Forward Venture Partners

Group of Entrepreneurs Launch Forward Venture Partners, the First Startup Studio in Wisconsin

Wisconsin company is focused on testing business ideas, launching startups


Milwaukee, WI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/05/2016 --A group of experienced Wisconsin entrepreneurs has officially launched Forward Venture Partners, the first startup studio of its kind in the state.

A startup studio, also known as a venture lab or startup factory, is a business that builds multiple startups at a time using sustainable and repeatable processes. The result is a more efficient method of launching new businesses.

Forward Venture Partners' version of the startup studio model will begin by identifying specific markets, generating ideas for startup business in those markets, testing the ideas and then launching businesses with its own capital and launch team.

"Although the startup studio model is fairly new, the best practices behind it for creating strong companies with outstanding long-term value are proven and time-tested," said Joe Donovan, founder and co-managing director of Forward. "The promise and potential for startup studios include faster starts and more efficient build times, a more effective use of talent and greater equity and better terms for investors."

Building on past successes, the team behind Forward is initially focusing on two main areas: education, especially educational technologies that help close achievement gaps, and technology-enabled business services, especially in public relations and marketing. Forward expects to launch four startups in 2016 and six in 2017—although it does not intend to announce the businesses it launches or the ideas it is testing. The company will be based jointly in Madison and Milwaukee.

The people behind Forward have been quietly engaged in startups for the decade. The company is led by Donovan, who also owns ProPRcopy, one of the largest copywriting and content creation firms in the United States. He is also founder and president of the Donovan Group, a communications firm dedicated to education. Over the years, Donovan and other Forward partners have been engaged with numerous other startups across the country.

The name "Forward" is a reference to the Wisconsin state motto.

"For generations, Wisconsin had a well-earned tradition of progress, and the motto 'Forward' was apt," said Donovan. "While our other ventures are based in Wisconsin, our intention with this firm was originally to launch outside of Wisconsin, largely due to the lack of a rich startup culture in the state in previous years. However, recently we have been thrilled to see so many great things happening in the state related to startups, thanks to the outstanding work of entrepreneurs and investors. We want to be part of the emerging Wisconsin startup movement."

To learn more about the company, visit