Editor’s Note: This is the fourth column in a series about UpStart, a free entrepreneurship program for women and people of color supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF.
For almost 20 years, I’ve watched the entrepreneurial spirit incubate on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus and hatch on Madison’s economic road map — dotting the landscape with startups large and small and attracting other businesses and amenities to the area.
Young graduates and seasoned Ph.D.s fill research and business parks, land high-paying jobs at Epic Systems Corp. and the spinoffs it generates, and populate commercial buildings around Capitol Square and down East Washington Avenue.
UpStart participants make up a portion of those entrepreneurs, but many more come to the program with nontraditional backgrounds and working-class roots. Along the way, they’ve faced racial, gender and socioeconomic barriers that aren’t always encountered on four-year campuses or inside hip offices with ping-pong tables and kombucha taps.
That’s why an UpStart instructor described the opportunity as “winning the entrepreneur’s lottery.” The people who are chosen for the program — women and people of color — have the same grit and ambition as their white male counterparts but less access to the financial and social capital.Read the full article at: https://www.channel3000.com/madison-magazine/city-life/a-coworking-champion-looks-into-becoming-a-coworking-space-founder/1101979208