Job Creation through Capital Donation


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.

Albert Nicholas pledges $1 million to BrightStar foundation

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Money manager Albert "Ab" Nicholas said Wednesday he has pledged $1 million to BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new group with an unusual plan for using charitable donations to make venture investments in young state companies.

Nicholas, who is founder and chairman of Milwaukee-based Nicholas Co., is the first contributor to be named by BrightStar since the foundation launched in July with seed pledges of $6 million from eight founding donors.

Press Release - Ab Nicholas Donation

Press Release
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For Immediate Release

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation receives $1-million pledge from Nicholas

MILWAUKEE, July 31, 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 it has received a $1-million pledge from Albert “Ab” Nicholas, the founder and chairman of the Milwaukee-based Nicholas Co. investment management firm.

State pledges $300,000 to support BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, July 22, 2013

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. would provide operating funds to venture capital vehicle

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has pledged $300,000 in operating funds for BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new group that is proposing an unusual plan for raising donations to make venture investments in young state companies.

WEDC pledges $300,000 to BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation

The Business Journal
Monday, July 22, 2013

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc., a new Milwaukee organization that will invest in Wisconsin technology startups and is seeking nonprofit status, has received a $300,000 pledge from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The WEDC investment will go toward BrightStar operating expenses and is meant to help BrightStar attract private donations to spur business growth and job creation, a Monday press release said.
BrightStar will receive the WEDC funds after it has achieved 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service, WEDC said.

Helping young companies — creatively

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thursday, July 18, 2013

BrightStar Wisconsin aims to persuade the wealthy to donate to a very important cause: Wisconsin's economy

There is a famine of risk capital for young companies in Wisconsin, which is the biggest reason that good ideas that could lead to jobs are going hungry in this state. Sluggish job growth is a perilous trend that threatens the state's well-being now and especially in the future.

A bright idea for job growth

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's time to lead instead of falling further behind

For at least two years now, headlines and editorials have all sounded the same theme: "State lags nation in job growth."

Thought leaders such as Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council; Dan Steininger of BizStarts; Julia Taylor of the Greater Milwaukee Committee; and entrepreneur John Torinus have eloquently and repeatedly cited irrefutable data to lay out the problem and the solution:

Wisconsin business leaders form new investment group

Wisconsin State Journal
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eight business leaders and investors have joined together to create the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a new nonprofit vehicle for investing in early-stage companies.

The eight have pledged to contribute a total of nearly $6 million to set up the philanthropic foundation, and they expect it to raise another $60 million over the next three years.

Donors will not get any return on their investment; the nonprofit organization will pump nearly all of its earnings and returns back into young companies to create more jobs and grow the economy.