WEDC awards $700,000 to provide seed funding for startups

Milwaukee Development Corp. and Whitewater Community Development Authority get grants


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has awarded grants to three organizations around the state totaling $700,000 that will be used to provide seed funding to tech startups and early-stage companies.


The Milwaukee Development Corporation received a $500,000 grant; the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation received a $125,000 grant; and the Whitewater Community Development Authority received a $75,000 grant.

The Milwaukee Development Corp. will match the $500,000 grant to create a $1 million seed fund to support companies working in advanced manufacturing and other technology sectors. The fund will target seed-stage ventures and the recent graduates of local accelerator programs, including The BREW, WERCBench Labs, FaBCAP and gener8tor.

The fund will also support the growth of more established tech companies in addition to other eligible seed-stage businesses.

“Finding and filling gaps in funding for these growing companies – especially those in our most promising cluster industries – is critical to the success of individual businesses and the entire Milwaukee 7 Region,” said Pat O’Brien, Milwaukee 7 executive director. “We are grateful to WEDC for recognizing this need and providing a needed boost to these efforts.”

The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation will match its $125,000 grant to create a $250,000 program that will provide seed funding to tech companies “likely to scale and grow to benefit the area workforce and economy,” according to a statement announcing the grants. The Oshkosh fund will focus on aviation, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, information systems, agriculture, food processing and medical device technologies.

The Whitewater Community Development Authority will use its $75,000 grant to make a “diversified portfolio of micro-investments and grants aimed at increasing the number of startups int he city and supporting emerging growth companies.”

The WEDC grant money comes from its Capital Catalyst Program, which was established in 2012 and has thus far provided $3.5 million in seed funding to more than 100 businesses statewide.

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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