Skills Pipeline & CareDirect
Location: Ozaukee County, WI
Industry: Private Equity
Matt Cordio has been a driving force behind the Milwaukee region’s growth in the tech sector over the last decade.
While still a student at Marquette University, Cordio founded Startup Milwaukee, an organization that focused on providing connections to capital, talent and mentorship for technology company founders in Southeast Wisconsin. He organized Startup Weekend Milwaukee from 2011 to 2013, leading three successful events that incubated dozens of startup companies in the region.
In 2012, Cordio founded Skills Pipeline, which partners with growing companies in the Midwest to help them identify and hire top technology talent. He also acquired and now oversees day-to-day operations for CAREDirect, a digital solution for ambulatory healthcare facilities to secure and track medication inventory and ensure compliance. Under Cordio’s stewardship, CAREDirect has grown revenue by 6.5 times and profit margin by 8.5 times since it was acquired in 2021.
Cordio has also advised dozens of tech startup companies that have raised over $150 million collectively in venture capital funding, and some have had successful exits. Cordio attributes much of his success to the team and said he looks for leaders who will challenge his thinking.
“It’s important to always field the right team and not be afraid to hire people who have different viewpoints from you or people who offset your weaknesses,” Cordio said. “Often I see leaders tempted to hire yes-men or folks who tell them what they want to hear and that never ends well for a business or nonprofit organization.
“It’s impossible to scale without having the right team in place. I often see leaders working in a high-growth environment forget to slow down, go the extra mile and build the foundation, systems and processes required to scale and sustain growth.”
Cordio serves on the board of directors of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition, an organization committed to doubling the tech workforce in Southeast Wisconsin. He also founded The Commons, an entrepreneurial skills accelerator program, in partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Since 2014, The Commons has trained hundreds of college students in Southeast Wisconsin in critical thinking and entrepreneurial thinking skills.
Cordio’s work has been recognized by several organizations, including Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2015, BizTimes Milwaukee’s Bravo Entrepreneur in 2015, and One MKE’s Driver of Diversity Award in 2018. Cordio has appeared in BizTimes Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, TMJ4, WISN, WTMJ-AM, WPR, WisBusiness, Milwaukee Magazine, Insight Wisconsin, Wisconsin Inno, Chicago Inno, Technical.ly, Wisconsin Policy Forum and CBS 58.
“My focus, especially as we navigate through this tumultuous economic and geopolitical environment, is to continue to identify opportunities to create value,” Cordio said. “I think we’re entering a great time to uncover these opportunities, and I’m in a good position to deploy my playbook, network of talent and partners to capitalize on these opportunities.”
Cordio is an avid cook and boater. In the summer he can often be found on a lake in Central Wisconsin or in front of a grill.