Entrepreneur Magazine Names One Wisconsin Firm to VC Top 100

Starr McCaffery
Phone: 630-896-2638
Fax: 801-894-2638
Cell: 630-546-2050
email:[email protected]

FITCHBURG, Wis., (July 17, 2007) – The Kegonsa Seed Fund, the premier Wisconsin seed capital fund, has been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s 2007 Venture Capital Top 100. The Kegonsa Seed Fund is the only Wisconsin firm on the list, which is released each July.

“Inclusion in Entrepreneur’s list really confirms our active investment strategies,” said Ken Johnson, Kegonsa managing director. “In 2006 we made three seed investments as a first investor in new Wisconsin companies, as well as second round investments in a number of our portfolio companies.”

Kegonsa is committed to Wisconsin and proves this commitment with its investment portfolio, composed of more than 80 percent Wisconsin companies.

“It is my expectation that Kegonsa will continue to make two to four seed investments in new Wisconsin companies this year,” Johnson said. “In addition, Kegonsa and its sister fund, the Kegonsa Co-Invest Fund, expect to make follow-up investments in a number of the Kegonsa Seed Fund portfolio companies.”

Kegonsa’s 2006 first-round investments, on which Entrepreneur’s Top 100 list is based, include Jellyfish.com, an e-commerce search engine that uses a new Internet revenue model rather than a pay-per-click ad model; Networked Insights, which provides real-time consumer and product information for B2C subscribers; and Ohigo, which is developing a digital sound-based search technology for the music industry. Kegonsa was the only first-round investor in each of these companies beyond their individual management teams.

Kegonsa also provided second-round financing in 2006 for Jellyfish.com and, in 2007, made a first round investment in Intelligent BioSystems (IBS), which is developing a device that will dramatically increase the speed and decrease the cost of DNA sequencing.

“Our commitment to our home state is evident in our portfolio,” Johnson said. “It makes us particularly proud to represent the state on this prestigious list.”

Regionally, Entrepreneurs’ Top 100 included four funds from Illinois, two from Minnesota, and one from Michigan. Iowa had no funds in the Top 100. Of these seven comparable funds in surrounding states, only Illinois Ventures and the Kegonsa Seed Fund have local state focus.

On average, the regional funds listed in the Entrepreneur Top 100 outside of Wisconsin average more than $200 million in committed capital with five or more investment partners in each firm. In comparison, the Kegonsa Seed Fund has approximately $10.7 million of committed capital. According to Johnson, “Most of the other Midwest venture firms on the Entrepreneur Top 100 list are larger funds with a broader focus then seed investments. Kegonsa remains focused on seed investments with the resulting higher seed investment returns. With a narrower focus Kegonsa is committed to being the Premier Midwest seed venture capital fund.”