The 2017 edition of “The Wisconsin Portfolio” shows a significant increase in angel and venture investment activity for the calendar year that ended Dec. 31, 2016. The report also reflects a near-doubling of Wisconsin early stage deals over five years.

At least 136 Wisconsin early stage companies raised investment capital in 2016, a 6 percent jump from 2015. That’s nearly double the 74 deals recorded by the Tech Council Investor Networks in 2012.

About $276.2 million was raised in 2016 by those 136 companies, up sharply from $209 million in 2015.

The Tech Council obtained data from a variety of public and industry sources, including a survey of members of its investors’ network. In addition to the 136 companies listed in this report, several angel networks invested unspecified amounts in other Wisconsin companies. Those dollars are not reflected in year-end totals because the networks declined to participate in the survey.

The Tech Council Investor Networks are the Tech Council’s link to the investor community, helping to fuel the growth of capital in Wisconsin by providing services and resources to the early stage investing and entrepreneurial communities.

Members of TCIN can network with other investors, attend targeted events and get access to company deal flow through reviewing company executive summaries and presentations. Other highlights from the 32-page, 2017 report:

  • There was an increase in deals involving investments of $1 million or more, with 53 reported in 2016. That continues a rise in $1-million deals from 27 in 2013, 38 in 2014 and 46 in 2015.
  • Average deal size increased to $2 million, up from $1.6 million the prior year.
  • Six in 10 companies have raised investment dollars in the past. For 39 percent of early stage companies that secured funding, 2016 was the first year doing so while 61 percent of startups received continued support.
  • More than two-thirds of the investments were equity based (71 percent) with the remainder being either seed or debt funding.
  • The largest deals reported were Propeller Health ($21.5 million), Midwestern BioAg ($21.3 million), Engineered Propulsion Systems ($15.2 million), SHINE medical Technologies ($11.5 million) and Eatstreet ($11 million).
  • About 17 percent of Wisconsin early stage companies that received funding in 2016 are women-led or women-owned businesses. That exceeds the U.S. average.
  • Investors from outside Wisconsin again played a significant role in funding state companies in 2016. Investors from Chicago, Boston, New York and California showed up in nearly one in five deals.
  • Use of state early stage credits, which can be claimed by private angel and venture capitalists who invest in qualified state companies, remained at 2015 levels of roughly $18 million. About half of those credits went to venture capital firms, reflecting the rise in deal size and the maturation of emerging companies.
  • Wisconsin’s tech-sector diversity also shows in the report, which includes deals ranging from advanced manufacturing to digital health, from biotechnology to consumer products, and from software to medical devices.

“The Wisconsin Portfolio also breaks down the number and size of deals within various industry sectors, offers basic data on all 136 deals, features key investors and offers resources for investors and entrepreneurs alike,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “It also outlines public and private initiatives we consider vital to improving the early stage investment climate in Wisconsin.”

Here is the full report:

The Tech Council Investor Networks are among major Tech Council programs and projects. They include the Tech Council Innovation Network, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, the Wisconsin Tech Summit, the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium and the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest. To learn more or to join TCIN, visit: