Foxconn Considering Venture Capital Fund for Wisconsin Startups

This would be most welcome. Wisconsin lags the nation in attracting venture capital and an infusion of funds would be a boon for startups.

Several Wisconsin and Milwaukee-area entrepreneurship and venture capital sources have told BizTimes Milwaukee that Foxconn Technology Group is working on forming a large venture capital fund – some have pegged it at $100 million – to invest in Wisconsin startups.

The Taiwanese LCD screen manufacturer, which is building a massive campus in Mount Pleasant, already invests in startups via its HCM Capitalprivate equity arm, which currently has nine portfolio companies in China, California, Massachusetts and New York. Last month, it invested in a $7 million Series A round for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cambridge Blockchain.

Foxconn could potentially house portfolio companies from the Wisconsin venture capital fund in its new North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, where it has previously said it will provide office space for startups. The headquarters will include the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, a hub for the 8K+5G “ecosystem” the company is trying to foster in Wisconsin and the U.S.

In response to previous questions about its plans to invest in Wisconsin startups, Foxconn referred to the Innovation Center: “The facility will house incubators, accelerator labs, venture capital activities and startup initiatives, and support Foxconn’s goal of cultivating a new class of vertical solution providers for advanced manufacturing processes and technologies, as well as for industries such as education, medical and health care, entertainment and sports, security, and smart community.”