Two leaders of the Wisconsin Technology Council issued the following statement on the Senate’s 29-3 vote in support of Assembly Bill 181, the early stage capital bill:
“On behalf of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s board of directors, we applaud the Wisconsin Senate for voting, 29-3, Tuesday to approve Assembly Bill 181,” said chairman Mark Bugher and president Tom Still.
The bill was previously approved, 91-2, by the Assembly, which concurred Tuesday in Senate amendments. If signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker, the bill would:
– Make the state a partner in a larger “fund-of-funds” that would match the state’s $25 million investment with $50 million in private investment.
– Create a process to select a private manager for the fund.
– Set out requirements to invest state dollars in Wisconsin companies in the agriculture, advanced manufacturing, engineered products, information technology, medical devices and medical imaging sectors.
Office of the Governor:
WISN’s “UpFront” with Mike Gousha:
Kelly Fitzsimmons, co-founder and CEO of HarQen and a member of the Wisconsin Technology Council board of directors, was interviewed on WISN’s “UpFront” with Mike Gousha on the Wisconsin economy and the passage of early stage capital legislation. See the June 23 story here.
“This bill will help make available additional capital to Wisconsin entrepreneurs, who are creating tomorrow’s companies and jobs. We understand there are limits to how much the state can afford to invest in such a program – especially at the outset,” Bugher and Still said.
“We also know it’s important to establish appropriate firewalls, to hire an independent fund-of-fund manager, and to listen to the marketplace when defining investment sectors that are most likely to produce jobs and financial returns quickly. This bill met those criteria.”
“In an era when many issues are divided along partisan lines, it was gratifying to see both houses support this bill by such a large margin. It sends a strong signal of support to Wisconsin’s high-growth economy. Given time, this bill will encourage company and job growth.”
Bugher and Still thanked state Sens. Alberta Darling, R-River Falls; Tim Cullen, D-Janesville; and Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, for their long-term support for similar legislation. In the Assembly, lead authors were Reps. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, and Fred Clark, D-Sauk City.