Governor Doyle Launches Accelerate Wisconsin

New Initiative Will Accelerate Start-Up Businesses,

Expand Angel and Venture Capital Investment, Promote Reinvestment of Capital Gains


MADISONAs part of the next phase of his Grow Wisconsin Agenda, Governor Jim Doyle today announced a new initiative to grow start-up businesses in this state.  Accelerate Wisconsin will provide new funding and tax exemptions to support investment in new Wisconsin businesses – driving economic development and creating jobs for Wisconsin citizens.


“To grow Wisconsin, we must attract investment and support new high tech start-up companies,” Governor Doyle said.  “These businesses will create the bedrock for a knowledge-driven economy and produce the high-paying jobs of tomorrow.  By accelerating the growth of new businesses we can build on our success and lure new investment to our state.”


Accelerate Wisconsin builds on the success of Act 255, a collection of tax credits, grants, and loans to support start-up companies and attracting angel and venture capital investment.


Since Governor Doyle created the Act 255 program investments by angel investors in early-stage companies have grown rapidly – over 54 percent between 2005 and 2006.  In 2003, Price Waterhouse Coopers National Venture Capital Association data reports only $39 million in venture capital investments came to Wisconsin.  By 2006, this increased to $73 million and investments total $68 million through the first three quarters of 2007.


The Governor’s Accelerate Wisconsin plan includes:


  • Accelerate Grant and Loan Program – The new plan will double funding for current technology grants and loans.  The new Accelerate Wisconsin grant and loan program will direct $5 million annually to provide seed money to start-up companies and small businesses and supply the matching funds required for federal research grant applications.


  • Capital Gains Re-Investment Initiative – This new initiative will increase investment in new Wisconsin businesses by allowing individuals a limited 100 percent capital gains exclusion of up to $10 million for long-term capital gains reinvested in qualifying Wisconsin businesses.


  • Accelerating Capital Investment to New Start-ups – To increase flexibility for entrepreneurs seeking tax-creditable investment, the Governor proposes to raise the current cap of $1 million in tax-creditable angel investment per business to $4 million. Permitting entrepreneurs to receive tax creditable investment of up to $4 million from angel investors will allow new start-up companies to receive financing from any combination of angel or venture investors to the maximum of $4 million in total tax-creditable investment.  


  • Accelerate Wisconsin Tax Credit – In the budget, Governor Doyle increased the total amount of angel investor and venture capital tax credits available to businesses.  By 2015, the total amount of Accelerate Wisconsin tax credits will reach $100 million, leveraging a minimum of $400 million in private investment.