Phase One of the entrepreneurship project Scale Up Milwaukee is now underway. The multi-year project is a new initiative commissioned by American Express OPEN, a division of the company that focuses on entrepreneurs, and it has begun its efforts to create an “entrepreneurship ecosystem” in Milwaukee.

Scale Up Milwaukee convening partners announce the project at a March 28 press conference at UWM’s Zilber School of Public Health.

The project is based on a model developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Projects at Babson College in Wellesly, Mass., and author of the new book, “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid,” published by Harvard Business Review Press. Both the book and the entrepreneurship project focus on “extraordinary value creation and capture.”

“One of the principles underlying Scale Up Milwaukee is to rebalance the emphasis of entrepreneurship so that it’s not just about startups, but it’s also about companies that exist, a certain small percentage of which have the potential or the desire to grow dramatically. We call these, ‘Scale Ups,'” Isenberg said. “This is not about small business. This is about big businesses that happen to be small right now. This is about growth, not about size

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