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Wisconsin sets up $100 million fund to assist business startups



Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin’s economic development agency, recently unveiled the launch of a $100 million fund to assist start-up companies and entrepreneurs in Wisconsin. This fund, named the Wisconsin Investment Fund, is the largest of its kind in the history of the state. Initially funded with $50 million from federal funds and $50 million from private investors, the aim is to support entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, and thrive within the state.

The announcement was made at Forward BIOLABS in Madison, a nonprofit organization that aids in the launch of start-ups. Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation secretary, emphasized the importance of supporting entrepreneurs who want to establish their businesses in Wisconsin. Venture capital firms selected to manage the fund must match each dollar of public money with at least one dollar of private investment, with returns reinvested back into the fund.

The federal funds, which come from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, will be used to invest in companies operating in various sectors such as technology, health care, agriculture, manufacturing, and more. The first recipients of the fund include HealthX Ventures, Venture Investors Health Fund, Serra Ventures, NVNG Investment Advisors, and Idea Fund of La Crosse, with investments ranging from $5 to $15 million. Negotiations are underway with a sixth fund manager for the remaining $5 million allocation.

According to Governor Evers, as businesses supported by the fund begin to grow, the value of the fund will also increase, creating new opportunities to aid more businesses in expanding. This initiative aims to provide a boost to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin, fostering innovation, job creation, and economic growth within the state. By partnering public funds with private investments, the goal is to create a sustainable and impactful platform for start-ups to thrive and succeed.

The Wisconsin Investment Fund signifies a significant step towards bolstering the start-up landscape in the state and attracting more entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in Wisconsin. By providing financial support and resources to emerging companies in various sectors, the fund aims to drive innovation and create a conducive environment for business growth and expansion. The public-private partnership model ensures that returns on investments are channeled back into the fund, enabling a sustainable cycle of support for new and growing businesses.

Entrepreneurs in Wisconsin looking to kickstart their ventures now have access to a substantial funding pool through the Wisconsin Investment Fund. The infusion of $100 million, sourced from both public and private sectors, presents a unique opportunity for start-ups to receive the financial backing and guidance needed to flourish and succeed in the competitive market. With an emphasis on sectors like technology, health care, agriculture, and manufacturing, the fund is set to pave the way for innovation and economic development in the state.

In conclusion, the Wisconsin Investment Fund stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to nurturing a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and positioning Wisconsin as a hub for innovation and growth. By leveraging public funds with private investments, the fund aims to support emerging businesses, drive economic prosperity, and create a conducive environment for start-ups to thrive. This milestone initiative marks a significant advancement in the state’s economic development strategy, offering a platform for entrepreneurs to realize their vision and contribute to the overall growth and success of Wisconsin’s business landscape.

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