Wisconsin Angel Network Director Zach Brandon has been selected by the national Angel Capital Association to be the vice chair of the organization’s public policy committee.
In this newly created volunteer role, Brandon will orchestrate a national effort to promote public policy that enhances early stage investing in the United States, including the establishment of a federal version of Wisconsin’s widely acclaimed and often duplicated investor tax credits.
In 2005, a bipartisan effort led to the signing of Wisconsin Act 255. This legislation created a national model for developing, promoting and leveraging early stage investment capital. With 25 percent credits given in the first year of the investment, the Early Stage Tax Credit program has helped to produce a more than 11-fold increase in early stage investments by individual angels and organized angel groups in Wisconsin companies.
According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. the investor tax credit program has leveraged about $186 million in qualified investments in 138 companies since 2005. These companies supported 1,112 jobs with an average salary of $76,500 in 2011.
The program has also created more investors. Prior to the establishment of the investment tax credits, Wisconsin claimed only a handful of organized angel groups; today there are more than two dozen.
Prior to joining WAN, Brandon most recently served as Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and served previously in the agency’s senior policy and external affairs role. An entrepreneur himself, Brandon was part of the leadership team of three startups and secured $1.84 million in angel financing for his companies.
The Wisconsin Angel Network, founded in 2004, is part of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s overall economic development effort and is a strategic partner of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Representing about two-dozen networks and funds, WAN helps fuel the growth of capital in Wisconsin by operating as an umbrella organization providing services and resources to the early stage investing and entrepreneurial communities.
The Angel Capital Association is the North American trade association of angel groups and private investors that invest in high growth, early stage ventures. It membership includes 170 angel groups and 20 affiliate organizations from across North America. ACA member angel groups represent more than 7,500 accredited investors that fund about 800 new companies each year and which manage an ongoing portfolio of more than 5,000 North American companies.