Milwaukee, Madison and Wisconsin


BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation – enticing graduates and companies to stay native to the state of Wisconsin

By Justin Krug / August 8, 2019

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, or “BrightStar”, celebrated their sixth anniversary in July of this year. The organization has come quite far since its founding. So, what do they do? BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation is an entity looking to fill the early-stage funding void by providing charitable foundations, corporations, and wealthy individuals with a vehicle to help fund…

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Ideawake raises $780k in funding

By Justin Krug / July 30, 2019

Ideawake, a Milwaukee based provider of cloud-based management software, announced this summer that it raised $780k in funding. The company’s most recent round of $780,000 (according to Pitchbook), in the second quarter, continues its strong fundraising efforts.  Current funders include BrightStar Wisconsin, a state-wide funding source for funding early stage companies as a mechanism to…

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Funding Report Graphic

Live Undiscovered Music (LÜM) closes seed funding round

By Aidan Chapman / July 18, 2019

In May, Live Undiscovered Music, or LÜM received $750,000 in seed round funding.  LÜM is a music streaming service that is based in Madison, Wisconsin. This platform is different than Spotify or Pandora because as the name suggests, it features music of artists who are undiscovered.   LÜM’s steaming service is unique because its platform…

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OnLume raises funds for system that makes fluorescence image-guided surgery possible under bright lights

By Razia Aziz-Seible / June 25, 2019

Medical device company OnLume obtained $749,000 in its first round of venture funding on May 17, 2019 from an undisclosed source to further develop its platform. This spinoff company from the University of Wisconsin–Madison was previously financed via a $300K Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at…

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Your guide to the Heartland’s 1 Million Cups events

By Razia Aziz-Seible / June 17, 2019

1 Million Cups was developed in Kansas City, MO in 2012 by Co-Founders Cameron Cushman and Nate Olson who were working at the time on the Entrepreneurship Team at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  What began as an experiment to bring entrepreneurs in one city together over a cup of coffee towards a goal of…

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Polco completes another round of funding

By SPN Team / May 21, 2019

Online civics engagement start-up Polco closed a $1.7M round of equity funding on April 19, 2019. Though based in Madison, Wisconsin, Polco, short for Policy Confluence, Inc. was launched through the Bryan, Texas-based Seed Sumo accelerator in 2015. The company provides a communication platform that encourages community leaders to engage with the residents they serve…

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Roche Spin-off Nimble Therapeutics raises Series A financing

By SPN Team / May 15, 2019

Drug discovery company, Nimble Therapeutics, Inc. based in Madison, Wisconsin secured $10 million in equity funding directed by San Francisco-based venture capital firm, Telegraph Hill Partners on April 30. Nimble Therapeutics spun out of Swiss-based F. Hoffman La Roche as an independent entity to facilitate the expansion of a unique chemical synthesis technology that Roche…

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Madison-based startup Redox closes huge deal

By SPN Team / April 30, 2019

  Redox announced April 17 that it has closed a $33 million Series C funding round in a deal led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. Existing investors .406 Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Intermountain Ventures participated in the round. Crunchbase estimates that Redox has now raised approximately $50 million in venture investment. Redox, founded in…

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What is machine as a service?  Ask Milwaukee-based SteamChain

By SPN Team / April 29, 2019

Milwaukee based startup SteamChain recently raised capital for a new concept called Machine-as-a-Service (“MaaS”). MaaS is a new idea of selling industrial machines based on performance metrics collected from the machine. Basically, MaaS is a combination of technologies that allow payments and contracts to be tied to the actual performance of a machine – rather…

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