Groups opposed to state creating $100 million venture capital fund

Posted at 2:30 p.m. on May 29, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON - Five conservative activist groups are discouraging the state legislature from creating a $100 million public venture capital fund that was a part of Governor Tony Evers' budget proposal.

The fund would have a state oversight board under the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, but the critics say the track record of government loans is dismal.

According to research by The Wall Street Journal, 95 percent olf startups fail to meet growth targets or break-even dates, and 30 to 40 percent to liquidate,with investors losing everything they put into the venture..

The critics said the proposal essentially gamblew with money from taxpayers.

"After a year of COVID-19 and government-imposed hardships on businesses, the desire to help invigorate private enterprise is understandable," the group said. "But this is the wrong way to go about it."

The five groups asking for the legislature to not approve the $100 million fund are: the Badger Institute, Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, MacIver Institute, Wisconsin Instutute for Law & Liberty, asnd Empower Wisconsin.

The letter to the legislature was dated May 26. It notes that Wisconsin has plenty of private venture capital money available to businesses needing funding - and doesn't need the state government giving out loans.