MADISON–Community-based and private nonprofit organizations seeking to interest venture capitalists in local high-growth companies can now apply for grants of up to $75,000 to support venture capital development conferences, Department of Commerce (Commerce) Secretary Mary P. Burke announced today. Application deadline is March 16, 2007.


“Governor Jim Doyle has placed a high priority on developing a strong entrepreneurial climate in Wisconsin and increasing funding resources for start-ups,” said Secretary Burke. “Venture capital development conferences have proved their worth in bringing together investors and high-growth companies.”


Commerce seeks proposals meeting the following conditions:


  • The conference will provide regional or statewide benefits to Wisconsin entrepreneurs and businesses. 

§         The conference will assist Wisconsin entrepreneurs or businesses in obtaining capital for the start-up or development of a business.

§         The conference will stimulate investment and promote economic development through the creation or retention of  jobs in Wisconsin.

§         The applicant is prepared to fund at least 50 percent of the total cost of the conference.


Interested organizations should contact Doug Thurlow, Commerce, for application materials, and submit to him the completed applications (one original plus two copies). Contact information is as follows:


Wisconsin Department of Commerce

Bureau of Local Development

Attn.:  Doug Thurlow

P.O.  Box 7970

Madison, WI 53707-7970

Phone:  608/266-7942

Fax:   608/266-8969

E-Mail:  [email protected]


Commerce will fund the grants through its Community-Based Economic Development (CBED) program.   The CBED Program awards grants to community-based organizations for development and business assistance projects and to municipalities for economic development planning. The program also helps community-based organizations plan, build, and create business and technology-based incubators, and can also capitalize an incubator tenant revolving-loan program.