00pm
Demo Day: Tuesday, April 23 from 6:30-9:00pm
Attendance is mandatory! If you see conflicts (aside from your possible Spring Break) or simply cannot join this time around, you should check out our other great programs or toss your name into our mailing list.
HOW MUCH WORK SHOULD I EXPECT?
Aside from the in-person classes, you should plan on 2-4 hours of extra "homework" per week. For those receiving internship credit, it's more like 8-10 hours per week to meet your school's requirements.
WHEN ARE APPLICATIONS DUE?
We're doing a rolling accepting of small groups beginning right now. With a max capacity of 75 students, this is a very competitive program.... apply soon!
WHAT IF I'M NOT A STUDENT?
Sorry, we can only accept currently-enrolled students from our partnering colleges and universities right now. But if you're a talented person interested in this sort of stuff, perhaps there's a good opportunity for you as a Commons Mentor! Learn more here.
Okay let me apply already!
Have more questions?
Not a problem. Get in touch with us