New WEDC report shows growth in supported entrepreneurs

A new report from WEDC shows companies supported by the agency’s entrepreneurship programs generated over $385 million in capital in 2016 — a 17 percent increase over 2015’s $328 million.

That $385 million figure breaks down to $300 million in new funding and $85 million in revenue.

All in all, the 314 businesses getting direct assistance from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s entrepreneurship programs paid workers $111 million in total wages, with 717 part-time jobs and 2,133 full-time jobs — up 22 percent from 2015.

WEDC’s Qualified New Business Venture Program offers a tax credit to some investors in certified companies for up to 25 percent of their investments. Participating companies in this program raised a record $281 million in grants and investment, with $71.7 million of that qualifying for the tax credits. Those investors got $17.9 million back in QNBV credits.

Grants accounted for $27.8 million of money raised, while the rest — $182.3 million — came from other private investment that didn’t qualify for the tax credits.

Since the QNBV program started in 2005, qualified companies have brought in about $465 million in qualified investment, and have raised about $1.7 billion in total funding.

The report also notes that the average annual salary for an employee of a QNBV company is $72,475, compared to the general state average of $45,240.

“Readers of this report should keep in mind that the aggregate impact of a healthy startup ecosystem reaches far beyond the companies WEDC is involved with, either directly or indirectly,” wrote WEDC Vice President Aaron Hagar in an introduction to the report. “It is impossible to capture the full impact because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

The 80 companies in the Technology Development Loan Program — which makes loans between $100,000 and $750,000 to startups — raised $115 million in total in 2016. Those companies got $13.3 million in grants, and earned $40.3 million in revenue.

The report breaks down the companies in the QNBV and TDL programs by industry, showing information technology is by far the biggest sector. QNBV and TDL IT companies brought in a combined $28 million in revenue — significantly more than the second highest industry, health technology, which had $16.2 million in revenue.

See the full report here: