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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Milwaukee Water Council, Inc.

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Project Name

The Wisconsin Water Cluster Seed Capital Fund Grant

Program

Seed Fund Support Grant (formerly known as Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds)

Award Amount

$71,625

Matching Amount

$81,625

The Wisconsin Water Cluster Seed Fund (the “Fund”) will provide catalytic seed capital for early stage, high growth potential companies that are commercializing water related technology and that seek to solve the world’s water problems.

More than 150 years ago the industrial development of Milwaukee was spurred by easy access to an abundance of freshwater.  Small businesses used water for manufacturing, tanning and brewing of beer.  Alongside the development of these “water users” were the small business suppliers who provided a wide range of products that helped these users increase production and efficiency.  Over time, the water user businesses grew into large corporations and helped shape and define Milwaukee’s economic future for many decades.  While some of those large breweries have since left Milwaukee’s landscape, and the manufacturers have relocated operations to developing countries, the suppliers for these water users have continued to grow in Milwaukee and have become internationally recognized water technology leaders.

However, while Wisconsin is the recipient of significant funding for basic research and the State has recently established a venture capital fund of funds, the State has historically not had a contiguous continuum of capital.  The Water Council is launching a $5,000,000 Seed Fund to provide catalytic capital to companies that are bringing new and innovative water related technologies to market by targeting the capital gap between translational research and institutional venture capital.