Five veteran Silicon Pasturesangel investors have formed Milwaukee Venture Partners, a new angel investor network whose mission is to catalyze Wisconsin’s technology and startup ecosystem.
[caption id="attachment_522210" align="alignright" width="154"] Karen Plunkett.[/caption]
MVP’s members will invest in both Wisconsin and Midwestern early-stage startup companies. However, the organization brands itself as an educator and a collaborator which is why MVP incorporated as an 501(c)(6) nonprofit, said Karen Plunkett, MVP’s founding managing director.
“We want to coalesce leaders from our community who don’t yet know they want to be angel investors and encourage them to join our effort to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in our community,” Plunkett said in a statement.
MVP will provide its members access to deal flow, including pitches and the opportunity to become part of the selection committee, which oversees which companies pitch to MVP’s investor network.
“The five of us are running this organization for the benefit of the community, investors and entrepreneurs,” Plunkett said. "We’re not taking administrative fees.”
In addition to Plunkett, MVP’s co-founders and board members include Marquette and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee technology professor Matt Friedel; Milwaukee County Technology Innovation Center executive director Guy Mascari; former ReGenco chief operating officer Jim Mathes and Homeowners Concept president Peter Skanavis.
Plunkett says MVP members will look to invest in revenue generating companies that have a strong proof of concept, a competitive advantage and/or intellectual property, an experienced leadership team and a valuation under $15 million.
“Silicon Pastures was known for its tech expertise and our group will continue to bring that expertise to Wisconsin’s tech and start up entrepreneurial ecosystem by leveraging our veteran members’ successful track records and expertise in emerging technologies including blockchain and Artificial intelligence AI,” Friedel said in a statement.
Teresa Esser, who founded Silicon Pastures, will become a member of MVP. Although Esser is still managing Silicon Pastures’ existing portfolio companies, the angel investment network is in “stealth mode,” she said.
The formation of MVP is a transition to a new leadership team, said Esser, who led Silicon Pastures from 2006 to 2020.
“There’s a group of five enthusiastic people who are creating this entity called MVP and I’ve passed the torch to this new group of leaders and they are running with it,” Esser said.