Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy says the TitletownTech startup program “could be as impactful as anything that the Packers have done.”
He spoke yesterday at the 10th annual Wisconsin Tech Summit, held by the Wisconsin Technology Council at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The event is designed to help early-stage companies and entrepreneurs connect with established businesses and prospective investors from across the state.
In his keynote speech, Murphy touted the importance of the TitletownTech program for both the startup companies it helps fund and the regional economy. This partnership between the Packers and Microsoft was formed about four years ago to provide investment funding and other support for emerging businesses.
“It’s an effort to attract new businesses, not just to Green Bay but also to Wisconsin, and will hopefully grow and drive initial business development in our ecosystem that will attract additional entrepreneurs and their families,” Murphy said.
The TitletownTech fund can invest between $100,000 and $2 million per company, with a focus on startups with potential for significant growth. The program primarily considers businesses in sports media and entertainment, agricultural and water technology, manufacturing, construction, supply chain solutions and digital health.
Along with boosting startups in those industries, Murphy explained the program aims to address a key weakness in the Green Bay economy: a shortage of college graduates relative to other cities of comparable size.
“Particularly with TitletownTech, with some of the companies that we’re investing in and that will end up having a base here in Green Bay, will attract more college graduates,” he said.
Plus, he noted the trend toward remote work makes it more feasible to pull young professionals from larger metro areas such as Chicago and Minneapolis to Green Bay and elsewhere in Wisconsin, where the cost of living is lower and “quality of life will be much better.”
“I think we’re now a lot more attractive to people,” he said, attributing that shift to the Packers’ investment in the community as well as efforts by the Greater Green Bay Chamber and other economic development groups.
Murphy also touted the direct impact of the team, noting each home game results in about $15 million dollars in local economic activity. He added the Packers are looking at hosting an upcoming NFL draft in Green Bay, which would have an estimated $90 million impact.
“We’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to have a NFL draft here, either in 2025 or 2027,” he said.
Listen to an earlier WisBusiness.com podcast with Cordero Barkley, a partner with TitletownTech: