Michigan Venture Capital Association in Ann Arbor Announces 2018 Award Nominees


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This year's MVCA Annual Awards Dinner will take place at Detroit's Eastern Market.

Photo courtesy of Eastern Market

Ann Arbor-based Michigan Venture Capital Association, a nonprofit trade association founded in 2002 to boost the amount of capital and talent for the state’s entrepreneurial and investment community, today announced it will host its MVCA Annual Awards Dinner with Gov. Rick Snyder on Oct. 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Eastern Market in Detroit. 

The 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner attracts nearly 300 attendees from across the country to celebrate the companies, talent, and capital emerging from the region. This year, Snyder will co-host the dinner that will kick off a multi-day networking event called Start MI UP: Michigan Ventures Forward presented by Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Designed to showcase the state’s growing investment opportunities in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Start MI Up is being held in conjunction with the MVCA dinner and Renaissance Venture Capital Fund’s UnDemo Day.

The MVCA awards ceremony recognizes individuals, companies, and organizations who have powered the growth of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community. MVCA members will vote to select the winners for the Exit of the Year, Community Impact Award, and Up-and-Coming Company of the Year categories.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has helped build the foundation of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community, will be selected by the MVCA board of directors. All awardees will be announced live at the dinner, and the nominees include:

Exit of the Year

  • Duo Security – Duo Security is an Ann Arbor-based cybersecurity company that offers a security platform to help prevent cybersecurity breaches. Cisco announced its intent to acquire the company for $2.4 billion to integrate its network, device, and cloud security platforms with Duo’s authentication and access products. 
  • nuTonomy – nuTonomy is a Boston-based spin-out company from MIT that develops software to build self-driving cars and autonomous mobile robots. With Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners as a lead investor for both its Seed and Series A rounds, Delphi acquired the company for $450 million to scale and deliver autonomous vehicles throughout the country.
  • SPLT - SPLT is a Detroit-based mobility company that provides a carpool app for employers to offer as a benefit to employees. The company was acquired by Bosch for an undisclosed amount to expand throughout Latin America.

Community Impact Award

  • Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition - Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), a program of ID Ventures, is a competition that supports Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their companies to investors. 
  • Renaissance Venture Capital Fund - Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is a groundbreaking fund of funds that supports the growth of venture capital in Michigan.
  • TechTown Detroit - TechTown Detroit is an incubator and accelerator that offers a full suite of programs for entrepreneurs to strengthen neighborhood small businesses and commercial corridors across Detroit. 

Up-and-Coming Company of the Year

  • Blue Medora - Blue Medora is a Grand Rapids-based IT company founded by Carl B. Erickson and Nathan Owen that provides monitoring integration software for application performance, cloud and database management platforms. 
  • Clinc - Clinc is an Ann Arbor-based IT company founded by Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang that offers a conversational artificial intelligence platform for financial services.
  • May Mobility - May Mobility is an Ann Arbor-based mobility company founded by Edwin Olson, Alisyn Malek and Steve Vozar that produces autonomous vehicles with a special focus on system-level safety technology.
  • Strata Oncology - Strata Oncology is an Ann Arbor-based life sciences company founded by Dan Rhodes and Scott Tomlins that is transforming cancer care by providing systematized precision oncology across a network of health systems and pharma companies.

To register for the 2018 MVCA dinner or learn more information about Start MI Up: Michigan Ventures Forward, and Renaissance Venture Fund UnDemo Day, visit here.

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