The energy behind southeastern Wisconsin’s startup ecosystem is intensifying, founders say, but the region still has a ways to go to improve the culture when it comes to investing in early-stage companies.

That was the sentiment voiced by Milwaukee-area entrepreneurs during a Wednesday panel discussion on the state of the region’s startups. The event, part of Milwaukee Startup Week, was moderated by WTMJ Radio’s John Mercure and brought together founders of local emerging companies to talk about how hospitable the region is to early-stage firms and what can be done to improve it.

During the panel, Craig Sweeney, co-founder of the Milwaukee FinTech startup Shift Savings, said he was encouraged by the increasingly active role played by corporate partners like Northwestern Mutual, as well as accelerators like gener8tor in the region’s startup scene. However, accessible capital is a critical piece of the startup ecosystem puzzle — a piece that Milwaukee hasn’t quite yet figured out. Read the full story here.