Startup Creates Jobs, Attracts Investment in Wisconsin

Milwaukee-based HarQen plans to use latest investment capital to expand team and intellectual property portfolio

Oct 12, 2011, 17:00 ET from HarQen

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Creating jobs and attracting financial backing from investors in Wisconsin is nothing new for Milwaukee-based startup HarQen, Inc. Now in the midst of another successful round of investment funding, HarQen exemplifies the type of women-led entrepreneurial companies that are doing their part to get the economy moving again.


HarQen Co-founder and CEO E. Kelly Fitzsimmons joined a number of other women entrepreneurs and investors today at a statehouse news conference to discuss investing in Wisconsin sponsored by Springboard Enterprises.

Fitzsimmons said HarQen, a four-year-old innovator in enterprise communications with a focus on collaborative voice services, has already secured more than half of the $4 million Series B funding effort it launched only a month ago.

"HarQen has been oversubscribed in every round of financing, with the majority of our capital coming from Wisconsin investors," she said.

"The purpose of this round is to expand our Wisconsin-based team, beginning with the addition of a chief intellectual property officer," Fitzsimmons said. HarQen has five U.S. patent applications pending and plans to expand its IP portfolio internationally.

Since 2007, HarQen has created 25 jobs in Wisconsin during the height of the economic downturn.  With the current financing and growth trajectory, HarQen plans to hire dozens more, she said.

"We have been proud to lead all three financings for HarQen to date," said Lauren Flanagan, HarQen's board chair and general partner of Phenomenelle Angels Fund. "We were able to gather together a great group of fellow Wisconsin investors, including Silicon Pastures, Women Angels, Wisconsin Investment Partners, and Capital Midwest."

Flanagan credits Wisconsin's Act 255 as being very helpful in securing HarQen's financing from local angels to date. She also was quick to praise the Wisconsin Technology Council and Springboard Enterprises for their support of HarQen.  

Recently, HarQen made Wisconsin and its angels proud by being honored as the Angel Capital Association's (ACA) 2011 Silvertip PwC Entrepreneurship award winner.  HarQen was chosen out of 170 other ACA portfolio companies for its ability to scale revenue.

About HarQen

Founded in 2007, HarQen unleashes the richness of information trapped inside conversations – transforming talk into actionable insights. HarQen's award-winning Intelligent Voice Service enables meetings, interviews and other business conversations to be captured, enriched, organized, navigated, shared and analyzed – improving collaboration and adding a new layer of business intelligence to existing data management systems.  For more information, visit

CONTACT: Jim Byrnes, +1-610-333-1794,