Aurora Health Care, Northwestern Mutual collaborate for $10M investment in startups

Aurora Health Care and Northwestern Mutual are joining forces to support startups in Milwaukee, where both organizations are headquartered.

They will each invest $5 million toward this effort through Northwestern Mutual's Cream City Venture Capital and Aurora's InvestMKE venture. These investments toward technology and innovation will include a multiyear monetary commitment, business resources and mentorship, officials said via news release. They noted while there will be separate investment criteria, both organizations will work together "to maximize the opportunities for funding, mentorship and technology development."

Through Cream City VC, startups will receive early-stage funding of $100,000 to $250,000, and Cream City VC's portfolio of companies will be able to access additional advisors, mentors, co-working space and technology resources via Northwestern Mutual, officials said. "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," they added.

At the same time, Aurora will serve as a co-investor with Cream City VC and other eligible investors. Officials said the health system will specifically invest up to $1 million in early-stage companies "that make health easier, more efficient and more personalized." Companies Aurora invests in will also be able to connect with the health system's network as they make efforts toward growth.

"Technology is rapidly changing not only how we experience health care, but how we live our lives," said Aurora President and CEO Nick Turkal, MD. "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 healthcare, ultimately helping people live well here at home."

John Schlifske, chairman and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, expressed similar sentiments.

"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," he said. "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."


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