MADISON – DaneVest Tech Fund I, LP, Wednesday announced its first investment in Madison-based Stemina Biomarker Discovery.

This $212,500 investment, along with a recent $125,000 investment by Phenomenelle Angels, closes a successful common stock financing round of $1.5 million for Stemina. The fund also announced its certification by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce as an Early Stage Venture Capital Fund qualified to receive Wisconsin Act 255 tax credits.  

Stemina Biomarker Discovery is commercializing its proprietary metabolomics technology developed at the UW-Madison under scientific co-founder, Dr. Gabriela G. Cezar.  Stemina’s pioneering cell-based assays arise from the strategic convergence of two groundbreaking technologies – metabolomics and human embryonic stem cells.  In combination, Stemina will use its technology to discover and validate small molecules as biomarkers for high throughput drug screening and drug development in an all human system.

From its research, Stemina will create a robust, biomarker library for use in diagnostic kits and personalized medicine. Cezar is teamed with co-founder and Elizabeth L.R. Donley, the company’s chief executive officer.

“Stemina is grateful for the confidence shown in us by sophisticated local investors,” Donley said. “We look forward to fulfilling the exciting promise of our technology for drug safety and personalized medicine.”

“The success of Stemina’s capital raise was due in part to the Wisconsin Tax Act 255 Venture Capital Tax Credit program,” said Joe Hildebrandt, managing director of the DaneVest Tech Fund and co-manager of the Phenomenelle Angels Fund.  “This state law permits certified early stage funds to invest in qualified new business ventures and obtain 25 percent tax credits for its investors.  The tax credits offset some of the risks when investing in promising science and technology companies.”

DaneVest Tech Fund has the availability for additional follow-on investments in Stemina of up to $250,000, pending current shareholder approval and company need.

DaneVest Tech Fund was recently organized to invest in privately held early stage growth businesses with special technology and other advantages in the life science, information technology, and consumer goods/service industries that are primarily based in Wisconsin. The fund’s General Partner and two founders are Terrence R. Wall, CEO of DaneVest Capital and Joe Hildebrandt, CEO of H Venture Management.

DaneVest Tech Fund Advisors looks forward to nurturing the growth of local early-stage technology companies in the state and collaborating with existing angel network partners and venture capital firms.

“Madison has had some wonderful success stories recently,” Wall said. “We feel confident the I-Q Corridor between Chicago and Minneapolis has even more promising stories in the future.”

Special consideration will be given to companies producing revenue and are “qualified new business ventures” under state Department of Commerce standards, which helps fund investors qualify for available tax credits under Act 255.

Mailing address and other contacts:
DaneVest Tech Fund I, LP
8383 Greenway Blvd, Suite 550
Middleton, Wis. 53562

News release distributed through the Wisconsin Technology Council