Angels on the Water fills a gap for start-up companies in the 18-county region of Northeast Wisconsin by providing seed and early-stage funding and mentorship.
Wisconsin has long possessed the basic ingredients to compete in the innovation economy, with the most glaring exception being sufficient venture capital to help its best start-up companies prosper and grow close to home," write the authors of the white paper Building Companies & Jobs: The Case for a Venture Capital Program in Wisconsin. Those ingredients include:
A robust academic research and development foundation
A proven ability to turn ideas into intellectual property
Competitive scientific and technical talent produced by Wisconsin colleges and universities
A vibrant entrepreneurial support structure
Of late, a cadres of experience business managers who know how to take a company from start-up to job-producing growth stage
Wisconsin attracts just .55% of the nation's venture capital. Northeast Wisconsin is no exception. Despite being home to the state's third-largest population center, Northeast Wisconsin has just one other angel fund. That fund invests in later stage companies. Changing the access to capital for seed and early-stage companies is an important ingredient in the region's future economic success. And, that is exactly the gap Angels on the Water is targeting.