Change to venture capital bill would cut out WEDC

A proposed change to the venture capital bill would cut the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. out of the venture capital process altogether.

The original bill gave WEDC two seats on a committee that would pick a fund-of-funds manager for venture capital. WEDC would have then contracted with the fund manager.

The amended bill would give that contractual role to the Department of Administration instead. In addition, the two WEDC representatives would be replaced with one DOA representative and one Wisconsin Technology Council representative.

Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, who authored the bill and amendment, said he didn’t want concerns over WEDC to get in the way of good public policy and felt that the amended version would get bipartisan support once it comes to the floor on June 6.

“There’s been a lot of pitfalls on venture capital in the past, it’s more important to us to see a strong and accountable program that has got all the measures for success built into it,” said Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo, a co-sponsor of the bill. “We can demonstrate success with this in the next couple of years, then we’re in a much stronger position to actually grow this program and make intelligent additional investments based on what we know.”

Kuglitsch and Clark penned a new op-ed on the need for venture capital legislation.

Read their piece at BizOpinion:
Time to get serious on venture capital