Tom Still takes a look at the environment for startups in Wisconsin. He has some good points.
There are some regulatory and tax hurdles, as well. Wisconsin treats startup companies pretty much the same as major firms in some critical areas, such as taxes on “paid-in capital.” Certain types of young, pre-revenue companies in Wisconsin pay a state tax on venture capital raised – a sore point for investors and unique among the states.
And while the rate of business creation in Wisconsin is lower than in other states, the survival rate appears to be higher. Maybe that’s a credit to Midwestern work ethics combined with a culture of fiscal conservatism, but it’s also a tribute to a support structure that wasn’t in place 10 years ago.
For Wisconsin to truly become a startup state, policymakers must confront the overall development strategy. Is Wisconsin more intent on raiding Illinois for business relocations or growing its own? So long as it’s the former and not the latter, expect to stay near the bottom in most startup rankings.