Milwaukee Development Corp. receives $500,000 grant from WEDC for seed fund

Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017
by Milwaukee Business Journal

The Milwaukee Development Corp. has landed a $500,000 matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. that will enable the organization to establish a $1 million seed fund to help firms in advanced manufacturing and the technology sectors.

The grant is part of WEDC's Capital Catalyst Program, which launched in 2012 and since then, has provided $3.5 million in seed funding to more than 100 businesses around the state.

The Milwaukee Development Corp.'s $1 million seed fund will focus on seed-stage ventures and graduates of local accelerator programs such as The BREW, WERCBench Labs, FaBCAP and Gener8tor. It will provide more capital for investment readiness or revenue generation activities. The fund will also support growth-focused projects of existing tech companies and other seed-stage firms by providing technologies that are outside the scope of the area's accelerators.

“Finding and filling gaps in funding for these growing companies — especially those in our most promising cluster industries — is critical to the success of individual businesses and the entire Milwaukee 7 Region,” said Pat O’Brien, executive director of Milwaukee 7, in a news release. Milwaukee Development Corp. is the operating entity of Milwaukee 7.

In addition to Milwaukee Development Corp., WEDC also awarded matching grants of $125,000 to Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. and $75,000 to the Whitewater Community Development Authority.

Those grants will also provide seed funding for technology-based startups and early-stage startups. The Whitewater Community Development Authority will use the grant for a seed fund that will provide a diversified portfolio of micro-investments and grants aimed at increasing the number of startups in the city and supporting emerging growth companies. Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. will use the money for a seed fund that focuses on sectors like aviation and aerospace, advanced manufacturing, information systems, agriculture and food processing and medical devices.

The WEDC Capital Catalyst Program provides matching grants to seed funds operated by local communities or organizations dedicated to spurring entrepreneurship. It's one of WEDC's various programs and resource offerings dedicated to entrepreneurship.


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