Two Wisconsin startup companies, one in Madison another in Green Bay, received Qualified New Business Venture certification incentives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation allowing them to expand production.
According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, QNBV status allows investors in qualified startup and early-stage companies to receive a 25 percent state tax credit on the amount they invest in the business.
The program, one of several WEDC initiatives aimed at supporting startups, helps early-stage companies secure new investment and accelerates their potential for growth and job creation in Wisconsin.
Madison-based Re Mixers Inc., which has developed an innovative mixing nozzle for two-component adhesives, and Au Naturale Cosmetics Inc., a Green Bay developer and manufacturer of all-natural cosmetics, have each been certified to receive up to $125,000 in investor tax credits.
Re Mixers was founded in 2016 by two University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering graduates, Eric Ronning and Brian Pekron. The company has developed a disposable mixing nozzle that reduces waste in the two-component industrial mixing process involving epoxy and hardener. The nozzle can increase the performance of two-part epoxies by up to 20 percent while reducing the amount of adhesive waste by half.
“As an initial foray into the chemical mixing space, disposable mixing nozzles provides us with an ideal target market fit,” Ronning explained. “These plastic nozzles, which can fit in the palm of your hand, have allowed us to fast-track our go-to-market ambitions, while drastically reducing R&D costs.”
Re Mixers took second place in the 2016 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, and in December secured a $500,000 investment from N29 Capital Partners. The company is seeking additional investment to commercialize the mixer.
“The QNBV process was instrumental in helping us find the right early-stage investor,” Ronning said.
Founded in 2011 by Ashley Prange after she had a negative reaction to the synthetics in the leading cosmetic brands, Au Naturale Cosmetics produces handcrafted professional-grade cosmetics that are 100 percent natural, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan and are made with organic ingredients.
The company is currently raising funds to support its continued rapid growth and to allow it to improve its ability to test and produce new products.
“Working with WEDC has brought a level of support from the state of Wisconsin that I was hoping to receive when moving my startup company from Washington, D.C., to northeast Wisconsin,” Prange said. “As my company continues to grow and create more jobs in Green Bay, I am glad to have WEDC on our side.”
“By helping startups like these gain access to the capital necessary for growth, the QNBV Program is contributing to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation. “This is one of the ways in which WEDC invests in the state’s next-generation companies.”