Milwaukee’s Lack of Jobs in Startups

Out of curiosity yesterday, I went to the AngelList job board to see what funded startups (either Angel or VC) in Milwaukee were hiring. I saw that Madison had 14 positions in 6 companies. I saw that Chicago had a ton; way more than I was willing to count. Without going to look, take a guess as to how many positions were posted in Milwaukee.

50? 20? 5?

How about zero.

Ok, well what about other sites? StartupMKE? StartupHire?


I’d be interested to know if anyone has done research to know exactly how many people are currently employed by angel or VC-backed companies in Milwaukee. I’d like to see two stats; one including founders and one without.

A recent survey by Mattermark showed the following to be true about founders:

  • 38% of venture-backed founders are over 40 years old

  • Only 15% of venture-backed founders have a Computer Science degree

  • Management consultants are more than 2x more likely to be venture-backed founders than engineers

  • 43% of venture backed founders worked at a venture-backed company immediately before founding

  • Two thirds of venture-backed founders were not in a senior leadership position prior to founding

  • Contrary to conventional wisdom, being “stuck” in the same company or position for a long time (even a decade) does not diminish your likelihood of becoming a founder

If 43% of venture-backed founders previously worked at venture-backed companies, and Milwaukee maintains a meager supply of venture-backed companies that are hiring, then where do we expect the next generation of companies to come from?

What is the cause of this phenomena?

How is it resolved?