Near West Side Partners, Inc. (NWSP) today announced eight finalists selected as part of the Rev-Up MKE small business competition. The program’s goal is to provide an opportunity for the winner – and as many finalists as possible – to expand or start a business in the Near West Side and receive the support it needs to make it a success. This announcement brings NWSP closer to providing new services to area residents and employees in the Near West Side.
“The Near West Side is home to some of the world’s greatest start-ups – companies that are now iconic brands like Harley-Davidson and MillerCoors,” said Keith Stanley, Executive Director of Near West Side Partners, Inc. “Based on the great ideas and high-quality applications we received in the first annual Rev-Up MKE competition, it is clear that entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive in the Near West Side.”
The panel of judges selected nearly twice as many finalists as had originally been expected based on the strength of the applications and the quality of the business ideas. Each finalist will receive significant business training and consulting support as they prepare for the live-pitch event in September where the winner will be selected.
“It is our hope that many of these businesses will find success in the Near West Side, bringing new jobs and new vibrancy to our commercial corridors,” said Stanley.
The selected finalists include:
Bucks Burgerdogs & BBQ | Valerie Kennedy
A food truck looking to bring food cooked over a wood-fired open flame grill to the Near West Side.
Funky Fresh Spring Rolls | Trueman McGee
A mobile food vendor/manufacturer offering unique spring rolls in non-traditional flavored rolls, made with fresh local ingredients.
Green Source Juice Bar and Café | Marshall Harley
A juice bar and café focused on supplying fresh and organic healthy food choices to the community.
MilWaz Collective | Leilani Lopez-Blasini, Milagros Cuevas, Ruben Lopez, Erika Martinez, and Rachaad Howard
A cooperative that will connect local artists and screen printers by providing a space to work and sell their products.
Pete’s Pops | Pete Cooney
A local, Milwaukee company, that offers fresh fruit and cream popsicles (otherwise known as paletas) in unique flavor combinations.
Sew Alive | Pamela Graham
A retail business that specializes in leather products, specifically for personal and home decor. Part of the business consists of offering workshops and teaching young people creative skills.
That Salsa Lady (TSL) | Angela Moragne
A family-owned, full-functioning incubator kitchen with a shared restaurant and retail space. TSL is dedicated to the elimination of food deserts. Through reconnecting people to healthy, affordable nutrition, salsa becomes the difference in how people relate to food.
WasteCap Resource Solutions / Milwaukee Community Service Corps. | Joe Liebau
Two local nonprofits combining to build custom furniture from salvaged materials in foreclosed homes throughout Milwaukee.