Monday, February 21, 2011
By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel Jan. 7, 2011
Encouraged by changes in the venture capital environment, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board has decided to commit $80 million to a new portfolio that will focus on high-growth companies in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
The board, known as SWIB, will seek new relationships with the nation's biggest venture capital firms and encourage them to use funds from its $80 million Catalyst Portfolio for investments here.
"Wisconsin's start-up environment creates a unique investment opportunity due to the quality and quantity of technology in the state and a lack of investment capital," Chris Prestigiacomo, Catalyst Portfolio manager, said in a statement.
SWIB and other public pension funds are able to get into the top-tier venture funds for the first time because in a difficult economy the funds are having trouble raising assets, the release said.
The SWIB portfolio will be important for emerging state companies, and also for state-basedventure and angel investors who are looking for co-investors in their deals, said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.