Connecticut, Wisconsin each invest $100 million in growing tech sectors

June 3, 2024

Connecticut and Wisconsin both recently created $100 million programs designed to bring in more businesses and jobs in technology-related fields.

Both programs will leverage public-private partnerships that will invest money to get startup businesses going in fields that include biotechnology, financial technology, insurance technology and advanced manufacturing.

Governor: Connecticut looks to build on ‘strengths’

The Connecticut Innovation Clusters Program builds on the launch of Quantum CT, a coalition between the University of Connecticut, Yale, the state of Connecticut and others that is steering the strategic planning for the state’s burgeoning tech sectors.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will administer the program, which will support next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing — areas in which Gov. Ned Lamont said his state has shown competitive advantage.

“Connecticut has the best educated and best trained workforce in the nation, which is the number one resource needed to conceive, develop, and produce the cutting-edge products and services that revolutionize industries and make businesses thrive,” Lamont said. “We are the home of innovation, and through this new program we can support the growth of the sectors that are driving job creation and advancements in technology.”

The program will help accelerate the adoption of new technologies, improve competitiveness, train the workforce, the DECD said.

DECD will issue a request for information on June 3, 2024, and said it expects to issue awards on a rolling basis.

Wisconsin announces private fund partnerships

Five venture capital management firms will administer the first round of fund investments in the new Wisconsin Investment Fund, with a sixth capital management firm being announced shortly.

Gov. Tony Evers said the new fund was the biggest public-private investment in Wisconsin startups and entrepreneurs in the history of the state.

 “Over time, we expect the value of this fund to grow exponentially—with a ten-to-one private-public investment ratio,” Evers said. “This fund is a win for businesses who will have the support to take their ideas to new heights, and it’s a win for Wisconsin to maintain our position as a competitive leader in business innovation.”

The venture capital firms must match each dollar of public funds with at least one dollar of private money, which will initially double the state’s investment impact, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said. The state’s return on these investments will be reinvested into the Wisconsin Investment Fund.

The U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative will provide the $50 million that will make up the state’s portion of the investment fund.

Over the first years of the fund, WEDC said it anticipated creating “at least a $500 million impact as the companies selected by the fund continue to grow.”

Wisconsin’s fund will invest in innovative companies working in technology, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and other areas, the WEDC said.

At least $27 million of the state’s initial investment will be allocated to the biohealth sector, the WEDC said.

Last year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration designated Wisconsin as a regional technology hub for personalized medicine and biohealth technology, which opens the door to up to $75 million in new federal funding to help accelerate research and development of new treatments.

Photo courtesy of the University of Connecticut

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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