Message from the President & CEO
Thomas M. Shannon
For information regarding our accomplishments of 2020, follow the link to our 2020 Annual Report.
Dear Friends of BrightStar:
How does one summarize a year like 2020? Many of our portfolio companies have declared it a “challenging year” in their own external communications. What an understatement! Our portfolio companies faced direct challenges on many fronts. Intertwined in those challenges were the overall effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the political uncertainty of our times and the broadening discussions about the need for equality for minorities. In light of the events of 2020, we have reflected about BrightStar’s place in the world.
On July 19, 2013, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that “It is not too strong a statement to say that the kind of state Wisconsin becomes will depend upon efforts such as BrightStar’s.” While we do not possess that degree of influence, we are pleased that we have continued to better our state.
Our mission is to create family supporting, meaningful jobs by helping fund early stage, mainly technology-focused start-up companies. We have done that with a growth of over 980 jobs between our first monetary insertion up until the end of this year. We are especially proud that although we invest based on job creation potential and prospects of success, nearly 30% of our portfolio CEO’s and founders are women or people of color.
We also want to be self-sustaining. Though we always appreciate donations so that we can help create more jobs, our net worth continues to grow, and our portfolio gained nearly $700,000 to further invest in 2020. We see many future winners in our portfolio of over 50 companies.
A third, unstated mission of BrightStar is to have fun and work with people we like. Whether it be our portfolio companies, our board and investment committee or our donors, we have succeeded in this mission as well. We wish the same for all of you in a new and hopefully fabulous 2021!
Thank you for your support of BrightStar!