Alumnus Thrives in Local Tech Scene

Matthew Salzer with coffee cup in hand pic

Matthew Salzer helped launch Socialeads, which has netted over $750,000 in venture capital

Alumnus Thrives in Local Tech Scene

In the 10 years since he earned his associate degree in computer science from MATC, Matthew Salzer has flourished in the Milwaukee tech ecosystem.

After stints at Red Arrow Labs in Milwaukee, Centare in Brookfield and then SafeNet in Milwaukee, he ventured into entrepreneurial efforts. He opened his own consulting firm called Salzer Software LLC and recently co-founded Socialeads Inc., a startup that has raised significant venture capital.

This Greendale High School graduate considers his MATC associate degree a “ticket in the door” for employment opportunities. The two-year program has been a good fit for his career, Salzer said.

"Even major companies like Apple and Google are recognizing that you don't need four years to become a good software engineer, or to become a good programmer. I have seen articles recently that skills are more important than degrees," he said. He credits MATC for giving him the foundational skills.

Large national companies that historically preferred to hire individuals with bachelor’s degrees in IT are opening their doors to associate degree graduates, according to a TechHire brief featuring Employ Milwaukee. The average starting wage for an MATC IT Web and Software Developer associate degree graduate is $67,500.

Successful startup venture

Salzer maintains his entrepreneurial work and spends the majority of his time on Socialeads with co-founder Larry Hitchcock. This Milwaukee startup leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help salespeople learn more about customers. Socialeads helps “qualify” sales leads by examining the size and value of an individual’s social media network.

This is a fun, winding road of a career path if you’re up for the adventure.

Matthew Salzer, MATC Grad Co-founder, Socialeads venture capital start up

In January 2018, Salzer and Hitchcock earned work space in Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Labs in downtown Milwaukee, plus $75,000 in seed money, after winning a “reverse pitch” competition. The competition began with Northwestern Mutual describing business problems and then, several weeks later, hearing potential solutions. Socialeads raised $750,000 in first-round financing and is seeking a second round of $1.5 million as of summer 2019.

“The capital allows us to continue what we’ve been accomplishing since the beginning: Continue to ramp up our top-notch team, hit the market hard, and continue scaling and enhancing the platform,” said Salzer.

The kind of success Salzer found requires a focus on high-quality work and details, he said. For those who share those strengths, Salzer recommends getting the credentials to join the local tech scene.

“This is a fun, winding road of a career path if you’re up for the adventure,” he said.

To learn more about MATC’s Entrepreneurship programs, contact Armen Hadjinian at 414-297-7480, hadjinia@matc.edu.

To make a donation in support of business careers, contact Development Director Monika Walloch at 414-297-8514, wallocms@matc.edu.