The Commons Preliminary Planning
Joe Poeschl, founder of The Commons at Ward 4 in Milwaukee, is working with his staff to launch a collaborative education program between area colleges and  Sheboygan County business leaders.  The Jake’s Cafe Creative Community could be the “perfect location for this pilot, according to Poeschl.  “It has the right mix of inspiring space, local community presence and abundant coffee reserves, smiled Poeschl.”
  1. Identify Event Dates: We’ve gone through everyone’s spring schedules and have found very limited options for a pilot, due to differing spring breaks. The weekend hackathon seems to best fit on Saturday and Sunday, February 25-26 from 10am-4pm each day. The two follow-up workshops would best fit on Sunday, March 19th and Sunday, April 2 from 10am-4pm. All other weekends would have at least one school kicking off a spring break, which seemed like something we wanted to avoid.
  2. Identify Campus Liaisons: We would like to identify a few key faculty members from different departments to work closely with for cultivating student participants. To help them better understand the program, we’d like to offer some dates to visit your campus and speak with these faculty. This Doodle Poll has our availability throughout mid-January. You can sign up on that poll and we will follow up with further planning logistics. We’d love to coordinate a few visits into a single trip, if possible.
  3. Cultivate Student Participants: For this pilot, we’d like to find just 5 or 6 bright, motivated problem-solvers to represent your school. This is certainly a limited number, but it will help us manage a great experience. In total, we’d like to shoot for 50 students on 10 teams… 5 corporate innovation and 5 student startup. Ideally, students will come from a variety of majors, so we can create teams with a diverse set of skills (engineering, programming, design, business, marketing, sales, project management, writing, accounting, etc)
  4. Cultivate Corporate Partners + Mentors: We’d welcome your input regarding local corporate partners that might be interested in presenting a challenge for the students to work on during this pilot. If they seem like the right fit, we would love to facilitate a discussion with them. Similarly, we would welcome any help connecting to the community to identify mentors to assist with creating a rich networking opportunity for the students.
For more information, please contact: Joe Poeschl at