Message from the President & CEO
Thomas M. Shannon
For information regarding our accomplishments of 2018, follow the link to our 2018 Annual Report.
Thank you for coming to the BrightStar Foundation website. Our foundation is all about job creation and the desire to keep our best and brightest companies and graduates in state. We want to see Wisconsin thrive in the new technology economy that surrounds us.
The Good News:
The good news is that Wisconsin has incredibly well educated students—and generous philanthropists that have repeatedly funded scholarships, discovery centers and facilities. We are also a leader in the nation in R&D funds with nearly $1 billion annually funneling through our universities.
The Bad News:
Wisconsin is lagging behind in funding for start-up companies, where a large portion of job creation exists. Wisconsin has a powerful community of angel investors, but they cannot entirely sponsor early-stage companies. Also, Wisconsin taxpayers do not want to add the necessary capital through the state budget to sponsor early-stage companies unlike many other states.
BrightStar was created as a unique entity to fill the early-stage funding void by providing those same charitable foundations, corporations and wealthy individuals with a vehicle to help fund job creation--- through capital donation! BrightStar is set up to do this with nearly 100% of donations going to investments. With the help of generous Wisconsinites everywhere, we can capitalize on Wisconsin’s advantages of superior education and powerful intellectual property to ensure our state thrives.
BrightStar celebrated its sixth anniversary this past July of 2019. The organization has come a long way in that time!
And click here to watch Tom Shannon's thirty-minute presentation given to the Milwaukee Rotary Club in July of 2016.