Foxconn, three Wisconsin companies join to create VC fund

Jessica Thiel
Posted by of Insight Publications

Foxconn Technology Group, Advocate Aurora Health, Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual will come together as equal partners to create the new $100 million Wisconn Valley Venture Fund. The early-stage venture capital fund will invest both nationally and globally, targeting transformative and interdisciplinary innovations in health care, technology, manufacturing and financial services.

Each organization will contribute $25 million to the fund as the latest step by the companies in their commitment to advancing innovative technology and positioning southeastern Wisconsin as a global technology hub. The goal of the fund is to generate strong investment returns while also offering the opportunity to create strategic benefits among the four firms and the companies in which the fund invests.

The Wisconn Valley Venture Fund will engage with its portfolio companies to create innovation and strategic business development. It will invest in U.S. and global startups in a range of industries and demonstrate the fast-growing environment for high-tech businesses in Wisconsin.

Each organization will have representation on the fund’s investment committee and will play an integral role in the selection of an experienced venture capital fund manager to lead day-to-day management of the new fund. Based in Milwaukee, the fund manager will lead investment origination, evaluation, closing and ongoing portfolio company support.

Advocate Aurora Health operates 27 hospitals and more than 500 sites of care throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, serving more than 2 million patients each year. The organization has been vocal in the region about the importance of investing in technology and innovation.

Johnson Controls, a global diversified technology and multi-industry leader that creates intelligent buildings and efficient energy solutions, sees the investment as an extension of its growth strategy to bring new solutions to the needs of customers.

Northwestern Mutual, a part of the Milwaukee community for more than 160 years, continues to emphasize technology to accelerate its ability to provide financial security to clients. The company has implemented several key initiatives over the past 18 months to bring together leaders in the startup and technology space, and recently led efforts to commission a study that highlights the overall impact of technology jobs on the region. The organization’s role in the fund is a natural extension of its commitment and complements the innovation-focused investments the company has made.