The Blueprint

Bootcamp & Cultivator

Program Overview

YES, with the founding sponsors, the City of Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Institute and Northwestern Mutual will offer locally-owned startups an opportunity to participate in the inaugural business cultivator known as “The Blueprint.” The targeted businesses will be those that have been in existence for under 10 years with annual revenue of $1,000,000 or less. We are looking for visionary, high-growth potential startups in the preferred sectors of Technology, eCommerce and Manufacturing.

Forty businesses will be selected through an extensive application process to attend a weekend-long Bootcamp. From those forty businesses, ten will be chosen to attend the Cultivator. YES will announce the participants of the Bootcamp in late August during the City of Milwaukee’s first ever Hip-Hop Week.   In addition to the Bootcamp and Cultivator, YES will host quarterly lunch and learns to recruit and retain like-minded individuals.

All participants will receive visual documentation of their journeys through the program. Participants will be immersed in the concepts of the Business Model Canvas as well as receive legal, marketing, financial, mentor, tax and technical assistance.

Expanding Employment Through Entrepreneurship

Important Dates

Application Period
July 18, 2018 – August 12, 2018
Initial Cohort Announced
August 20 – 26, 2018
September 7 – 9, 2018
September 22 – November 10, 2018

Tech, Manufacturing, eCommerce


Dr. Keenan Grenell
Dr. Keenan Grenell
Greg Meier
Greg Meier
Krystle Perry
Krystle Perry
Steph Crosley
Steph Crosley
Greg Meier
Kendrick Pullen
Teresa Esser
Teresa Esser

Guest Speakers

Sevetri Wilson is the CEO and Founder of ExemptMeNow, a New Orleans based tech startup she launched in 2016 to simply the creation, compliance and management processes for nonprofits and for profits. She has raised $2M for her tech startup to date, making her the first Black woman in Louisiana to raise over $1M in venture capital, and the most of any woman of color to date in the state. She possesses expertise in strategic communications, brand marketing, technology, public affairs and project management. In her role at ExemptMeNow, Sevetri sets the vision for the company, builds and manages the team, and leads the company’s execution against its strategy.

She is also the founder of Solid Ground Innovations, LLC. (SGI), an awarded winning strategic communications and management firm with offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans that she founded in 2009 and grew to a multi-million dollar agency. As CEO, she provides strategic oversight for client project execution while facilitating new market entry and client cultivation.

Some of Sevetri’s clientele over the years have included Fortune 100 and 500 companies, small businesses, government agencies, political figures, and not for profit organizations. Her work and that of her clients has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and CNN. In 2010, Sevetri received the National Nobel Prize for Public Service, The Jefferson Award for advocacy and community outreach for the curriculum design she created for a nonprofit, and was featured in the Senate’s report to the White House on volunteerism in the country. In 2013, Sevetri received Business Woman of the Year from the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Sevetri is a former contributing writer for Entrepreneur and Inc. magazine where she has written about best business practices, diversity, technology and civic engagement. Sevetri is heavily involved in the community and serves on the board of directors for UNCF-NOLA, Downtown Development District, YWCA, LSU AP Tureaud Black Alumni, and is an active member of New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.

Sevetri received her Masters in History and a dual Bachelors of Science in Mass Communications and History from Louisiana State University. She is currently a 2019 Masters Candidate in Public Policy and Government at Harvard University.

The Brand. The LifeStyle. The Movement.

Participant Awards

Top Business, based upon readiness, need and pitch will receive:

  • 1st Place:  $10,000
  • 2nd Place: $5,000
  • 3rd Pace: $2,500

Lastly, Legacy Redevelopment Corporation will provide access to capital of up to $200,000 through a newly established revolving loan fund.

The Blueprint: Cultivator Demo Day

November 11, 2018 3:00 pm- 6:00 pm