FOR-M announces latest grant recipients, launches new revolving loan fund

Milwaukee-based startup incubator FOR-M announced this week a new funding opportunity for startup founders.

The organization had launched a revolving loan fund, which will offer low-interest loans to founders who have previously received a FOR-M grant, or a grant from a similar WEDC-funded program like Yes Blueprint.

The revolving loan fund will provide up to $50,000 to founders who need to scale their businesses. Loan recipients will be selected by a panel of investors, who will also offer guidance and support to the loan recipients.

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The fund will start with an initial pool of $130,000, which will be replenished as the loans are repaid. The MKE Tech Hub Coalition will plan future fundraising to expand the size of the fund, according to an announcement from the organization.

FOR-M also announced this week the latest companies that will receive a grant from the program. An event held Monday featured pitches from more than 15 companies. Five of those companies received a total of $50,000 in funding. They include:

  • Appleton-based Genhead: Founded by Patrick Riley, Nikki Lee and Jack Riley, the software company has built an AI-enabled sales agent that targets buyer personas based on precise criteria.
  • Milwaukee-based Parish Tec: Founded by Will Taylor, this fintech startup helps “justice-impacted” communities establish good credit, develop financial literacy, and receive AI-powered personalized support as they re-enter society.
  • Milwaukee-based Shepherd Traffic: Founded by Joel Roberts, this software company provides transportation analytics to help municipalities automate the retiming of stoplights, identify unsafe road design, and adaptively operate stop lights to improve cities through safer and more efficient roads.
  • Oconomowoc-based Soul Mobility: Founders Troy Tesmer and Todd Hargroder have created a power attachment that converts multiple U.S. and international brands of wheelchairs into a joystick driven power wheelchair.
  • Madison-based Technova Industries: Founders Aymen Azim, Nicolas Duchemann and Bruno Filhol have developed an AI-powered solution that integrates with customers’ existing security systems to optimize operations.

Since 2020, $410,000 has been awarded to local startup founders through the FOR-M Grant Program. The 12-week program provides mentorship, training and access to business resources for new entrepreneurs.

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