WEDC is providing a $300,000 grant to VETransfer to invest in the VictorySpark accelerator program.
VETransfer is a Milwaukee-based program designed to assist U.S. Military Veterans start businesses. VictorySpark, it's affiliate, provides one-on-one mentoring, a focused process for starting a business, and seed capital to innovative, high-growth Veteran-initiated startups.
VETransfer founders identified a lack of seed funding for innovative Veteran-initiated startups. "Innovative startups have the greatest potential to create large numbers of jobs and economic growth, so we created VictorySpark to focus on these startups" said Nick Wichert, co-founder of VETransfer and VictorySpark.
Governor Scott Walker has declared 2012 the "Year of the Veteran," and the launch of VictorySpark creates an excellent opportunity for individuals and agencies to demonstrate an action-oriented approach to supporting Veterans.
"Wisconsin is proud to be a leader in supporting veteran-initiated startups by providing those innovative high-growth veteran businesses with seed capital. This support helps fill the void of seed capital that does not exist for veterans launching their businesses," said Governor Walker.
"We are very excited to have the State of Wisconsin as a partner in supporting Veteran entrepreneurs; the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has been a great supporter of our Veterans and VETransfer," said Greg Meier, co-founder of VETransfer and VictorySpark.
VictorySpark has also joined forces with the Global Accelerator Network, the largest network of high-quality seed accelerators. The collaboration gives participants access to a network of technology startups as well as resources, mentors, and investors.
"Accelerators continue to form all over the world. It's important that those starting accelerators have the best interests of founders in mind and provide as many resources as possible that allow founders to create successful companies," said Patrick Riley, executive director of the Global Accelerator Network. "I'm always excited when I hear about new accelerators forming that take a mentorship-driven approach and provide terms and benefits that accelerate start-up companies' development."
The network aims to create 25,000 new jobs by 2015 while developing a sustainable engine for job creation. Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Fall Class at http://www.victoryspark.com.