BrightStar Foundation: Makes first investments

MILWAUKEE, March 17, 2014 –The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. today announced that its investment committee has authorized the funding of its first three early stage Wisconsin companies.

The companies receiving the BrightStar investments are Engineered Propulsion Systems Inc., New Richmond; Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc., Madison; and 425 Inc., Mount Pleasant. These initial investments total more than $250,000. The companies were first screened for their ability to create a sufficient number of quality jobs and then must pass the committee’s investment criteria for their stage of development.

“Our investment committee has chosen companies that have the potential to quickly create family sustaining jobs,” said Anthony Handzlik, an attorney with Reinhart Boerner and a BrightStar officer. “They also reflect the number of high quality entrepreneurs within the state at diverse stages of development, valuation, industry and geographic regions who need financing help to get over the commercialization hump and create jobs.”

“These three companies fit perfectly in the shared mission of job creation in Wisconsin that the foundation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. are pursuing together,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., one of the foundation’s funding sponsors. “They are the first of many companies that BrightStar will support.”

BrightStar is a 501(c)(3)-designated non-profit foundation created to facilitate job creation and increase Wisconsin’s economic activity by deploying donated funds into equity stakes in early stage rapid growth companies. Entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the businesses of these companies may contact the foundation’s portfolio manager, Todd Sobotka, at [email protected]

About the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.

The non-profit BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation is using a groundbreaking philanthropic approach to support job creation and economic growth across Wisconsin through investment in early-stage companies. This new approach will enable the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar are tax deductible.