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Ideadvance Seed Fund Backs Wave of Nine Startups
Nine entrepreneurs from University of Wisconsin schools are receiving a share of up to $325,000 funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the UW-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization.

The grant dollars, part of the Ideadvance Seed Fund, will support each venture in commercialization of their ideas and technologies. Ideadvance, a $2 million seed fund launched last year by the UW System and WEDC, supports projects created at UW schools, apart from UW Madison. Seed funding aims to accelerate startups' commercialization efforts, providing up to $75,000 in two stages for entrepreneurs who are working to bring their ideas to fruition, analyze markets, assess demand and tap into investment sources.

The fund is one approach WEDC is using through its Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative to strengthen collaboration among the UW System, business leaders and other stakeholders in the state as a means to make high-tech commercialization a more accessible process.

Four grant recipients, each receiving up to $50,000, are the first program participants to enter Stage Two. Since joining the program, each participant has been focusing on fleshing out their strategic business models as well as building investments and establishing key collaborations.

Stage Two ventures are Nannoaffix of UW-Milwaukee, Organic Research Corporation of UW-Milwaukee, Tali Payments of UW-Milwaukee, and Innovative Foundry Technologies of UW-Whitewater.

“The growth we have seen in Stage Two awardees demonstrates increased business competence and impressive strategic development that is beyond their experience in the marketplace,” Mark Lange, executive director of the UW-Extension Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, said in a statement.

Five new Stage One ventures now part of Ideadvance will each be awarded up to $25,000. The entrepreneurs fall into the program’s third round of Stage One funding.

Those entrepreneurs are DG1 of UW-Milwaukee, Tactical Athlete of UW-Milwaukee, Gift of Tongues of UW-Eau Claire, YourBook of UW-Platteville, and Ictect of the WiSys Technology Foundation.

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