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M7 Venture Capital Fund

Recognizing the critical role of entrepreneurs in a growing economy, the Milwaukee 7 has launched the M7 Venture Capital Fund to provide capital to companies as loans, equity or loan to equity with grant support for financing assistance, market analysis, and other support services.

Supported through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Capital Catalyst program, the fund is intended to help companies achieve measurable business development milestones, such as feasibility assessments, product development and market validation. Loans will be made in amounts ranging from $50,000 - $125,000. Examples of eligible uses include, but are not limited to: product development or market validation to secure investor funding, new equipment or marketing and sales assistance. Companies selected will have a strong potential for follow-on funding and growth.

OVERALL FUND FOCUS
The intended purpose of the Fund is to support a targeted group of advanced manufacturing and technology-focused companies. Though focused on the targets listed below, the Fund is also be open to any proposals from other high-potential companies that meet all of the other funding requirements.

AWARD AMOUNTS
This program is intended to provide capital roughly in a range of $50,000 - $125,000 to Southeast Wisconsin-based companies to assist them in achieving measurable and significant business development milestones. This could include reducing business model and/or technology risk, preparing the company for follow-on rounds of funding, or to accelerate commercial development of new technology, products and services.  

TARGETED COMPANIES
The funding may be provided for situations including but not limited to:

Early Stage

  • Early stage companies that are recent graduates of accelerator programs to better position the company for investor funding and/or customer acquisition.
  • Early stage companies that require further product development and proof-of-concept to secure investor funding and/or product and market validation.

Growth Stage

  • Growth stage companies that require capital for facilities, equipment expansion or marketing and sales assistance to facilitate rapid revenue growth.
  • Growth stage companies that require capital for new product development, testing, certification, etc.

USE OF FUNDS
Funds can be used to accomplish milestones that accelerate commercialization including but not limited to:

  • Customer discovery and validation activities
  • Market research, data subscriptions
  • Intellectual property assessment and patent filing
  • Feasibility assessment
  • Commercialization plan                                                                                    
  • Research that will directly and measurably extend and/or accelerate market applications and/or impact
  • Bridge funding to investor funding (applicant must be specific about the use of the bridge funding and show how it accelerates commercialization and the milestones to be achieved)
  • Prototype/Minimum Viable Project (MVP) development and testing that directly provides customer validation and accelerates commercialization
  • 3rd party lab testing and validation
  • Regulatory assessment and planning
  • Approved travel to meet with customers, partners, licensees, etc.

INVESTMENT CRITERIA
Besides aligning with the overall Fund purpose, applicants must specify how the use of the M7 Venture Capital funds directly and measurably accelerates commercialization of their technology/products/services and growth of their business, and/or positions the company for follow-on funding. Applicants must also specify the milestones that will be achieved that reduce risk for the company’s business model, market and product/technology.

APPLICATION PROCESS
To view the application document, >>CLICK HERE. Applications and referrals accepted on a rolling basis.

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