Milwaukee is one of 16 cities chosen to participate in a program run by Washington, D.C.-based Village Capital that will find, train and invest in start-up businesses.
The program, called VilCap Communities, is aiming to spread venture capital across the country to Milwaukee, Baltimore, New Orleans, Nashville and other cities that are underserved by the venture capital community.
“Most entrepreneurs in the U.S. today don’t have a shot at the resources they need to grow: 78% of investment capital in the U.S. goes to just three states,” said Ross Baird, Village Capital’s executive director. “VilCap Communities will help close this gap.”
VilCap requires an organization in each area to commit at least $50,000 for investment in local ventures. In Milwaukee, CSA Partners LLC, the venture capital firm backed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, is providing $50,000, said Steve Mech, a managing director for the fund.
The Water Council is the other Milwaukee organization involved in the program. This is the first time the council and CSA Partners have collaborated on a project, Mech said.