MGE plays a key role in developing and supporting fast-growing and start-up businesses that have a track record of innovation and sustainable growth in Dane County. Supporting the growth and development of homegrown businesses that add stability to the local economy is one way to ensure the economic vitality of the area MGE serves.
Many loan, grant and financial programs are available to help businesses grow. Tap into these resources to start a business, make improvements or expand.
- Private investments in Wisconsin start-up companies jumped 43% to $147 million in 2007.
- The Wisconsin Angel Network offers a variety of free resources for investors and entrepreneurs.
MGE financial assistance
MGE's economic development team can help you sort through state and local programs to develop a financing package that meets your needs.
- MGE's Shared Savings program helps businesses fund projects that save energy and money. These improvements can help companies reduce maintenance costs, increase property value, preserve capital for other projects and save time.
- MGE helped create the Venture Investors Early Stage Fund III. This $30 million venture capital fund helps start-up companies, especially firms that specialize in biotechnology, medical devices, software and optical telecommunications technology.
- MGE helped create the Venture Debt Fund Program. This $4 million venture debt fund is designed to provide debt financing to emerging growth companies. The debt is structured with repayment forecast from the company's ability to reach cash flow break even with its existing liquidity or the company's ability to raise additional capital. The fund is intended to be complementary to early stage equity sources of capital and stretch the ability of growth companies to access capital at a predictable cost while giving up minimal ownership or control.
Take advantage of Wisconsin's numerous financing programs. Assistance is available for start-up projects, training, technology development, environmental improvements and more. Wisconsin also offers financing tailored to women and minorities.
Other resources include:
- The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority,which provides small business and agricultural financing.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (which has a local office in Madison) offers a wide range of loan guaranty programs for businesses.
Madison provides several business financing options including industrial revenue bonds, revolving loan funds and improvement programs.
Program details are available from the Madison Office of Business Assistance.
Other resources include:
- The Madison Development Corporation offers loans for start-up businesses and grants for technical assistance including training and software.
- The Dane County Development Corporation provides funding for expanding or early-stage businesses.
- Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation provides access to capital and business education for companies owned by women and minorities.
- The Business Procurement Assistance Center (BPAC) provides technical and marketing assistance to Wisconsin businesses interested in selling their products and services to the government.
Wisconsin's venture capital firms help fund companies that have superior growth potential.
- Advantage Capital Wisconsin Partners I offers financing for early-stage life sciences and information technology companies plus later-stage businesses on the verge of profitability.
- Baird Venture Partners invests in early- to late-stage companies from three industries: applied technology, business services and life sciences.
- Kegonsa Capital Partners, LLC
- Madison Development Corporation's Venture Debt Fund provides debt financing to emerging growth companies in Dane County.
- Mason Wells is a middle-market private equity investor that helps entrepreneurs who need capital to start a business, acquire a business or grow.
- Peak Ridge Capital Group, Inc.
- Venture Investors, LLC provides seed and early-stage funding for health care (biotechnology and medical devices) and information technology businesses.
MGE helps support the annual Wisconsin Life Sciences and Venture Conference. Selected biotech and life sciences companies seeking $2 million to $30 million can make presentations or offer exhibits. Nearly 50% of past participants have made contacts at the conference that have led to funding.
Wisconsin's network of angel investors provides early stage financing for technology-based businesses, life sciences companies and more. Angel investors serving southern Wisconsin include:
- The Wisconsin Angel Network's (WAN) mission is to build angel network capital capacity throughout Wisconsin, to increase the number and amount of seed stage equity investments in Wisconsin companies, which will create jobs and improve our economy.
- Silicon Pastures provides seed and later-round financing and other business development services.
- Wisconsin Investment Partners is a life sciences-oriented angel investment network that provides mentoring, strategic analysis, business planning and general financing assistance.
- Phenomenalle Angels Fund I, LLC Is a women's angel investment fund thaat invests in women/minority-owned or managed businesses in Wisconsin/Midwest. The fund focuses on seed and early-stage growth companies in the IT, life sciences, consumer goods/services and communications sectors.
- Federal grant programs help small businesses bring innovative technologies to market. Since 1983, Wisconsin firms have received more than $125 million from the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
- GRANTS.gov is a resource to find and apply for federal government grants. Before completing an application, please contact the agency to which you are applying to make sure they use GRANTS.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Through these two competitive programs, SBA ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program; five departments participate in the STTR program awarding $2 billion to small high-tech businesses. The U.S. National Science Foundation administers the SBIR.GOV site on behalf of the federal government.