February 11, 2016

Governor wants $25 million for venture capital fund

Governor Scott Walker’s state budget will include money to help new businesses get off the ground. The plan calls for setting aside $25 million to help create a state-backed venture capital fund.

Walker says the move is needed to help new businesses expand and grow the economy. He says “whether it’s in Madison, whether it’s in Milwaukee, or places like Eau Claire and Whitewater, there’s tremendous need for startups and emerging businesses across the state to have access to capital.”

A venture capital bill failed to get much traction in the last legislative session, largely because of concerns about where the money would come from and how it would be managed. For now, the proposal calls for the Department of Administration to handle the funds. Walker says the move is being done as a place holder and is not an indication of where it will end up, but they felt it was neutral standpoint to start out from.

Walker says there’s strong support for creating such a fund in the state. He hopes having the public sector put in this kind of investment upfront sends a clear message that the state is serious about getting the process moving.

The governor will deliver his budget address Wednesday night at the Capitol.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:17)

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