Idea Fund of La Crosse raises $13 million

Exceeds expectations for startup investment fund


The Idea Fund of La Crosse has closed on its first fund, which totals $13 million.


The venture capital fund initially raised $8 million, then ended up raising $12 million, and now has made its third close. It filed an amended document with the SEC today to update the final amount. The fund closed June 30.

The Idea Fund was established in 2016 as an investment vehicle for early-stage companies, one of several established through the Badger Fund of Funds initiative. The Badger Fund of Funds contributed 40 percent of the total. The Weber family of La Crosse, which sold its company Logistics Health Inc. to UnitedHealth Group Inc. in 2011, was also a lead investor. In all, there were 28 investors in the offering; about two-thirds are in the La Crosse area.

“We have a pretty strong (limited partner) base in La Crosse,” said Jonathon Horne, managing director of the Idea Fund.

Now, Horne will turn his attention to identifying 10 to 12 Wisconsin startups in which to invest the funds. He will not give preference to the La Crosse area, but is simply seeking the best startups in the state, Horne said. Under the Badger Fund of Funds setup, he must make the investments within four years.

“We’ve got a number (of startups) under diligence right now,” he said. “Nothing ready to announce yet.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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