Winnebago Seed Fund Set To Invest $11 Million Dollars In Northeast Wisconsin Startups
A lot of our Wisconsin startup reporting has centered around Milwaukee and Madison. There’s a group of people in North Eastern Wisconsin hoping to find the best of the best startups from Osh Kosh to Green Bay.
David Trotter is the Managing Director of the Winnebago Seed Fund. They’ve assembled over 30 investors who’ve oversubscribed the original $10 million dollar fund and are ready to invest. The capital stand at $11 million dollars and it’s going to be deployed. The fund is part of the Badger Fund of Funds, a public/private initiative set forth in 2014 to raise capital for startups in Wisconsin. The Badger Fund contributed $4 million dollars to the Winnebago fund, which Xconomy reports could exceed even $11 million dollars. Trotter along with Ken Johnson are the general partners overseeing the Badger program.
Trotter told the Green Bay Press Gazette he would “search underneath every single rock in northeastern Wisconsin,” to find the best startups. They may expand the search state wide.
“Seed companies might not have their first sales or customers yet. That’s the hardest dollar to invest in Wisconsin,” Trotter said. “That’s where the most risk is. It’s very hard for an individual investor to commit capital at that stage. The fund structure helps because we can spread it out over 14 companies.”
The fund is using a money for minnows strategy, over whale hunting. The fund isn’t searching for specific technology but rather good startups at the earliest of stages, to be the first investor in startup companies. “The Fund’s strategy is to be the first investor in new Wisconsin companies, in some situations forming a new company with the product inventor.” Trotter says on their website.
Trotter will be working hand in hand with local startup resources like The Grind co-working space to help deploy the funds. Eric Hoopman the founder of The Grind serves on the investment committee. He knows the benefit to having a fund like Winnebago to help local startups.
“Capital can be a significant contribution to bigger growth and faster success,” Hoopman said. “It’s exciting for us that we have an inspirational work environment at The Grind and now have capital to back up companies that want to grow in this region.”
You can find out more about Winnebago’s Seed Fund here.