Whether or not the $100 million venture capital fund Gov. Tony Evers proposed in his budget actually becomes reality, it appears there will be a new set of venture funds taking a closer look at Wisconsin startups in the near future.
Madison-based NVNG Investment Advisors plans to close on $40 million to $50 million in funding from Wisconsin corporations and other entities in the state in June. Once it closes on the fund, NVNG, which stands for “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” will in turn invest in venture capital funds from around the country in a fund of funds model.
“This is about helping to develop the Wisconsin ecosystem, this is about helping drive economic growth,” said Carrie Thome, chief executive officer and managing director of NVNG. “Innovation is the lifeblood of growth and we have to find a way to support innovation here.”
NVNG is targeting $100 million in total funds to disburse and hopes to have a second closing before the end of the year. After the first closing it will begin investing with a range of funds, from seed to later stages and across industries; however, the funds will not be required to invest in Wisconsin.
“The venture firms that we target have an interest in better connecting into Wisconsin’s startup ecosystem,” said Grady Buchanan, managing director of NVNG. “We intend to highlight our state’s startups and innovators for these outside firms, offering that initial point of contact, drawing their capital to us.”