The venture philanthropy nonprofit, which uses donations to fund new businesses that promise to create jobs, has made the following invesments: $60,000 in Milwaukee-based Bright Cellars Inc.; $150,000 in Brookfield-based EmOpti Inc.; $200,000 in Neshkoro-based Quietyme Inc.; and $250,000 in Wausau-based SteelGlaze Inc.
In these latest investments, BrightStar enlisted the help of co-investors, which added on to its above investments. CSA Partners co-invested in Bright Cellars; Golden Angels Network co-invested in EmOpti; American Family Ventures co-invested in Quietyme; and N29 Capital Partners co-invested in SteelGlaze.
“We were pleased to have our first co-investments with four prominent Wisconsin
funding sources,” said Todd Sobotka, BrightStar’s portfolio manager.
“We have been looking forward to our first investment in Marathon County because we have two Wausau-based foundations, the Judd S. Alexander Foundation and the Dudley Foundation, that are BrightStar benefactors,” said Lorrie Keating, BrightStar’s vice president. “We are making an extra effort to deploy these funds in their backyard. We were successful in doing so with our investment in SteelGlaze. This investment and the one we made in the Neshkoro-based Quietyme proves that there are opportunities for economic development statewide.”
BrightStar has now made investments in 26 Wisconsin companies, totaling $3.75 million, since its inception in February 2014.