BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.: Announces funding for three companies

Contact: Rod Hise

MILWAUKEE, May 5, 2014 – The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. today announced that its investment committee has authorized the funding for three additional early-stage Wisconsin companies.

The companies receiving the BrightStar investments are The Good Jobs Inc., Milwaukee; Fishidy Inc., Madison; and WholeTrees LLC, which is based in Madison and building its production facility in Spring Green, Wis.

“I’m very excited to have BrightStar invest in The Good Jobs, which went through our accelerator for startups program,” said Joe Kirgues, co-founder of Gener8tor. “BrightStar is filling a capital need in Wisconsin that enables more deals to get developed and done here.”

“The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is very pleased with BrightStar’s investment in WholeTrees,” said Lisa Johnson, vice president, entrepreneurship and innovation for WEDC. “Not only is WholeTrees another example of a woman entrepreneur-led business in Wisconsin, it’s also an incredible opportunity to create high quality jobs in a rural part of the state.”

These three investments total $285,000. The companies were first screened for their ability to create a sufficient number of quality jobs and then passed the committee’s investment criteria for their stage of development.

“In just a few months of existence, BrightStar Foundation has created a positive impact on economic development in Wisconsin,” said Gary Schaefer, Madison market president for Associated Bank. “Its creative structure has proven to be a successful mechanism for converting philanthropic dollars into investment dollars that brighten the future for Wisconsin entrepreneurs.”

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.

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.