BrightStar Wisconsin: Job Creation through Capital Donation

Mission Statement

"To serve as an efficient philanthropic conduit for keeping our best and brightest in Wisconsin by creating high paying jobs that will help our state compete, prosper and thrive."

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We're eager to see your ideas succeed. BrightStar Wisconsin can help.

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What People are Saying...

“Your approach is very aligned with models we’ve researched that are most effective in growing the entrepreneurial pipeline.”

Julia Taylor President Greater Milwaukee Committee.

"It’s not too strong a statement to say that the kind of State that Wisconsin becomes will depend upon efforts such as BrightStar”

Journal/Sentinel Editorial Board

"BrightStar and its donors are our natural partners. I am excited by this collaboration and look forward to seeing positive results for UW, the entrepreneurs and the ideas that are developed here."

Rebecca Blank, Chancellor- University of Wisconsin Madison

“As a Great Oaks syndicate partner, BrightStar has helped fill a critical need in the early-stage funding continuum. Additionally, their messaging across the state has helped build awareness of the varied and compelling businesses that are being founded in Wisconsin.” 

John Philosophos – Partner, Great Oaks Venture Capital

"This is fantastic. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before."

Fred Robertson, CEO Emeritus & Robert W. Baird

“BrightStar may have cracked the code on a way to get investment capital flowing to Wisconsin companies outside of the traditional VC model.”

Kathryn Dunn VP Greater Milwaukee Foundation

“This needs to resonate with Wisconsin philanthropists…it could be our last kick at the can.”

Jeff Rusinow - founder Silicon Pastures

“I would like to thank you and your fellow founders for forming the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation”

State Senator Alberta Darling

“Everyone studying economic development in Wisconsin is aligned philosophically with what BrightStar is doing.”

Mark Bradley - Ruder Ware

“We are excited to be part of the team. It’s nice to be on the side of proven winners. Let’s get to work!”

John Kersey, EVP Zilber Property Group

“I think the entire state of Wisconsin is excited about your new endeavor.”

Kathryn Leverenz, President & CEO Waukesha County Community Foundation

“Zilber Ltd is committed to advancing our economy both in Milwaukee and state-wide…We see BrightStar as an innovative approach.”

Jim Borris, President Zilber Ltd.

“We view BrightStar as a very unique and fascinating vehicle for the state.  We admire your strategy and the scale of your vision.”

Steven G. Booth, President and COO - Robert W. Baird & Co.

“My return is going to be to help the State and that is a wonderful return for me”

Ab Nicholas - Nicholas Funds

“I’m very excited to see this endeavor move forward”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"It is exciting to see the development of the companies and the job creation that comes with their success. There are multiple beneficiaries of this formula!!"

Sean Cleary - Cleary Holdings

"BrightStar is a creative idea that may be able to pry open the wallets of ex-Badgers around the country…we hope so.”

Journal/Sentinel Editorial board

"In addition to providing capital, BrightStar’s team introduced us to our lead investor, initial clients, and friends in the community. Our decision to relocate to Wisconsin solidified upon knowing that we would have an ally and resource in building our company here in this state."

Andrew Stewart - CEO, HitList

“Capital and experience are the two biggest challenges facing start-up entrepreneurs in Wisconsin. BrightStar partners with the angel and venture community in our state to enhance our ability to provide both."

Michael Thorson – Founder, Inventure Capital and Co-Manager, Wisconsin Investment Partners

"This will change the definition of philanthropy in this state."

David W. Reinecke Foley & Lardner LLP – Madison