MILWAUKEE – Northwestern Mutual and Aurora Health Care announced today the companies are each investing $5 million to support local Milwaukee startups through a multiyear funding commitment, business resources and mentorship.
Northwestern Mutual's Cream City Venture Capital (VC) and Aurora Health Care's InvestMKE are the latest examples of both companies' commitment to growing the local startup community. Cream City VC and InvestMKE will each have independent investment criteria, but will be run in close collaboration to maximize the opportunities for funding, mentorship and technology development.
"We recognize technology is a key driver of Milwaukee's future and the private sector needs to play a lead role in getting us there," said John E. Schlifske, chairman and CEO, Northwestern Mutual. "Cream City Venture Capital demonstrates our commitment to advancing the startup community to create a vibrant tech ecosystem in Milwaukee that attracts and retains top technology talent."
Cream City VC, led by Northwestern Mutual venture partner Craig Schedler, will provide early stage funding for startups ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. Beyond providing early stage capital, Cream City VC will offer its portfolio of companies access to additional Northwestern Mutual resources, including advisors, mentors, co-working space and technology resources. Cream City VC investments will not be focused on a specific industry. The fund will look to partner with local entrepreneurs that are leveraging technology solutions to address significant problems and have a clear vision of the business they are trying to create.
"Technology is rapidly changing not only how we experience health care, but how we live our lives," said Nick Turkal, MD, president and CEO of Aurora Health Care. "Entrepreneurs right here in southeastern Wisconsin are at the forefront of this revolution, developing and implementing ideas today that will make a difference tomorrow. Investment through the InvestMKE fund will help us deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care, ultimately helping people live well here at home."
Through InvestMKE, Aurora will co-invest, alongside Cream City VC and other qualified investment professionals, up to $1 million in early-stage companies that make health easier, more efficient, and more personalized. In addition to providing investment capital, Aurora plans to link companies with its vast network of health professionals and patient insights that can shape, refine and provide validation efforts for the most promising solutions.
Cream City VC and InvestMKE are backed by Northwestern Mutual's experience in venture capital and Aurora's extensive and integrated care delivery network. In January 2017, Northwestern Mutual launched Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, a $50 million venture capital fund focused on engaging startups whose technologies have the potential to transform how consumers experience and achieve financial security.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach including both insurance and investments, we empower people to be financially confident so they can live life differently. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $250.4 billion in assets, $28.2 billion in revenues, and more than $1.6 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.4 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company holds more than $100 billion of client assets as a part of its wealth management company and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 97 on the 2017 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2017.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).
About Aurora Health Care
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 30 counties throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, more than 150 clinics, more than 70 pharmacies and more than 33,000 caregivers. As evidenced by more than 300 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.
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