Job Creation through Capital Donation


Investment Announcement

Press Release
Monday, May 5, 2014

MILWAUKEE, May 5, 2014 – The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.
today announced that its investment committee has authorized the funding
for three additional early-stage Wisconsin companies.

The companies receiving the BrightStar investments are The Good Jobs
Inc., Milwaukee; Fishidy Inc., Madison; and WholeTrees LLC, which is
based in Madison and building its production facility in Spring Green, Wis.

Feds approve BrightStar's application to be a tax-exempt organization

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new group with an unusual plan for using charitable donations to make venture investments in young state companies, has received federal approval to operate as a tax-exempt organization.

The Internal Revenue Service approval announced Monday paves the way for BrightStar to start investing $7 million already pledged by donors and begin raising more, said Tom Shannon, the foundation's president.

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation granted tax-exempt status by IRS

Press Release
Monday, November 25, 2013

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 25, 2013 – The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a groundbreaking
philanthropic approach to supporting job creation and economic growth statewide through
investment in early-stage companies, today announced that the Internal Revenue Service
has granted the foundation’s request for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the
Internal Revenue Code. The formal determination of the foundation’s status as taxexempt
enables it to begin executing its unique strategy of soliciting tax-deductible

Former DFI Secretary Heinemann joins BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation

Press Release
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Foundation also opens Madison office to expand statewide presence 

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 14, 2013 – The Wisconsin BrightStar Foundation today announced that former Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Lorrie Heinemann will join the foundation as vice president. Ms. Heinemann will head the foundation’s new Madison office, which will have statewide reach.

BrightStar will fuel startups

BizTimes Milwaukee
Monday, September 2, 2013

As state capital for early-stage companies has continued to plummet in Wisconsin over the past two years, now down to about $25 million, a new nonprofit organization has taken the first steps of a revolutionary approach that it hopes will fill the financial gap to fuel job growth and business development.

Milwaukee-based BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, which was incorporated July 1, is turning to the state's pool of philanthropic individuals and foundations and asking them to donate a portion of their pockets to state-based startup companies.

Zilber to provide BrightStar free office space

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zilber Property Group will provide rent-free space for BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation in the Milwaukee office building where the real estate developer has its headquarters.

"This contribution by the Zilber Property Group will allow us to direct an even higher percentage of donor dollars to our mission of investing in early-stage companies to fuel job creation," said Jeff Harris, BrightStar's co-founder and chairman.

Nonprofit startup funder BrightStar lands donated office space in Empire Building

The Business Journal
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zilber Property Group has provided office space in downtown Milwaukee to house BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new organization seeking nonprofit status that will collect donations to fund startups and job creation statewide.

BrightStar will operate in Zilber’s Empire Building, 710 N. Plankinton Ave., at the corner of Plankinton and Wisconsin avenues, according to an announcement Tuesday.