Tom Still: TitletownTech Illustrates Growth in Wisconsin’s Innovation Economy | Economic news

Just west of iconic Lambeau Field, in the shadow of the stadium that houses the Green Bay Packers, a sparkling new building symbolizes the convergence of tradition and innovation in Green Bay.

It’s called “TitletownTech”, a 13,000 square foot hub that is home to 20 emerging companies, a $ 25 million investment fund, three main floors of tech space, and entrepreneurial dreams that find their place. in northeastern Wisconsin.

As much as anything, TitletownTech is an example of how Wisconsin’s tech-based economy isn’t confined to strongholds like Madison and Milwaukee and takes root in cities in search of renewed economic identities in a world. evolving.

TitletownTech also symbolizes a factor holding back this growth: the lack of major venture capital investments to take young companies beyond the start-up stage to maturity.

At a meeting on Wednesday, those interested in a state budget proposal to launch a $ 100 million “fund of funds” to improve Wisconsin’s ability to attract more capital heard a preview of the how the fund would work to attract matching private dollars and strong private managers. Speakers also pointed out that while Wisconsin has a vibrant angel capital industry, it lacks enough venture capital to take start-ups to the next level.

Craig Dickman, managing director of TitletownTech and an entrepreneur who has started his own businesses, noted that the biggest capital gap is beyond the “start-up stage” – typically defined as a few million dollars or less – and beyond. order of $ 5 million and well beyond. It’s the kind of investment that can turn a small startup into a business that adds jobs and economic value in much larger increments. Investments of tens of millions of dollars are often required for most life science companies, which is one of Wisconsin’s tech strengths.

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