Seed Financing Stimulates Local Business Creation in Wisconsin
To effectively deploy capital to spur new business generation, you need to be close to the action. That’s why the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) created the Capital Catalyst program—to make seed grants available to highly structured and well-funded organizations or communities dedicated to stimulating entrepreneurship.
How It Works
WEDC provides seed grants typically ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 to approved organizations or communities that have existing seed funds in place or the ability to create such funds. These locally-managed funds may make grants, debt and/or investments in startups and early-stage and innovative small businesses that operate in their region. Loan repayments and returns on investment stay with the local partners to fund additional startups and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs.
Recipients of WEDC Capital Catalyst funds must demonstrate organizational capability and the availability of entrepreneurial support to achieve program goals. Recipients must match at least 1:1 the amount of seed grant funding provided by WEDC. In addition to providing documentation of this financial match, each recipient must also provide WEDC with periodic reports and information on its investment committee and the criteria used to make investment decisions.
Recipients must provide at least one-third of WEDC funds as grants to companies, but are allowed to make debt or investments with the remaining funds.
Industry sectors targeted for Capital Catalyst seed grants include, but are not limited to: advanced manufacturing; agriculture or food processing; information systems or software; medical devices; and biosciences and renewable/green energy. Funds may not be used for investments in real estate, direct consumer retail or hospitality businesses (including restaurants).
Recipients will be required to provide quarterly and annual reports on the number of awards made from the fund, the type and amount of each award, the recipient of each award, the number of jobs created, and the amount of capital investment leveraged.
Read the Capital Catalyst Program policies.
WEDC does not provide direct funding to businesses or review business applications under the program. For more information, email or call WEDC’s Entrepreneurship Program Manager:
David Volz 608.210.6773