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Wisconsin Gov. Expected to Sign $62M VC Bill

April 05, 2004

Legislation to create investment tax credits and a technology commercialization grant and loan program was approved by the Wisconsin Assembly just before the close of the legislative session. Intended to encourage high-tech industry and entrepreneurship in the state, Senate Bill 261 is designed to create approximately $62 million in new funding for start-ups.

A recent study from Competitive Wisconsin, Inc., a nonpolitical lobbying group of agriculture, business, education and labor leaders, reported that the state is losing ground on key economic indicators of financial, employment and knowledge-based strengths. Venture capital (VC) disbursements per worker in 2002 were down nearly 75 percent from their peak in 2000, the study shows. To help give small businesses the tools they need to be successful and create jobs, SB 261 offers assistance in  three areas:

  • An angel investment tax credit of 25 percent over a two-year period for investments made directly in qualifying new businesses;
  • An early-stage seed investment tax credit for investments of up to $500,000 in start-ups certified by the state Department of Commerce; and,
  • $2.6 million for one year of grants and loans for the technology and commercialization program, which would provide early-stage planning, matching, bridge, VC, entrepreneurial and technology transfer center grants and loans.

According to the press office of one of the bill's co-authors, the bill is supported by Gov. Jim Doyle and expected to be signed into law.

The bill is available in its entirety through the Wisconsin legislature at: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/SB261hst.html