When compared with peer cities like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, metropolitan Milwaukee’s innovation economy shines when it comes to talent but lags on measures including venture capital funding for startups and job creation.

Those are among the findings of the recently updated Metro Milwaukee Innovation DataTool by the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The update is sponsored by former Milwaukee County Executive and local venture capital investor Chris Abele and was among a set of startup initiatives he announced in 2021 with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

The tool looks at 17 indicators tied to innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth, and compares metro Milwaukee with 10 other metros, including other mid-size Midwest metros with a historic focus on manufacturing, as well as Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon, which are often identified as leaders in innovation.

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