MILWAUKEE – Hear the latest roundup of BrightStar Wisconsin
Foundation’s investments, and its plans to do make as many as 20 this year at
the May 8 luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Wauwatosa.
BrightStar, which launched with $6 million and is raising
funds through capital donations, is actively screening companies that fit into its
mission to help grow early-stage companies and create technology jobs in
Wisconsin. The foundation announced on Monday that it had made three more
investments, bringing the total number of Wisconsin companies receiving
investment to six.
The luncheon will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, Wauwatosa. Registration
and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. and the presentation at
12:15 p.m. The cost is $10 for students, $25 for WIN members and Milwaukee
County Research Park tenants, $35 for non-members and included with WIN
corporate memberships. Learn more and register at www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com.
Panelists include Todd
Sobotka, portfolio manager for BrightStar and Juan Gomez, co-founder and president of 425 Inc., the Mount
Pleasant-based manufacturer of the Guardian Angel. The Guardian Angel is LED light
personal safety device to illuminate emergency personnel in dark or low
BrightStar is a non-profit organization that accepts charitable donations and
uses them to take equity positions in for-profit early-stage companies. Government,
educational institutions, other charitable organizations, angel groups and
venture funds are aligned with BrightStar to identify, invest or co-invest in,
mentor and promote fast growing early stage companies to create technology
based jobs in Wisconsin.
425 Inc. is a graduate of Milwaukee-based VETransfer’s
Victory Spark startup accelerator program, which awarded the company a $15,000
grant upon completion of the program in spring 2013. The grant propelled
product development and manufacturing. The Guardian Angel LED device is now
used by the city of Racine and is working with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s
department to be implemented this spring on emergency personnel.
funds other investments thus far include Engineered Propulsion Systems, Inc.,
New Richmond and Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc., The Good Jobs, Fishidy Inc.
and WholeTrees LLC.
WIN-Milwaukee meetings are held in cooperation
with BizStarts Milwaukee (www.bizstartsmilwaukee.com)
and sponsored by UW-Milwaukee and the UWM Research Foundation. WIN is the
statewide membership arm of the Tech Council, the independent, non-profit
science and technology advisor to the governor and the Legislature. To join
WIN, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com
or call Gina Leahy at 608-442-7557.