business

Entrepreneur Paul Schueller Believes in 'Learning, Not Lamenting'

Jun 19, 2018

Paul Schueller was interested in energy and environmental issues as a young boy in Port Washington and was lucky enough to get into that area as a pipeline construction engineer at Wisconsin Electric. He left the utility to form his own consulting firm, then in 1994 founded Franklin Energy, a Port Washington company that operates energy-saving programs for customers of utilities. Franklin does everything from running rebate programs for purchases of energy-saving light bulbs to performing energy audits for large corporations.

Mitch Teich

In 1970, the Milwaukee Clipper ferry halted operations between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan as interstate highway systems became prevalent and the cost of maintaining the 361-foot behemoth overwhelmed the company. More than 30 years later, a series of surprises and coincidences helped New Jersey native and former Port of Milwaukee director Ken Szallai to begin the Lake Express ferry to fill the historic gap.

John Byrnes: The Business of Investing in Businesses

May 30, 2018
Mason Wells photo

John Byrnes spent decades building companies – his own and others’. After running the private equity group at Marshall & Ilsley bank for 15 years, he managed its spinout into a new private equity firm. Under John’s oversight, Mason Wells raised three funds, the last reaching $525 million. New Mason Wells leaders have gone on to raise a fourth, $615 million fund.

Mitch Teich

Construction is underway in Racine County on the first elements of Foxconn’s massive factory complex.  Plans call for the factory to employ thousands of workers who will, at first assemble television sets, but later are expected to build high-tech glass screens for electronic devices.

The Foxconn development elicited an unprecedented state incentive package, with advocates saying it has the potential to transform the economy of the region.  But a new report out says another part of the manufacturing sector is already having a transformative effect.

Maayan Silver

Hundreds of people lined up hours before the doors opened to enter IKEA's new store in Oak Creek Wednesday morning. There was a DJ, a band, and door prizes.

WUWM's Maayan Silver was there too. She wanted to know what drew customers to the store's grand opening and how IKEA might impact the local retail scene.

Here's what people in line had to say:

Maayan Silver

Foxconn is promising thousands of jobs in construction, and once the massive factory in Mount Pleasant is complete, in information technology and manufacturing.

Others are wondering whether people who need the jobs most will get them, like those on Milwaukee's north and south sides.

Tech colleges and workforce development organizations point to community organizations as the grassroots touchpoint to reach minority workers.

Mitch Teich

For a lot of us, the week leading up to Easter is a time to slow down.  Some might see it as a period to contemplate their faith, or simply enjoy the chance to spend time with family.  But the days leading up to Easter are anything but slow if you're Jim Niemann.

Ward 4

Women's Entrepreneurship Week is the brainchild of leaders at a Milwaukee co-working space called Ward 4.

About a year and a half ago, these leaders figured that it was important to connect women just starting out in an often-solitary business environment with mentors and others. Quickly, they figured out they were onto something, as that day grew into a full week’s worth of events.

Ken Lund / Flickr

People working to strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovation landscape in Milwaukee and Madison launched a new effort recently. Madwaukee Talks is a series of events organized by the Milwaukee Institute and StartingBlock Madison, and seeks to strengthen the economy of both cities.

Kimpton Journeyman Hotel

Many of us might be thinking of a getaway for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, but for people from elsewhere, Milwaukee is a destination.  And when they get here, they’ll be coming to a place that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of hotels and hotel rooms available.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It seems as though whenever there’s an announcement about a business moving to or expanding anywhere across the U.S., those deals aren’t made without some sort of incentives from the state and municipalities.

Last week, Governor Scott Walker announced that Foxconn would open its first U.S. plant in Wisconsin and in turn, the state would provide $3 billion in incentives.

WUWM spoke with UW-Madison economics professor Noah Williams about why states offer deals to companies.

A Wisconsin company is offering to implant tiny radio-frequency chips in its employees – and it says they are lining up for the technology.

The idea is a controversial one, confronting issues at the intersection of ethics and technology by essentially turning bodies into bar codes. Three Square Market, also called 32M, says it is the first U.S. company to provide the technology to its employees.

Foxconn Rumors Get a Reality Check

Jul 20, 2017
Foxconn Twitter

When Taiwanese planes belonging to Foxconn representatives landed at Milwaukee's General Mitchell Airport last week, Journal Sentinel reporter John Schmid took notice. Since President Trump's allusions to Foxconn negotiations in June, he has been following the trail left by Wisconsin politicians, economic officials and the Asian technology manufacturer. 

Mitch Teich

Making your way as a newcomer in the business world can be hard enough.  But for people working in start-up businesses, especially without a lot of business experience behind them, the challenges can be daunting. 

"A lot of start-ups have people who are really good at one thing," says Kenzi Enright, community curator for a Milwaukee facility called Ward4. "Like, really really great at one skill.  But someone with a development background doesn't necessarily have a great sales background."

As You Wish Co. / Facebook

The entrepreneurial world can be hard to break into, especially when you’re a 20-something, still finishing up college. But that’s exactly what Jenna Terek set out to do when she founded As You Wish Co. The online retail store sells bracelets and necklaces, with a charitable business model.

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