Proposed legislation to bolster venture capital investments in Wisconsin companies will be the topic of a panel discussion at the Thursday, May 12 meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network’s Milwaukee-area chapter, and the Tuesday, May 24 meeting of the WIN-Madison chapter. 

The May 12 WIN-Milwaukee meeting will take place at a new location this month, the Brookfield Suites, 1200 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield. Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students, $25 for WIN members, Governor’s Business Plan Contest participants and Milwaukee County Research Park tenants, $35 for non-members and included with WIN corporate memberships.

Register here for WIN-Milwaukee.

Stay tuned for more information on the May 24 WIN-Madison event.

Dubbed the Wisconsin Jobs Act, the bill is expected to be introduced within days with bipartisan support. The focal point of the legislation is the creation of two funds totaling $400 million under the umbrella of a new Wisconsin Venture Capital Authority. The complementary funds – the Jobs Now Fund and the Badger Jobs Fund – are designed, respectively, to address Wisconsin’s short-term and long-term investment needs.

Hear first-hand from a panel of investors and others familiar with the proposal how it will enhance investing in early stage companies, ultimately spurring job growth in the state. Panelists include: John Neis, managing director of Venture Investors; Representative Mike Kuglitsch; and Zach Brandon, director of the Wisconsin Angel Network.   

The Wisconsin Jobs Act builds on the success of the widely acclaimed and often duplicated Act 255 Tax Credits, which were passed in 2005 and enhanced in 2009. Those tax credits have helped enhance early stage investing in Wisconsin – but largely at the “angel” capital level, thus creating a need for follow-up investing by venture capital firms in emerging companies. The event is sponsored by UW-Milwaukee.

WIN is the membership arm of the Tech Council, the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature. It has chapters in Milwaukee, Madison, Northeast Wisconsin, Central Wisconsin, the Lake Superior region and Western Wisconsin.