When it comes to raising money in the Fox Valley region, getting investors to take risks on young companies is no easy task.
For the region to compete with Madison, Milwaukee, and other entrepreneurial hubs across the country, that hesitation needs to change, according to a panel that spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Innovation Network in Appleton.
“I was talking to someone the other day who is trying to raise venture capital up here, and the person said, ‘You’ve got a big problem, because you’re in the business where four or five out of 10 deals crater,’” said Paul Jones, founder of the Forum for Innovation, or FiNN, and a principal in Angels on the Water and Ventures on the Water. “‘And you’re in an environment where most business people think if one deal out of 10 is going to crater, that’s too risky.’”
This caution stems from historical and cultural factors, he says.
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