New nonprofit fund will invest in startups

Nonprofit foundation forming to invest in Wisconsin startup companies
New nonprofit fund will invest in startups

Eight investors are forming a new nonprofit foundation aimed at helping startup businesses across Wisconsin.

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation will invest donors’ money in high-growth, technology-based startup companies. Angel investor Tom Shannon says he and seven other founding donors have pledged at least $500,000 each to seed the foundation. They hope to raise at least $60 million over the next three years.

BrightStar will seek tax-deductible donations from companies, foundations and individuals instead of asking them to take an investment risk. The Journal Sentinel reported that a key component to the plan is approval from the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status so that donations can be tax deductible.

Shannon says the foundation plans to file its application with the IRS by Aug. 1 and will ask for fast-track treatment.