WEDC entrepreneurship funding declined in 2017

QNBV credits dropped last year

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s entrepreneurship and innovation direct assistance programs awarded $17.8 million in total funding in 2017, down from $23.2 million in 2016, according to the organization.

Jay Mason of Launch MKE speaks after he was awarded WEDC entrepreneurship program funding in January.

WEDC’s direct assistance programs include the Qualified New Business Venture Program, the Technology Development Loan Program, the Seed Accelerator Program and the Capital Catalyst Program.

The decrease in entrepreneurship funding in 2017 was mainly driven by a drop in Qualified New Business Venture credits, said Mark Maley, public affairs and communications director at WEDC. The state designates as QNBVs certain high-tech, early-stage Wisconsin companies developing innovative products, processes or services. Investors in QNBV firms receive a 25 percent tax credit on their investment. There were $17.9 million in QNBV tax credits issued to 47 companies in 2016, but just $10.8 million distributed to 43 companies through that program in 2017.

“However, 2015 and 2016 were record years for QNBV tax credits, and many companies that raised funds in those two years did not need to do so in 2017, which explains the drop-off to a more normal level,” Maley said.

According to a report on the entrepreneurship programs WEDC released Wednesday, 497 businesses were assisted by WEDC’s direct assistance programs in 2017, impacting 2,662 total jobs and $134 million in payroll, and driving $505 million in new capital generation.

Through the Capital Catalyst Program, WEDC granted $1.4 million in new match funding to evergreen seed funds in 2017, and WEDC-supported seed funds in turn invested $490,000 in early-stage companies in 2017.

The Seed Accelerator Program issued $865,400 in funding to 59 businesses in 2017. And the Technology Development Loan Program issued 18 new loans totaling $4.7 million in 2017.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s entrepreneurship and innovation direct assistance programs awarded $17.8 million in total funding in 2017, down from $23.2 million in 2016, according to the organization.

Jay Mason of Launch MKE speaks after he was awarded WEDC entrepreneurship program funding in January.

WEDC’s direct assistance programs include the Qualified New Business Venture Program, the Technology Development Loan Program, the Seed Accelerator Program and the Capital Catalyst Program.

The decrease in entrepreneurship funding in 2017 was mainly driven by a drop in Qualified New Business Venture credits, said Mark Maley, public affairs and communications director at WEDC. The state designates as QNBVs certain high-tech, early-stage Wisconsin companies developing innovative products, processes or services. Investors in QNBV firms receive a 25 percent tax credit on their investment. There were $17.9 million in QNBV tax credits issued to 47 companies in 2016, but just $10.8 million distributed to 43 companies through that program in 2017.

“However, 2015 and 2016 were record years for QNBV tax credits, and many companies that raised funds in those two years did not need to do so in 2017, which explains the drop-off to a more normal level,” Maley said.

According to a report on the entrepreneurship programs WEDC released Wednesday, 497 businesses were assisted by WEDC’s direct assistance programs in 2017, impacting 2,662 total jobs and $134 million in payroll, and driving $505 million in new capital generation.

Through the Capital Catalyst Program, WEDC granted $1.4 million in new match funding to evergreen seed funds in 2017, and WEDC-supported seed funds in turn invested $490,000 in early-stage companies in 2017.

The Seed Accelerator Program issued $865,400 in funding to 59 businesses in 2017. And the Technology Development Loan Program issued 18 new loans totaling $4.7 million in 2017.

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