EAU CLAIRE, Oct. 11, 2012 - The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced it is providing a $100,000 "Capital Catalyst" matching grant to expand the Innovation Fund with the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin to provide funding for entrepreneurs in western Wisconsin.
"This is just the start of our investment across the state to catalyze the formation and expansion of local and regional seed funds managed by business development partners who work directly with aspiring entrepreneurs," said Paul Jadin, CEO and secretary of WEDC. "This investment will help advance job creation across the state by turning business opportunities into successful operations."
WEDC's Capital Catalyst program provides grants to regional organizations or communities to establish funds to provide seed funding for start-up and emerging companies. This is the first investment made by WEDC in a regional fund.
A requirement of the Capital Catalyst award is for one-third of the funds to be used as company grants and the remaining to be used by the regional fund to take debt or equity positions in emerging businesses. The local fund must also provide a dollar for dollar match of the award.
"WEDC is helping fill a gap of much needed seed capital for these early stage companies through the Capital Catalyst Program" said Lisa Johnson, vice president of WEDC's Division of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "The time is right for Wisconsin to step up its investment in our innovative and high-potential entrepreneurs."
The Innovation Foundation provides guidance and expertise to innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses wishing to launch a new product or expand into a new product line. Their advisors are executives and professionals with extensive experience in specific business sectors. Advisors provide assistance with operational and strategic planning, accessing funding, sourcing human capital and maneuvering through product ideation and business growth.
"This support from WEDC enhances our existing program and expands funding to all of western Wisconsin," said Timm Boettcher, president of the Innovation Foundation. "The Innovation Foundation is focused on advancing projects and products that will stay and grow in western Wisconsin."
About Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin
The Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin is a charitable non-profit organization focused on growing the local economy by fostering the formation of innovation-based companies. To ensure success, the IFWW works directly with entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses at critical points in the product and business development life-cycles to help them grow. These critical times are when many fall short of their goals due to lack of resources such as capital, time, business knowledge and relationships. The IFWW provides hands-on support identifying potential roadblocks in bringing products and services to market and growing the business.
About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), formed in 2011 as a public-private entity, leads economic development efforts for the state and nurtures business growth and job creation by advancing Wisconsin's business climate. In addition to Wisconsin's strong legacy industries of agriculture and manufacturing, recent growth has occurred in water technology, renewable energy, bio-sciences, health care, and food processing. In 2012 Wisconsin was ranked No. 20 in Chief Executive Magazine's "Best States for Business" and No. 17 as a top state for business by CNBC. WEDC partners with 650 economic development organizations throughout Wisconsin to serve businesses looking to start, grow or relocate. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and international business development. Visit inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.