Cream City Venture Capital


For 160+years, Northwestern Mutual has been proud to call Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin home

Now more than ever, we believe it’s the best time to live and work here. That’s why we’re committed to improving education, revitalizing our neighborhoods and being a catalyst for business growth in our home town. Cream City VC is another way we’re showing our commitment to MKE by investing in making our city an even more vibrant hub for 21st century business. Cream City VC is dedicated to investing solely in startups based in Southeastern Wisconsin.

We believe MKE has the talent, resources and entrepreneurial spirit to be a premier ecosystem of startups. To realize the potential in the community, entrepreneurs need greater access to capital and advice at the earliest stages. Too often, high potential companies are forced to look outside the region to find the resources required to reach the next stage of growth. Cream City VC’s goal is to make MKE’s potential a reality.

Our Investments

Criteria & Focus

Cream City VC looks to partner with companies that are leveraging technology to address problems in large markets. While we do not have a specific industry focus, we look to partner with founding teams who have a deep point of view on the problem’s they are solving and the vision to solve them.

We seek investments at the earliest stages to provide capital at a critical point in a company’s growth. Generally, this means participating in investments at the seed or Series A stage. Initial investment amounts will be in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, but we are more focused on partnering with the right founding teams and may consider smaller or larger investments. We are open to leading investment rounds or working alongside other local and regional investors.

Passionate, Driven Entrepreneurs

Our aim is to create the next generation of technology-driven companies headquartered in MKE in partnership with you. We’re looking for passionate, driven entrepreneurs who can imagine what’s possible with us. As active venture capital investors, Northwestern Mutual has a deep understanding of what it takes to build successful technology companies.

We’ll provide early stage capital to our portfolio companies, and give you access to the broader resources that only a strong and growing industry leader with 160-years of experience and the highest financial strength ratings 1 can offer: access to our network of mentors, ongoing advice from experienced business leaders, state of the art co-working space and technology resources.

Our Team

Craig Schedler, Venture Partner

Craig Schedler serves as a Venture Partner with Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, the company's corporate venture capital arm. Craig is responsible for managing NM’s strategic venture capital investments in financial technology, digital health, data analytics and client experience.

Previously, Craig was a Director in the Corporate Strategy function at Northwestern Mutual. His team provided analysis on current competitive threats and opportunities, and how the strategic actions of those competitors affect NM.

Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, Craig was a member of the healthcare investment banking team at B.C. Ziegler and Company executing both merger and acquisition and capital markets transactions.

Stig Haagensen, VP of Digital Innovation and Accelerators

Stig Haagensen, VP of Digital Innovation & Accelerators at Northwestern Mutual. In his role, Stig is responsible for leading the Digital Innovation Program at NM including technology research, the internal Enterprise Venture Fund, the Digital innovation lab, Hackathons, the Incubator and a range of other digital innovation efforts at NM and in the Milwaukee community.

Prior to this role, Stig led business architecture, technology planning, engineering and various other IT functions at NM.

Interested in beginning a conversation? We're always interested in learning about the ideas Milwaukee's entrepreneurs are working on.