Two Milwaukee startups certified as Qualified New Business Ventures
Tax credits for investors will help Access HealthNet and Mikroflot raise capital
MADISON, WI. Feb. 23, 2017 – Two Milwaukee startup companies have received Qualified New Business Venture (QNBV) certification from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
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.
Access HealthNet Holdings Inc., a health care technology startup, is eligible for up to $500,000 in tax credits. Mikroflot Technologies LLC, which has developed an innovative method for treating wastewater, has been certified for up to $312,500 in credits.
Founded in 2014 by a team of health care specialists, Access HealthNet works with self-insured employers and health care providers to create bundled health care procedures that are offered for a flat rate via a free-market technology platform. The company, which is rapidly expanding and just relocated to a new office on West Michigan Street in downtown Milwaukee, expects to create up to 50 jobs this year.
Access HealthNet is currently raising funds to continue to advance its technology buildout, to further develop its team and for working capital. The company received separate $500,000 investments from the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund and a private investor as well as a $200,000 investment from the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation in December.
“The QNBV state tax credit program is a key element in raising funds to start and scale new businesses in the state of Wisconsin,” said Eric Haberichter, CEO of Access HealthNet. “This program has been instrumental in helping us rapidly raise significant capital to fund our growth strategy. We feel very fortunate to be part of this program.”
Mikroflot Technologies, founded in 2014, provides viable alternatives for wastewater effluent treatment to small and midsize industrial and commercial facilities that cannot afford expensive on-site treatment. The company’s technology uses a patented process in which microscopic air bubbles float contaminants out of wastewater. The company has raised $550,000 to date in angel investment and was a finalist in last year’s Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan competition. Mikroflot Technologies is raising funds to provide capital for product commercialization, a controlled product launch and to help build its team.
“The more we talked to Wisconsin’s angel and venture capital investment community, the more we realized the importance of being certified as a QNBV company,” said Jose Ramirez, founder and CEO of MikroFlot. “This will be very valuable in our conversations with prospective investors.”
“Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community is incredibly vibrant, and a core part of WEDC’s mission is to support that community and nurture its future health,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC’s vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation. “Helping innovative Wisconsin companies like Access HealthNet and Mikroflot Technologies secure access to capital is one way in which WEDC supports next-generation companies.”
The QNBV Program helps startups close a critical gap in their development by offering tax credits for investments made in QNBV-certified companies. Participating businesses innovate and commercialize products in numerous industries including biotechnology, manufacturing, health technology, energy, information technology and more.
In 2015, the program helped 75 startups throughout the state draw more than $176 million in total investment, with the help of a record $18.3 million in tax credits. Three industries in particular saw the largest share of funding in 2015: information technology, biotechnology and health technology garnered $30.6 million, $16.7 million and 12.5 million respectively.
The program is one component of WEDC’s suite of entrepreneurship resources, which includes support for startup accelerators, seed capital funds and technology loans. In addition, WEDC supports and engages an existing statewide network of partners that offers business training, mentorship and financing to aspiring entrepreneurs.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.