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Nov 20, 201703:20 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Wisconsin slowly climbing its way into recognition as tech state

(page 2 of 2)

Parts of Wisconsin are still venture-poor. That’s especially true in the Milwaukee area, despite the emergence of some smaller corporate funds. The cure in the state’s largest city would be a corporate “fund-of-funds” along the size and scale of the Renaissance Fund in Michigan or Cintrifuse in Cincinnati. Foxconn has quietly signaled for some time it has interest in the venture class.

The Badger Fund of Funds, which invests in companies at the smaller end of the scale, has announced its first deal and formation of three regional funds so far. That will increasingly add to the state’s venture footprint.

Older, more established funds are far from finished. Baird Capital, Capital Midwest, and Venture Investors have remained active and, in some cases, are raising new funds to follow on the success of previous efforts. Finally, companies such as American Family, TASC, CUNA Mutual, and WEA Trust in Madison are making corporate investments, although not always in Wisconsin.

For years, the advice to young companies in the tech space was, “Go west, young man or woman,” to paraphrase Horace Greeley’s advice from an earlier time. Many still do, but others are discovering there is more than a fighting chance at making it close to home.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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