Filling a venture capital void

In 2021, Gateway Capital, a Black- and female-led venture capital firm, received a $1 million impact investment commitment from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to advance equitable economic opportunity for historically underestimated entrepreneurs. It is the only Milwaukee-based firm to focus on pre-revenue startups and the only Wisconsin-based fund with an emphasis on low- to moderate-income communities. 

Following the Foundation’s support, Gateway closed its initial round of funding at $13.5 million. 

Since then, it has made four investments in startups, representing a range of industries from fintech (financial technology) to digital health to enterprise software. Seventy-five percent of its portfolio is Milwaukee based and 75 percent is minority founders.

The startups include:

  • Geno.Me
  • Tip a ScRxipt
  • The Houstr
  • The Way Out

“Venture capital has been the fuel behind many of today’s largest and most impactful companies. Many of them are not only large employers driving economic growth, but also have resulted in generational wealth for founding members and investors. When venture capital becomes accessible to those who otherwise haven’t had access, it acts as an equalizer — providing everyone with an opportunity to attain generational wealth.”

~Dana Guthrie, Gateway Capital founder and managing partner

“With implicit bias and the stigma attached to incarceration, one of our priorities is to change the narrative, alter public perceptions and build awareness of the importance of hiring justice-impacted individuals. With the current investment from Gateway Capital, we will be able to accelerate our impact and empower hundreds of marginalized individuals who will now have coordinated access to our updated employment platform, safety net services and peer support networks.”

~Eli Rivera, Co-founder and CEO, The Way Out, a justice tech software startup

“Gateway’s focus to invest in ‘underestimated Milwaukee’ resonated with me. I knew Milwaukee had everything that I needed, even if that meant we needed to create opportunity from the resources that already existed here. I took advantage of multiple resources in our local tech ecosystem to prepare. The Gateway investment put me in the game and has given me the critical early-stage capital to take my best swing!”

~Chad Johnson, Founder and CEO, Tip a ScRxipt, a health care payment assistance platform

Contact Us

Kermiath-5010-webcallout.jpgSeeking capital?

Kermiath McClendon
Impact Investing Manager


Fiesha-1459c-80-100.jpgInterested in giving?

Fiesha Lynn Bell
Director of Development and Major Gifts