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.
“I’m very pleased to pledge my support to BrightStar’s unique approach to supporting job creation in Wisconsin,” Mr. Nicholas said. “I’ve been a proud, active supporter of education in Wisconsin because of the difference my UW education made for me. My commitment to BrightStar is a natural one because it will support the creation of jobs that will keep graduates of our great colleges and universities right here in Wisconsin.”
The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation was founded recently by eight business leaders and early-stage investors who pledged nearly $6 million to establish it. The foundation expects to raise an additional $60 million during the next three years. Its new, philanthropic approach will enable the formation of
new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation.
Assuming BrightStar’s application for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status is approved, contributions to the foundation from corporations, foundations and wealthy individuals will be tax deductible. Because BrightStar is operating as a non-profit, more of the capital raised can be invested. Virtually all earnings and returns from the foundation’s portfolio companies will be reinvested to create additional high-quality jobs and continue to grow Wisconsin’s economy. Donors are not entitled to any return of their contributed capital or any share of BrightStar's earnings.
“The founders and directors of the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation are profoundly grateful to Mr. Nicholas for his generous gift and his support of the foundation’s mission and innovative approach,” said Jeff Harris, the foundation’s chairman and an experienced early-stage investor. “We believe our approach, which promotes capital formation through capital donation, will put more capital to work and provide returns that will allow additional investment in companies statewide that are driving Wisconsin’s economic recovery.”
About the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. The non-profit BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation is using a groundbreaking philanthropic approach to support job creation and economic growth across Wisconsin through investment in early-stage companies. This new approach will enable the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar will be tax deductible, assuming receipt of a tax-exempt determination from the Internal
Revenue Service. The foundation is filing an application to obtain formal recognition of its status as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization’s non-profit, tax-exempt status will mean that more of the capital raised can be invested in high-growth, job-creating companies and that virtually all earnings and returns can be reinvested. BrightStar hopes to begin screening companies seeking investment in the fall