Dealflow | November 3, 2017

Northwestern Mutual and Aurora Health Care launch funds for Milwaukee startups

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Life insurer Northwestern Mutual and hospital chain Aurora are each allocating $5 million to support tech entrepreneurs in their home town.

The Milwaukee area is home to several large corporations but lags other cities in small business activity, startup funding, and high-tech talent attraction and retention.

“We need to harness our collective power to embrace innovation and new ways of working,” said John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual’s CEO, in an interview. Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital will target startups with early-stage investments of $100,000 to $250,000.

Aurora Health Care’s InvestMKE will to co-invest in deals up to $1 million with Cream City VC and other investors.

Growth-stage capital of about $250,000 is in short supply for Milwaukee’s entrepreneurs, says Matt Cordio, president of Startup Milwaukee.