Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

Marquette University Launches Enterprise Seed Fund

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation grant provides capital for campus entrepreneurs

By - Oct 15th, 2015 04:10 pm

Milwaukee, WI. Oct. 15, 2015 – A new program administered by Marquette University and funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) aims to help fund student- and faculty-led entrepreneurial efforts in order to support and increase the number of businesses emerging from Marquette’s educational and research programs.

The Marquette Enterprise Seed Fund will draw upon WEDC’s Capital Catalyst Program and matching funds raised by Marquette as part of its Strategic Innovation Fund initiative to provide $600,000 in early-stage capital to support entrepreneurism on campus.

“Wisconsin’s universities are leaders in advancing new technologies and innovations,” said WEDC CEO Mark Hogan. “The Marquette Enterprise Seed Fund will offer a critical source of capital to support the development of new business ventures that bring important solutions to the global marketplace.”

The fund will provide awards of $25,000 and $50,000 to up to six projects in each of three competitive application periods, the first of which will occur this fall. Eligible applicants are Marquette students, faculty and staff who have established a legal business entity. Funding may take the form of a grant or investment depending on the business model and need. Applicants will be scored based on criteria including its management team, product/service feasibility, potential market size and the viability of its business model.

“As we continue to boost research and innovation at Marquette, particularly around those projects with commercial potential, seed funding like this has become increasingly important,” said Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation at Marquette. “Our president, Mike Lovell, believes firmly that collaborative partnerships like this one with the WEDC will be the key to unlocking Marquette’s potential to bring transformative solutions to the marketplace. We look forward to the possibilities this partnership will bring.”

In addition to financial assistance, fund recipients will benefit from the guidance of experienced mentors who will provide expertise in an applicable area of focus. Businesses will meet regularly with their mentors, and attend periodic programming sessions hosted by the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Marquette is asserting its commitment to entrepreneurial development through efforts like the Enterprise Seed Fund,” said Hogan. “WEDC is pleased to partner with Marquette as we aim to support entrepreneurs and assist in the creation of the next generation of Wisconsin companies.” 

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter  @_InWisconsin to learn more.

About Marquette University

Marquette is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee. As Wisconsin’s largest independent educational institution, Marquette provides leadership in teaching and research through the work of more than 1,200 full-time faculty. Marquette offers 84 undergraduate majors, 60 doctoral and master’s degree programs, 25 graduate certificate programs, and a School of Dentistry and Law School. The university’s nearly 12,000 students come from 50 states and more than 70 countries. The university’s vision is centered upon creating problem-solvers and agents for change in a complex world.

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