Gov. Evers, WEDC Announce $100 Million Investment in Wisconsin Startups and Entrepreneurs

Gov. Tony Evers and Vivek Swaminathan, CEO of Cardamom Health

Gov. Tony Evers and Vivek Swaminathan, CEO of Cardamom Health

MADISON —​ Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, today announced a major step forward in supporting Wisconsin entrepreneurs with the launch of the Wisconsin Investment Fund, a public-private venture capital initiative that will initially invest $100 million in startup businesses throughout the state. At an event at Forward BIOLABS in Madison, a nonprofit that has helped launch scores of successful startups, Gov. Evers and Secretary Hughes were joined by officials from five venture capital management firms who will be administering the first round of fund investments. A sixth capital management firm will be announced shortly.

“The Wisconsin Investment Fund will be the biggest public-private investment in Wisconsin startups and entrepreneurs in our state’s history, and as the businesses that receive these investments start to grow, the value of the fund will grow with them, creating new opportunities to help even more businesses expand,” said Gov. Evers. “Over time, we expect the value of this fund to grow exponentially—with a ten-to-one private-public investment ratio. This fund is a win for businesses who will have the support to take their ideas to new heights, and it’s a win for Wisconsin to maintain our position as a competitive leader in business innovation.”

“This partnership will help more entrepreneurs scale their businesses, create jobs in emerging fields, and ensure that Wisconsin can continue its long legacy of being innovators and trailblazers,” said U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin). “I am proud to do my part to support this initiative, giving more Wisconsinites opportunity and growing the next generation of our Made in Wisconsin economy.”

“Wisconsin has always been a leader in bringing great, innovative ideas to the world,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Hughes. “To make those ideas a reality and drive our state’s economy forward, innovators need capital. This public-private effort puts a stake in the ground that Wisconsin is committed to entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The venture capital firms must match each dollar of public funds with at least one dollar of private money, which will initially double the state’s investment impact. The state’s return on these investments is then reinvested into the Wisconsin Investment Fund to generate more capital and fund even more promising Wisconsin companies.

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