While most government incentive deals offer public money in exchange for jobs or private capital spending, a Milwaukee 7 official floated a different concept for Amazon.com Inc. for its second headquarters.
Instead of simply paying Amazon.com for building office high-rises, the city would give Amazon.com money to invest in local startup companies, suggested Jim Paetsch, Milwaukee 7 vice president. Under the concept, which hasn’t yet been tried locally, Amazon could invest the money in Wisconsin startups of its choice, and keep any returns if those companies take off.
Paetsch floated the idea in an email to Milwaukee development commissioner Rocky Marcoux in October, about a week after Milwaukee 7 gave Amazon.com a pitch to build its headquarters in Milwaukee or Waukesha County. The Milwaukee Business Journal received that email in a broader response to an open records request filed with the city of Milwaukee.
Paetsch in the email uses an internal code name – Project Overcoat – that was used for Amazon’s headquarters. Read the full story here.