Roger Ganser, the nationally known founder
of Venture Investors LLC, Wisconsin’s oldest and largest venture capital firm,
will be inducted into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame during a Nov. 12 dinner
tied to the Wisconsin Early Stage
Ganser was elected by a group of
state investors that included the past two inductees: Dick Leazer, a founder of
Wisconsin Investment Partners, the state’s oldest angel investment network; and
George Mosher, a Milwaukee “super angel” investor.
Ganser will be honored during a dinner of about 60 invited angel
and venture capitalists following the first day of the Early Stage Symposium in
“It’s terrific that there is still the opportunity to focus
on early stage company financing through the Early Stage Symposium,” Ganser
said. “Every state has to be looking at the importance of venture capital. We
have to be looking where the job opportunities are going to be.”
Founded in 1982, Venture Investors, then called Madison
Capital Corporation, made its first two investments in Promega and Office
Solutions, both companies that presented at the 1984 Madison Venture Fair, the
state’s first venture conference.
Promega, based in Madison, now has more than 1,300 employees and 15
global branches. Office Solutions, a Madison software company, was acquired in
“It was clear, at that time, that we needed more flexible
capital so I went out and raised about $1 million for a high-risk capital pool,”
In addition to being a general partner of five of Venture
Investors funds focused on technologies coming out of Big Ten universities,
Ganser is also chairman and director of NAIC/BetterInvesting, a Michigan-based
non-profit investor education organization, and chairman and director of the
World Federation of Investors, an international association of national
investor education and advocacy organizations based in Belgium.
Ganser was also appointed in 2012 to a four-year term on the
Security Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee, which is currently
reviewing the accreditation standard for investors in startups companies. He is
also a member of the Investor Issues Committee of the Financial Industry
National Regulatory Agency.
The dinner, sponsored by Baird Capital and Michael Best and
Friedrich, is produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network. WAN is a program of the
Wisconsin Technology Council, and works with the state’s angel groups as well
as early stage funds and other private equity investors. The conference will also feature:
presentation by Kevin Conroy and Maneesh Arora on the story of Exact Sciences,
which moved from Boston to Wisconsin.
plenary panel made up of the leaders of major academic research institutions on
Wisconsin’s “I-Q Corridor.”
than a dozen panel discussions or plenary sessions featuring leading
entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts on a variety of
topics in small discussion groups.
inaugural “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation.
annual “First Look” forum featuring selected campus-based technologies.
for Wisconsin winners of federal merit-based grants.
hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
first-night reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking
opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.
The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far
include: Aberdean; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.;
Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Baird Capital; Baker Tilly; BDO; BloodCenter of
Wisconsin; BMO Harris Bank; Boardman & Clark; Center for Technology
Commercialization; ConfPlus; Cresa Madison; Dane County Regional Airport; Findorff;
Fine Point Consulting; First Business Bank; Foley & Lardner; Godfrey &
Kahn; Group Health Cooperative; HP Enterprise Services; Insperity; K&L
Gates; M3 Insurance; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY Communications;
Marquette University; Marshfield Clinic; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest
Prototyping; Mid-West Energy Research Consortium; MoolaPitch.com; Morgridge
Institute for Research; Murphy Desmond;
Neider & Boucher; Nelson Schmidt; Nordic Consulting; PowerBuy 4 You; Quarles
& Brady; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren; Ruedebusch Development &
Construction; Settlers Bank; Skyward; Smith & Gesteland; State of Wisconsin
Investment Board; Tweedee Productions; UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation;
Venture Investors; Virent Energy; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; Wisconsin Alumni
Research Foundation; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; Wisconsin
Manufacturing Extension Partnership; Wisconsin Technical College System; and
register, go to www.wisearlystage.com.