State getting $80 million for venture fund, expansion of other programs for entrepreneurs

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin is getting $80 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding which has been earmarked to help support entrepreneurs and small business.

Gov. Tony Evers and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, along with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, announced plans for the funding this week. The money has been approved through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a part of ARPA

Evers’ plan for the funding, which has been approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, includes $50 million for WEDC to create the Wisconsin Investment Fund. The goal of the fund is to partner with other venture capital funds in the state that are investing in Wisconsin-based startups.

The Wisconsin Investment Fund will work with VC fund managers. Leaning on the expertise of these managers, the Wisconsin Investment Fund will select companies for investment and then match these companies’ own private investments on at least a one-to-one basis.

“Wisconsin has a strong track record of innovation and of realizing the economic potential of next-generation startup companies. While recent years have seen significant growth in venture capital investments, Wisconsin, like most states, is behind national leaders in both volume and amount of venture capital investments,” reads a request for qualifications for the fund. “The Wisconsin Investment Fund aims to close this structural gap by partnering with venture capital investors with a significant emphasis on investing in Wisconsin companies.”

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(Last updated on February 27th, 2023 at 01:58 pm)