The Wisconsin Investment Fund Committee met for the first time Friday morning, just over a week after Gov. Tony Evers unveiled plans for the new $50 million fund, funding which is coming from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act. The committee, which is tasked with selecting venture capital fund managers to receive portions of the State Small Business Credit Initiative funding and creating fund guidelines, learned exactly what parameters they need to work within.
The Wisconsin Investment Fund will work with VC fund managers and then match these companies’ own private investments on at least a one-to-one basis. The fund will only invest in Wisconsin companies. The goal of the fund is to partner with other venture capital funds in the state that are investing in Wisconsin-based startups.
“We’re always looking for ways to really expand WEDC’s footprint in a way that has a positive impact in Wisconsin and is less reliant on just taxpayer dollars. I think this type of activity is one of those things where success should lead to more success,” said Hank Newell, board chair of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which is creating the Wisconsin Investment Fund.