23 Jul SWIB publishes white paper on Wisconsin venture capital
A low level of venture investment in Wisconsin firms creates opportunities for investors with local connections, says a new white paper released by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), which manages the $88 billion retirement fund for state employees, and close to $6 billion of other assets.
“The lack of competition for deals gives early investors the opportunity to invest at attractive valuations and to select the best opportunities,” says the report, which covers:
- The history of entrepreneurship, tech transfer, investment and research parks in the state
- SWIB’s investment initiatives
- Investment returns and SWIB’s ideas about investment opportunities
The board has committed $200 million to venture funds that are managed by four Wisconsin firms — Mason Wells, Venture Investors, Frazier, and Baird Venture Partners. According to the white paper, its five-year and ten-year returns still significantly lag average venture capital returns, but recent exits have boosted one- and three-year performance and shown promise.
“With only a few venture capital funds actively prospecting in Wisconsin, it takes only a small number of opportunities like TomoTherapy or NimbleGen to deliver market rate returns for those portfolios specializing in the market,” the report states. Other exits for SWIB have included NameProtect and Gala Design.