— Milwaukee’s startup and tech community is steadily becoming more diverse as people from various backgrounds find their place in the metro area’s evolving economy.
That’s according to Elmer Moore Jr., executive director of Scale Up Milwaukee, an organization working to foster growth in the area’s business ecosystem. Since moving to Wisconsin in 2013, he says he’s seen some major changes.
“There was a time that you’d go into a room where the conversation was around entrepreneurship, startups or tech, and that room was… the friendly way to say it is homogenous,” Moore said in a recent interview.
Moore, an African American, says these conversations were dominated by men who looked, dressed and spoke the same. But over time, more voices from different cultures have been introduced.
“We’re starting to see that room diversify,” he said. “Diversity is a function of really capitalizing on different backgrounds and ideas to make better companies, better businesses and better innovation, frankly.”
Moore is one of the co-chairs for the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, an annual event held by the Wisconsin Technology Council. This year’s two-day conference takes place today and tomorrow at Venue42 in Milwaukee.
Aside from his duties as co-chair, Moore will be speaking on three different panels about local resources for entrepreneurs, diversity and inclusion, and other topics.
“So I’m excited to see a room with some color; I’m excited to see a room with some gender diversity,” he told WisBusiness.com. “I’m excited to go into rooms where people recognize that technology means more than coding.”
— With Republicans rejecting his call to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Gov. Tony Evers has announced a new partnership aimed at boosting the number of state residents enrolled in the existing program.
In a news conference yesterday on the steps of the Capitol, Evers said the new partnership between the Department of Health Services and the Office of Commissioner of Insurance was designed to more widely distribute information about BadgerCare and private insurance options offered in the marketplace created by ACA.
“Getting our two agencies to work together to help ensure a smooth transition into private insurance and keeping a robust insurance marketplace vibrant will benefit all of Wisconsin,” he said.
Evers used the opportunity to continue lobbying for his Medicaid proposal. He noted that an estimated 82,000 people would be covered with an influx of federal dollars, which he said the general public overwhelmingly supports.
“Seventy percent of the people in Wisconsin indicated in the most recent polls that they support Medicaid expansion,” he said. “We’re going to continue to fight for that.”
JFC Co-chair John Nygren said in a statement he agreed with Evers’ push to “connect more Wisconsinites to coverage” but said his proposed Medicaid expansion was not the way to go about it.
“I do not believe that expanding welfare is the right path for our state to expand access to care and increase affordability,” the Marinette Republican said.
— The guv has indicated that he would be open to paying for road work without a gas tax increase but said any proposal “finding money to fix our damn roads” would have to be sustainable.
“If Republican leadership has an idea how we can magically do that without increasing the gas tax, we’ll certainly be looking for that,” he told reporters yesterday.
The guv included an 8-cent increase in his budget. But Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told the Journal Sentinel last week that Republicans in the Senate would not go for a gas tax increase. He indicated they were looking at other measures, such as increased vehicle registration fees, in order to up road revenues.
Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff yesterday slammed that proposal, tweeting the GOP would have to “nearly double the vehicle registration fee to reach the level of revenue” the guv’s gas tax increase would.
“That’s not a solution that’s fair for the people of Wisconsin,” she tweeted.
See more at WisPolitics.com: http://www.wispolitics.com/2019/mon-pm-update-evers-announces-partnership-to-boost-medicaid-enrollment/
— The transportation funding debate will be featured at an upcoming WisPolitics.com issues luncheon, as the two-year state budget makes its way through the Legislature.
Gov. Tony Evers proposed an 8-cent-a gallon increase in the gas tax plus while getting rid of the minimum markup on gasoline — something the administration said would more than wipe out the increase. Republicans have removed the minimum markup provision and left in the gas tax increase for now.
The luncheon is set for Thursday, June 13 at UW-Milwaukee’s Waukesha campus just off I-94.
— The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is supporting the work of three researchers who are exploring new ways of improving human health.
The group’s Shaw Scientist Program is doling out $600,000, which will be split evenly between three “early-career” researchers at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee.
The three recipients are:
*Zachary Morris, an assistant professor of radiation oncology and vice-chair of human oncology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. His work centers on brachytherapy, a method of cancer treatment in which radioactive material is placed inside the patient’s tumor. He will be testing tumors’ responses to immunotherapies, starting with skin cancer.
*Helen Meier, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at UW-Milwaukee. She studies how immune systems change and adapt as people ageand how those changes impact health later in life.
“For example, the specific type of influenza strain you had as a child may impact whether or not an influenza vaccine is effective for you as an older adult,” Meier said in a release. “My work seeks to understand these complex relationships to inform healthy aging.”
*Darcie Moore, an assistant professor of neuroscience at UW-Madison. She’s working on adult stem cells in the brain that play a role in memory, looking at how stress and other factors influence how these cells divide.
Moore says the Foundation’s grant helps young researchers be flexible as they pursue exploratory research.
“Support of this type of high-risk science enables novel discoveries to be made,” Moore said.
The Shaw Scientist Program was started in 1982 with a $4.3 million donation from Dorothy Shaw, the widow of a Milwaukee attorney named James Shaw. The release shows the Shaws’ fund has made about $15 million in grants to 78 scientists at UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison.
— A Wisconsin biomedical engineer is getting a $1.4 million federal grant to make computed tomography, or CT scanning, more accurate.
A CT scan combines many X-rays taken from various angles around the body, creating more detailed images of internal structures than X-rays alone can capture.
Taly Gilat-Schmidt is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is sharing the $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health with Emil Sidky of the University of Chicago.
Their work will center on reducing alterations to CT images that can be caused by metal in the patient’s body, such as medical implants. When the images are changed by metal interference, diagnosis becomes more difficult, according to Gilat-Schidt.
“Since CT scans are used to plan radiation therapy, these image degradations can lead to treatment inaccuracies,” Gilat-Schmidt said. “By using a validated algorithm, our work aims to reduce this variability to help doctors better diagnose and plan radiation treatment for patients.”
# Promega to expand its Fitchburg facilities with $155M manufacturing building
# Mexico tariffs would hit $2.9 billion in Wisconsin imports
# Metro Milwaukee home remodeling industry continues to boom, hits $1B
# Pokémon devotees descend on downtown Madison for regional championships
– Wisconsin all milk price rose to $17.90 in April
– Masters is WFBF’s new director of member relations
– Uline explores construction of another large building in Kenosha County
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– Lou Malnati’s plans take-out pizzeria in Fox Point
– Culver’s ‘Scoops of Thanks’ day raises over $104,000
# HEALTH CARE
– Universal Health Services plans $33 million hospital in West Allis
– Ascension Wisconsin hospitals slash MRI, CT prices by 50%
– Evers announces partnership to increase insurance enrollment
– Gov. Tony Evers announces new health care partnership to increase access, affordability
– R&R Insurance moves to new HQ
– Labor report: State farmhands paid $14.47 per hour
– Kurt Gresens named managing partner of Wipfli
– Deb Standridge, Tim Richman retiring as Ascension Wisconsin flattens management
– A.O. Smith provides additional detail on Chinese supply chain partnership
– Uline planning another distribution center in Kenosha
– UW archivists working to digitize early recordings of public radio in Wisconsin
– Evers won’t rule out paying for roads without gas-tax hike
# REAL ESTATE
– Owners of downtown office building reveal renovations, begin push to bring in new tenants
– Marcus’ Saint Kate hotel opens Tuesday
– $30M rehab of former Reuss Federal office adds to West Wisconsin Avenue activity
– Lobbying group argues state should give edge to Wisconsin contractors
– Leinenkugel secures naming rights for beer garden at Franklin’s minor league ballpark
– Understory picks up $5 million investment, moves to Southeast Side
– Gov. Tony Evers won’t say whether he’ll support budget without gas tax hike
– We Energies renews push for controversial solar, fixed fees
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: