Wisconsin launches $100M Wisconsin Investment Fund



(The Center Square) – Wisconsin is putting $50 million towards startups and entrepreneurs in hopes that a lot more companies come to the state to grow.

Gov. Tony Evers and WEDC CEO Missy Hughes announced the Wisconsin Investment Fund.

“Wisconsin has always been a state where our ideas, Innovations,and inventions have driven our state forward,” Evers told reporters. “Whether it’s advances in agriculture, healthcare, science and technology, or manufacturing. Wisconsin leads the way.”

Evers said the Wisconsin Investment Fund is using $50 million from the federal government’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. Private investors are kicking in another $50 million, for a total of $100 million fund.

“The Wisconsin Investment Fund will be the biggest public private investment in Wisconsin startups and entrepreneurs in our state’s history,” Evers added.

“With $100 million, I love saying that $100 million, in public private investment the Wisconsin Investment Fund is literally planting a flag in the ground and saying we want to support entrepreneurs who want to start here, who want to grow here, and most importantly who want to stay here,” Hughes said.

The fund will focus, largely, on biohealth.

Hughes says at least $27 million of the state’s initial $50 million will go toward investments in biohealth.

Last year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration named Wisconsin a Regional Technology Hub for personalized medicine and biohealth technology. That opens the door to up to $75 million in new federal funding for research and development.

Wisconsin has tapped five funds to be a part of the new Wisconsin Investment Fund, including three based in Madison, one based in La Crosse, and another based in Champaign, Illinois.

Hughes says the state is looking for a sixth firm it expects to find in the not-too-distant future.

“Over time, we expect the value of this fund to grow exponentially – with a 10-to-1 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,” Ever said.

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