Contact: Starr McCaffery
The Badger Fund commits to Second New Wisconsin Venture Capital Fund Within a Week
Madison, Wis. (May 10, 2016) – The Winnebago Seed Fund, a new Wisconsin-based venture capital
fund to invest in Fox Valley startups, has been formed by The Badger Fund, and local investors, As with the
Idea Fund of La Crosse, announced just five days ago, the Badger Fund has committed to invest $4 million
dollars as the anchor investor.
The Winnebago Seed Fund will be managed by David Trotter, a Northeast Wisconsin native with a
commitment to the Fox Valley region. Trotter, who has worked with a Registered Investment Advisor and a
local trust company, holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Marquette University’s Applied Investment
Management Program, as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst® and the Chartered Alternative
Investment Analyst® designations. He most recently spent several years as a portfolio manager in Neenah,
Wisc., managing over $350 million dollars of client assets. Trotter has worked closely with local business
leaders to develop criteria for a fund focusing on Fox Valley entrepreneurs and startup companies.
The Badger Fund’s $4 million commitment decision was made after an extensive period of
comprehensive due diligence, fund manager training and assessment of the Fox Valley startup environment
and is to be matched by private capital investment.
“The Fox Valley community — Appleton, Neenah and Oshkosh — is a growing startup environment
with an early stage fund, NEW, in Appleton and a growth fund, Midwest Capital, located in Milwaukee. said
Ken Johnson, a partner in the Badger Fund. “But the hardest venture dollar to get is the first seed or pre
revenue investment dollar.
“The Winnebago Seed Fund will focus on being the first dollar invested in a startup. Our experience
is that a startup geography needs a professional investor that focuses on the first highest risk and typically
highest return investment,” Johnson added.
The Badger Fund’s investment approach is to target geographies that a professionally managed
venture fund can meet a startup investment need.
“Success with a first-investment focus requires local fund managers to have support from the
community business leaders,” said Brian Birk, managing partner of Sun Mountain Capital and president of
the Badger Fund. “The Fox Valley has the ingredients we seek for a startup geography – University of
Wisconsin campuses and strong community support — and needs someone to bring to the parties together. A
venture fund can meet that need.”
The Badger Fund allocates substantial time and resources to developing local venture fund
managers, often with the bias that knowing the culture and the people is equally important as a deep
knowledge of the startup industry, according to its leadership.
About the Badger Fund of Funds
The Badger Fund of Funds I, L.P. was formed in 2015 and includes $25 million from the State of Wisconsin
pursuant to 2013 Wisconsin Act 41 to invest in Wisconsin based venture capital funds. The Badger Fund is
managed by a partnership of Sun Mountain Capital and Kegonsa Capital Partners. The State of Wisconsin,
individuals and the fund manager have invested over $30 million in the Badger Fund.
About Sun Mountain Capital
Sun Mountain Capital is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was founded in 2006 to focus on private equity
investing in high potential underserved geographies. Currently, Sun Mountain Capital has over $750 million
in private equity assets under management and advisement. Sun Mountain Capital is a Registered
Investment Adviser (RIA) registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
About Kegonsa Capital Partners
Kegonsa Capital Partners was founded in 2004. Currently Kegonsa manages the Kegonsa Seed Fund I, LP,
and Kegonsa Coinvest Fund, LLC. Both funds are based in Wisconsin with a focus on seed and early stage
investments in Wisconsin based startup companies. In 2011, Kegonsa and Sun Mountain agreed to form a
partnership to manage a Wisconsin based Fund of Funds investment vehicle. www.kegonsapartners.com
About the Winnebago Seed Fund
The Winnebago Seed Fund is a newly-formed venture capital fund based in Neenah with a focus on seed
investments in Fox Valley startup companies. The Fund’s primary purpose is to generate investor return by
partnering with talented entrepreneurs to rapidly grow their businesses. The fund investors are expected to
be a mix of the Badger Fund, local businesses and individuals.