Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Aurora Health Care each are committing $5 million to venture funds that will invest in startup companies in the Milwaukee area.

The two new funds also could spur other large companies in the Milwaukee area to set up similar funds.

“I definitely think there will be other companies interested going forward,” said Mike Rodgers, director of strategic innovation for Aurora. “This is what Milwaukee needs right now.”

Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital and Aurora Health Care’s InvestMKE will have their own investment criteria but will often collaborate.

“We recognize technology is a key driver of Milwaukee’s future and the private sector needs to play a lead role in getting us there,” John Schlifske, chairman and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. “Cream City Venture Capital demonstrates our commitment to advancing the startup community to create a vibrant tech ecosystem in Milwaukee that attracts and retains top technology talent.” Read the full story here.

Read the Xconomy story here.