An increasing amount of investment in QNBV-certified startups shows “real strength for the ecosystem,” according to the WEDC’s Aaron Hagar.

Just ask Ashley Prange, founder of Au Naturale, a Green Bay-based producer of organic cosmetics products that has been QNBV certified this year and the last. This 5-year-old company closed its first round just last summer, and Prange says the certification has been helpful in conversations with VCs.

She said potential investors were especially interested in her company because the 25 percent tax credit made the option to invest more attractive and less risky.

“It allowed for more meaningful conversations with investors,” she said.

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