The Path to Gold

Michigan has plenty of auto companies that have reached $1 billion in valuation, but can the state, along with venture capitalists, nurture and attract more unicorns?
Illustration by Austin Phillips
Illustration by Austin Phillips

Under the bridge that leads north and downhill into downtown Rochester sits a building that’s nondescript from the outside — a retrofitted old warehouse that fits nicely among the collision shops, dog groomers, and other workaday businesses that populate an industrial park. But this structure is a modern Michigan equivalent of the family garage where Steve Jobs started Apple in Los Altos, Calif., in 1976.

OneStream, a “corporate performance management” software startup that has reached an estimated valuation of more than $6 billion in a decade of existence, is one of five companies launched in Michigan that have reached the vaunted plateau of “unicorn” — marked by a valuation of $1 billion or more in the eyes of the venture capitalists who invest in such companies.

“The ‘big idea’ is the most important thing — you have to have an idea that’s worthy of a $1-billion valuation,” says Tom Shea, the Oakland University graduate and former financial manager for automakers and suppliers who founded OneStream in 2010. “Then it’s an incremental process in your brain. Once that’s underway, and you start methodically working it to the resources available, Michigan is a great place to be able to execute on that idea.”

And for the future of the region and state, that’s the issue: Can entrepreneurs and investors here create and grow enough unicorns to help the endemic auto industry amplify the state’s role as a truly robust player in the economy of the future?

Tom Shea, OneStream
Tom Shea, OneStream // Courtesy of OneStream

At this point, the roster of unicorns from Michigan is paltry compared with the legions that have been spawned in Silicon Valley, where new unicorns emerge from the area’s low-slung tech campuses like they’re climbing out of Russian nesting dolls. Elsewhere, Boston has more unicorns than Michigan, as do a handful of emerging digital-tech havens such as Austin, Texas, and in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. Closer to home, Chicago boasts 10 unicorn companies.

Like OneStream, Michigan’s other unicorns started with a big idea entrepreneurs sparked and nourished. They were propelled by aspects of Michigan’s pre-existing economy and the major players in it, and, for various reasons, have found the state to be a propitious place to evolve into the upper echelons of today’s growth companies. Several other local high-growth tech companies are relying on the same factors to try to achieve unicorn status.

Michigan’s unicorns inarguably are headed by Rivian, the electric-car startup from Plymouth Township that, in November, went public in a Tesla-esque manner with an initial offering that yielded a market valuation of more than $100 billion, making it the world’s largest IPO of 2021.

Now 28 years old, R.J. Scaringe founded Rivian after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the Sloan Automotive Lab at MIT. Scaringe’s aim was to create a line of highly desirable, environmentally friendly vehicles like Tesla’s. But his big idea was to focus first on pickup trucks, an exploding category that’s the most profitable for traditional automakers.

Now officially headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and making its vehicles in a former Mitsubishi assembly plant in Normal, Ill., Rivian put its engineering and development operations in Plymouth Township, qualifying Michigan as its childhood home, essentially — Rivian still employs more than 600 in the state. In addition, a few years back, Ford Motor Co. purchased 102 million shares of the company for $820 million. Based on the closing price of $100.73 a share on the Nasdaq following Rivian’s first day of trading on Nov. 10, 2021, Ford’s shares were worth $10.3 billion (the automaker owns roughly 12 percent of the company).

Dug Song, Duo Security // Courtesy of Duo Security
Dug Song, Duo Security // Courtesy of Duo Security

Rivian got an even bigger infusion from Seattle-based Amazon. As part of the arrangement with the e-commerce giant, Rivian sold a 20-percent stake and committed to deliver 100,000 electrically powered delivery vehicles by 2023.

Outside of the manufacturing realm, StockX in Detroit launched an online marketplace that resells sneakers, streetwear, collectibles, and other items. It was founded by the city’s iconic entrepreneur and venture backer, Dan Gilbert, along with three other investors, in February 2016, and earlier this year it reached what StockX said was a valuation of $3.8 billion after broadening its product line to include game consoles, smartphones, and computer hardware.

StockX began as a way to emulate a stock exchange — or a “stock market of things” — by providing market data for desired and one-of-a-kind items, including indicators such as 52-week highs and a volatility index. StockX generates revenue by keeping a percentage of each transaction.

“The original inception for StockX came from thoughts Josh had for stock-market mechanics,” says Greg Schwartz, co-founder and COO of StockX, about fellow co-founder Josh Luber. “So we’ve built the leading destination for Generation Z customers who are focused on highly sought, culturally relevant items.”

From a fairly robust market for cybersecurity expertise, DuoSecurity emerged in Ann Arbor in 2010 as a company to watch. The epiphany for computer-security experts Dug Song and Jon Oberheide was the recognition that “democratizing security would be useful in a world that’s increasingly connected and heterogeneous,” Song says. The duo started by building “second-factor authentication” security for so-called native-cloud operations. For inspiration, they looked to pioneers with Salesforce, which created a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for customer-relationship management.

Jon Oberheide // Courtesy of Duo Security
Jon Oberheide // Courtesy of Duo Security

DuoSecurity blossomed and was preparing to go public in 2018 when networking-hardware giant Cisco began sniffing around, eventually offering nearly $2.4 billion in cash to buy the outfit and accelerate its growth. “It’s been quite a success,” Song says, “and we are all over the place, now in more than 100  countries, with more than 400 global offices and Cisco folks representing us. And the pandemic became another big driver of our business.”

Llamasoft was founded in Utah in 1998 by Don Hicks, who sold the company to an enterprise in Ann Arbor before returning to work for the company in 2003. A unicorn today, the company’s proposition was to automate supply-chain design and planning with artificial intelligence, long before the current supply-chain crisis that has been jangling the global economy for a year. Llamasoft’s platform is used by Fortune 500 companies and major brands including Ford, General Motors, Ikea, Michael Kors, and Unilever.

In late 2020, Llamasoft was acquired by Coupa, a California-based leader in so-called business-spend management software, for $1.5 billion. “We are very excited about joining forces with Coupa,” said Razat Gaurav — who served as the company’s CEO for a couple of years and recently departed — at the time of the acquisition. The combination “provide(s) a unique opportunity to bring together digital-transformation solutions that drive decision-making and operational efficiency across the enterprise.”

Before he launched OneStream, Shea worked in finance for local auto suppliers such as ITT and then for Chrysler, now Stellantis. All the while, Shea was writing code on his own. He came up with a software platform that tracked CAD engineering time on auto-related products and sold his first software program when he was 22 years old. Several more custom programs followed.

Emboldened by his early entrepreneurial success, Shea left the corporate world and, with his brother and a friend, founded Upstream. “By then I knew enough about the challenges that CFOs were facing, and we saw PCs and microcomputers rising above the importance of mainframes,” Shea recalls. In 2006, the trio sold Upstream to Hyperion, a software giant that subsequently was acquired by the even larger Oracle.

Greg Schwartz, SotckX // Courtesy of Stock X
Greg Schwartz, SotckX // Courtesy of Stock X

From there, Shea pivoted to developing a platform for corporate financial managers that would give them the same kind of comprehensive view of various accounting functions that Salesforce, for instance, was giving sales executives and that manufacturing chiefs were getting from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms.

“The opportunity was how to get data from different sources, including ERP systems and mainframes, into a layer that could be combined with financial intelligence, and then focus it on the office of the CFO,” Shea says. “’OneStream means funneling all of these streams of data together, with analytics, so they can view it all for decision-making.

“We sell a platform, and we have a ‘store,’ and when a new pressure is created on CFOs, we create a new product and they download it, and they get value out of it without having to buy an entire new technology or having to vet it and make sure it’s secure. We provide true agility and continuous value.”

As with other software companies, such as those providing e-commerce capabilities, OneStream got a huge boost from COVID-19 as businesses were compelled to update their systems to work more efficiently and flexibly amid the pandemic and the impact it had on in-person interaction. Annual recurring revenue grew by 85 percent in 2020, with OneStream’s customer count growing that year by 40 percent, to 650 enterprises.

Private-equity giant KKR & Co. invested more than $500 million in OneStream in 2019, providing a $1-billion-plus valuation. Another round of investments, in April 2021, injected $200 million more and valued OneStream at $6 billion. By the end of 2021, Wall Street rumors of an impending IPO were rampant and an early 2022 announcement is expected.

R.J. Scaringe, Rivian // Courtesy of Rivian
R.J. Scaringe, Rivian // Courtesy of Rivian

In addition to huge new expansion opportunities, remote work meant OneStream had to build out physically to accommodate its growing workforce. In Rochester, Shea ambles through the headquarters building that the company — in a pre-virus strategy typical of fast-growing tech enterprises — transformed into a workday playground for millennial and Gen Z employees. The facility includes a gym-sized space for corporate dodgeball games and a virtual- reality cage that started as a golf simulator.

A dozen unused Pelotons also sit nearby on a typical day in which Shea and a handful of other OneStream employees populate the building, compared with its previous regular on-site workforce of about 80 people. The company has offices sprinkled around the world. “There used to be real electricity here,” Shea muses. “Now there are just pockets of people, although we’ll see a burst of up to 50 people here sometimes for training.”

Fortunately for Michigan, OneStream’s story isn’t a tale of a tech high-flyer originating here and then fleeing for other locales that are more accustomed to a silicon-based business. Right before the pandemic unfolded in March 2020, OneStream was planning to build a new corporate headquarters of 60,000 square feet barely a quarter mile away in downtown Rochester. It was to feature a large “shared public space” that would welcome local shoppers as well as guests from the nearby Royal Park Hotel.

“But COVID-19 came, and then a lack of clarity (formed) around how people were going to need to be in offices, and that idea had to be unwound,” Shea explains. Instead, OneStream has opted to convert a former church in downtown Birmingham into its new physical headquarters. One benefit: It’ll be about 45 minutes closer to Detroit Metro Airport than relatively isolated Rochester.

The Birmingham refurbishment will house fewer employees, as OneStream takes more of a distributed-workforce approach going forward. In late 2021, for example, the company opened an office in Golden, Colo. “We think of our offices as ‘collaboration centers’ now,” Shea says. “As the hybrid work mode evolves, we feel we need more high-quality offices with a consistent feel and culture to them, in more places, rather than one giant office.”

Job One In September, R.J. Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, drove the first customer- bound vehicle,an R1T pickup truck, off the assembly line at the company’s plant in Normal, Ill. // Courtesy of Rivian
Job One – In September, R.J. Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, drove the first customer-bound vehicle, an R1T pickup truck, off the assembly line at the company’s plant in Normal, Ill. // Courtesy of Rivian

The great reshuffling of technology jobs due to the rise of remote work is a potential new burden for digital Michigan companies — as well as, of course, a potential blessing, depending on how migration to and from the coasts works out.

Clearly, the state has a good deal to overcome as more than 80 percent of America’s venture funding comes from California, Massachusetts, and New York. “There’s a tendency to look at the coasts, to places that are more renowned as to where entrepreneurial activity comes from, and we take it for granted that’s just where it comes from,” says Chris Thomas, co-founder of Assembly Ventures, which seeks to boost Michigan-based mobility startups, and co-founder of Detroit-based Fontinalis Ventures with Bill Ford, Ralph Booth, and a handful of other investors.

Reilly Brennan, the Michigan-based founder of Trucks Venture Capital, which is headquartered in San Francisco and places bets on mobility startups, says the state “typically hasn’t seen enough risk capital, so founders who have a great idea go to the coasts to get financing, and many build companies there.”

Yet Thomas and Brennan are leaders of efforts to expand and accelerate venture funding in Michigan. Thomas says the conventional wisdom that the state can’t do better is wrong. “The places entrepreneurial success comes from are places where individuals will take the steps necessary to compete and to win — and to not be satisfied with just being at the table, but to win.”

Highest Bidder - StockX was founded in Detroit in early 2016 by Dan Gilbert, Josh Luber, Greg Schwartz, and Chris Kaufman. The online marketplace facilitates auctions between buyers and sellers, and mostly offers sneakers, streetwear, and consumer electronic products. // Courtesy of StockX
Highest Bidder – StockX was founded in Detroit in early 2016 by Dan Gilbert, Josh Luber, Greg Schwartz, and Chris Kaufman. The online marketplace facilitates auctions between buyers and sellers, and mostly offers sneakers, streetwear, and consumer electronic products. // Courtesy of StockX

How can Michigan do more winning?

In the broad and long-term effort to create more unicorns, Michigan does bring some substantial things to the table. For one, there’s the legacy of the state as home and nurturer to some of the biggest startups in the world: The Detroit Three automakers and literally dozens of major suppliers that have grown up around them. The companies remain some of the richest and most significant players in the global economy.

Maybe even more relevant is that, because of how the domestic auto industry grew up and remains headquartered in Michigan, the state has the biggest concentration of mechanical and electrical engineers in the country, and one of the densest in the world. As cars have become increasingly sophisticated, software engineering also has become a critical new competency among young Michiganders, making the state more competitive with the likes of Silicon Valley — and helping the local auto industry battle for control of the brains of vehicles with digital-tech giants such as Google and Apple.

“Michigan, historically, has been light in computer-science engineers,” Brennan says, “but that has changed in the last decade or so, particularly with a lot of work being done at the University of Michigan.”

Likewise, there’s a long history of product design and design engineering in the southwest part of the state, and that legacy is part of what’s behind an ambitious collection of about two dozen major employers there called the Seamless Consortium. Members including business-furniture maker Haworth, appliance titan Whirlpool, giant auto supplier Prince, and consumer-products leader Amway collectively finance “proof of concept” engagement with startups around the world related to manufacturing technologies such as sensors, helping create entrepreneurial energy and resources that often find their way back to the Grand Rapids area.

Jeff Mason, Groundspeed Analytics // Courtesy of Groundspeed Analytics
Jeff Mason, Groundspeed Analytics // Courtesy of Groundspeed Analytics

“The West Coast is getting excited about the Internet of Things, connecting widgets to the internet,” says Mike Morin, co-director of the Seamless Consortium, “but it’s easier for physical companies to integrate this stuff than for digital people to integrate all the capital in the physical world. That’s why you’re seeing this happen here.”

Brennan believes that important parts of the Michigan proposition for creating more unicorns are the same elements that make the state a great place to live in general — and the same elements that have local leaders hoping to lure more tech entrepreneurs here as the diaspora from coastal cities continues in the wake of the pandemic. “Michigan has so many inherent good qualities,” Brennan says. “A wonderful low cost of living, for example, and very low taxes compared with New York and California.”

Venture capitalists from California, checking out DuoSecurity a few years ago, had to “come to Ann Arbor in the dead of winter” or Song wouldn’t meet with them, Song says. “They would say, ‘When are you going to leave Michigan?’ — like we’d be the last ones to turn out the lights. I tried hard not to be offended by that, but on a personal level, I believe Ann Arbor is the best place in the country to raise a family.”

Conversely, Schwartz says being in Michigan has proven to be a “competitive advantage” for StockX in a business where access to talent is key. “We’re able to be a big fish in a smaller pond at an earlier stage than if we were based in Silicon Valley and competing with Facebook and Google and Twitter. People can work for an exciting consumer-tech startup here.”

State government, in general, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. get kudos from some for providing entrepreneurs in the state with incentives such as seed funds, says Ara Topouzian, executive director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association in Novi.

For instance, May Mobility “got really good support” from the MEDC as the maker of autonomous vehicles in Ann Arbor. Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility, says there was minimal red tape in granting the startup a number of manufacturer’s license plates that allowed the company, before its technology was completely proven, to test its vehicles on the streets and roads of Livingston County and beyond.

But it’s crucial for Michigan leaders to do more to nurture tech entrepreneurs and future unicorns, and to have more arrows in their quiver to do so. The most important improvement factor would be for more high-risk capital to originate with entities and people in the state. That might create more loyalty by successful entrepreneurs to the notion of staying in Michigan, and it would ensure that more monetary payback when startups are sold or go public would rebound to local residents.

Edwin Olson, May Mobility // Courtesy of May Mobility
Edwin Olson, May Mobility // Courtesy of May Mobility

“Ultimately, the highest multiple (that’s) paid back to investors is to people from the first rounds of capital-raising,” Brennan says. Consider, for example, that the sale of DuoSecurity to Cisco “was a great success for the founders in Michigan, but not for capital in the state of Michigan, because most of the exit profits went to firms that are on the coasts.”

Even Michigan, which has its share of billionaires outside of unicorn founders, can’t bootstrap itself enough with native capital if there isn’t a concerted effort. Thomas calls for “all the major players from the private sector to get around the table and talk about how we can partner (with startups) in unique ways that can succeed. There’s a tendency to look outward for partners, but we need to have an equal desire to look inward.

“We have to move away from the mindset of ‘What is our legacy?’ to one of, ‘What will our legacy be?’ ” Thomas adds. “It sounds like a small shift, but it’s actually a huge shift. It’s something we need to do a lot better.”

Brennan believes “everybody in the state should invest in a Michigan startup each year” — a sort of crowdfunding approach — and says he’s working with some entrepreneur friends “who’ve been thinking down the road about how to do this.”

Jeff Mason thinks the state already is “benefiting from a capital trend that started looking elsewhere for investments than the coasts over the last few years, because the coasts were very expensive to invest in.” The founder of Groundspeed Analytics, a near-unicorn in Ann Arbor, says more investors have “found less costly opportunities” in places including Nashville and Austin, as well as Ann Arbor.

Michigan, indeed, “is getting more capital” from other states and from within, Topouzian says, “but these companies are called ‘unicorns’ for a reason — you’re not going to have thousands of them overnight. A multitude of components are necessary. But one thing is for sure: The pipeline for startups and entrepreneurs in Michigan is plentiful.”

Michigan Venture Capital Firms

42 North Partners
171 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids 49503

Abundant Ventures
42690 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Amherst Fund
401 E. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor 48104

Annox Capital
40701 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Apjohn Ventures
350 E. Michigan Ave., Ste. 500
Kalamazoo 49007

Arbor Partners
130 S. First St., Ste. 200
Ann Arbor 48104

Arboretum Ventures
303 Detroit St., Ste. 301
Ann Arbor 48104

Aria Ventures
380 N. Old Woodward Ave., Ste. 290
Birmingham 48009

303 Detroit St., Ste. 301
Ann Arbor 48104

Assembly Ventures
1555 Broadway Street
Detroit 48226

Augment Ventures
206 S. Fourth Ave.
Ann Arbor 48104

Baird Capital
2950 S. State St., Ste. 401
Ann Arbor 48104

32330 W. 12 Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334

BioStar Capital
206 Bridge St.
Charlevoix 49720

Blue Victor Capital
2103 Rochelle Park Dr.
Rochester Hills 48309

Boomerang Catapult
236½ W. Front St.
Traverse City 49686

City Side Ventures
34300 Woodward Ave., Ste. 200
Birmingham 48009


Detroit Venture Partners
1555 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Detroit 48226

Dow Venture Capital
2030 Dow Center
Midland 48674

Draper Triangle Ventures
303 Detroit St., Ste. 100
Ann Arbor 48104

DTE Energy Ventures
414 S. Main St., Ste. 600
Ann Arbor 48104

EDF Ventures
425 N. Main St.
Ann Arbor 48104

Eiconica Capital
34300 Woodward Ave., Ste. 200
Birmingham 48009

Eighteen94 Capital
One Kellogg Square
Battle Creek 49016

eLab Ventures
505 E. Liberty, LL500
Ann Arbor 48104

Envy Capital
39665 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 200
Farmington Hills 48334

Evergreen Capital Partners
201 W. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy 48084

Firefox Ventures
Bloomfield Hills

Fontinalis Partners
One Woodward Ave., Ste. 1600
Detroit 48226

General Motors Ventures
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit 48265

Genesis Innovation Group
13827 Port Sheldon St.
Holland 49424

Grand Ventures
38 W. Fulton St., Ste. 308
Grand Rapids 49503

Honor Equity
63 Kercheval Ave., Ste. 111
Grosse Pointe Farms 48236

Hopen Life Science Ventures
171 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 410
Grand Rapids 49503

Huron River Ventures
303 Detroit St., Ste. 100
Ann Arbor 48104

1000 S. Old Woodward Ave., Ste. 105
Birmingham 48009

Invest Detroit
600 Renaissance Center, Ste. 1710
Detroit 48234

Invest Michigan
19 Clifford St.
Detroit 48226

JxP Capital
6735 Telegraph Rd.
Bloomfield Hills 48301

Kelly Innovation Fund
999 W. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy 48084

Lis Ventures
28555 Orchard Lake Rd., Ste. 100
Farmington Hills 48334

Ludlow Ventures
1555 Broadway
Detroit 48226


MadDog Technology
233 Pierce St.
Birmingham 48009

McKinley Technology Group
106 S. Walnut, Ste. 1
Bay City 48706
866-616-1463, ext. 4

Mercury Fund
303 Detroit St., Ste. 100
Ann Arbor 48104

Michigan Accelerator Fund
140 Monroe Center NW, Ste. 300
Grand Rapids 49503

Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund
3350 Duderstadt
Ann Arbor 48103

Michigan Capital Network
40 Pearl St. NW, Ste. 336
Grand Rapids 49503

Miller Capital Partners
1411 W. Long Lake Rd., Ste. 100
Troy 48098

Mission Throttle
2 Towne Square, Ste. 900
Southfield 48076

MK Capital
353 W. William, Ste. 303
Ann Arbor 48103

Monroe-Brown Seed Fund
2281 Bonisteel Ave.
Ann Arbor 48103

Narrow Gauge Ventures
330 Detroit St., Ste. 200
Ann Arbor 48104

North Coast Technology Investors
206 S. Fifth Ave., Ste. 550
Ann Arbor 48104

Northbrook Investment Management
2149 Jolly Rd., Ste. 500
Okemos 48864

Omega Accelerator
3707 W. Maple Rd., Ste. 100E
Bloomfield Hills 48301

Plymouth Growth Partners
555 Briarwood Circle, Ste. 210
Ann Arbor 48108

Quantum Medical Concepts
120 W. Saginaw St.
East Lansing 48823

Quantum Ventures of Michigan
1030 Doris Rd.
Auburn Hills 48326

Red Cedar Ventures
325 E. Grand River Ave., Ste. 275
East Lansing 48823

Renaissance Venture Capital
201 S. Main St., 10th Floor
Ann Arbor 48104

Resonant Venture Partners
425 N. Main St.
Ann Arbor 48104

RHV Capital Investors
38710 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Rizvi Traverse Management
260 E. Brown St., Ste. 2500
Birmingham 48009

Rock Cos.
6400 Telegraph Rd., Ste. 2500
Bloomfield Hills 48301

RPM Ventures
350 N. Main St., Ste. 400
Ann Arbor 48104

Secret Sauce Capital
28 W. Adams Ave.
Detroit 48226

SI Capital
38955 Hills Tech Dr.
Farmington Hills 48331

Skypoint Ventures
601 Saginaw St.
Flint 48502

Sloan Ventures
430 N. Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham 48009

Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund
261 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Ste. 200
Kalamazoo 49007

Spectrum Health Ventures
221 N. Michigan St. NE, Ste. 501
Grand Rapids 49503

Tamarind Hill
220 E. Huron St., Ste. 650
Ann Arbor 48104

Tappan Hill Ventures
425 N. Main St.
Ann Arbor 48104

TGap Ventures
7171 Stadium Dr.
Kalamazoo 49009

Third Shore Group
25909 Meadowbrook Rd.
Novi 48375

TKM Ventures Management
706 Dornoch Dr.
Ann Arbor 48103

Venture Investors Health Fund
201 S. Main St., Ste. 900
Ann Arbor 48301

Vineyard Capital Group
26111 W. 14 Mile Rd.
Franklin 48205

VoyLet Capital
719 Griswold, Ste. 820-101
Detroit 48226

Wakestream Ventures
40 Pearl St. NW, Ste. 200
Grand Rapids 49503

White Pines Ventures
2401 Plymouth Rd., Ste. B
Ann Arbor 48105

Wolverine Venture Fund
701 Tappan Ave., R3200
Ann Arbor 48109

Sources: Michigan Venture Capital Association, DBusiness research

Michigan Private Equity Firms

Abundant Ventures
390 W. Dryden Rd.
Metamora 48455

Alidade Capital
40900 Woodward Ave., Ste. 250
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Amerivest Group
119 Church St., Ste. 236
Romeo 48065

Anderton Industries
3001 W. Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 310
Troy 48084

3600 Wabeek Dr. W
Bloomfield Hills 48302

The Ascent Group
28 W. Adams, Ste. 800
Detroit 48226

Auxo Investment Partners
146 Monroe St. NW
Grand Rapids 49503

Avenir Group
380 N. Old Woodward Ave., Ste. 314
Birmingham 48009

BlackEagle Partners
6905 Telegraph Rd., Ste. 119
Bloomfield Hills 48301

Blackford Capital
190 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids 49503

Blue Water Equity Partners
251 E. Merrill St., Ste. 202
Birmingham 48009

Bridge Street Capital Partners
171 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 410
Grand Rapids 49503

Camelot Venture Group
27725 Stansbury St., Ste. 175
Farmington Hills 48334

Chestmore Capital Management
43842 W. 12½ Mile Rd., Ste. 150
Novi 48377

CITG Capital Partners
354 Indusco Centre
Troy 48083

Colfax Creek Capital
Birmingham 48009

Concurrence Capital Holdings
1600 E. Beltline, Ste. 213
Grand Rapids 49525

Cortex Group
383 Elmington Ct.
Canton 48188

Covington Partners
1734 Crooks Rd.
Troy 48084

Crescent Way Capital Partners
339 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor 48014

Dempsey Ventures
40 Pearl St. NW, Ste. 1000
Grand Rapids 49503

Detroit Venture Partners
1555 Broadway St., 3rd Floor
Detroit 48226

Endurance Ventures
121 W. Washington St., Ste. 400
Ann Arbor 48104

Equity 11
2701 Cambridge Ct.
Auburn Hills 48326

Evans Industries
200 Renaissance Center, Ste. 3150
Detroit 48243

Fresh Waters Venture Fund
7600 McCain Rd.
Parma 49269

32255 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 290
Farmington Hills 48334

GR Investment Group
839 N. Rochester Rd.
Clawson 48017

Grand Sakwa Capital
28470 13 Mile Rd., Ste. 220
Farmington Hills 48334

Greenstone Investments
2605 Greenstone Blvd.
Auburn Hills 48326

GVD Industries
3440 Windquest Dr.
Holland 49424

260 E. Brown St.
Birmingham 48009

Huron Capital Partners
500 Griswold St., Ste. 2700
Detroit 48226

500 Griswold St., Ste. 1640
Detroit 48226

Jacob and Rohn Equity
1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 410
Grand Rapids 49505

Lake Street Capital

Lakeland Ventures Development
410 Lakeland St.
Grosse Pointe 48230

Leapfrog Holdings
4984 Champlain Circle, Ste. 1800
West Bloomfield 48323

Long Lake Capital Management
74 E. Long Lake Rd., Ste. 210
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Long Point Capital
26700 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak 48067

Longhouse Partners

Lorient Capital
55 W. Maple Rd.
Birmingham 48009

LV2 Equity Partners
2013 W. Wackerly St., Ste. 200
Midland 48640

M Group
805 E. Maple Rd.
Birmingham 48009

M3 Capital Partners
5755 New King Dr., Ste. 210
Troy 48098

Michigan Capital Advisors
39520 Woodward Ave., Ste. 205
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Miller Capital Partners
1441 W. Long Lake Rd., Ste. 100
Troy 48098

Motoring Ventures
29155 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield 48034

New Century Investments
1 Towne Square, Ste. 1690
Southfield 48076

Northstar Capital
100 Jackson St., Ste. 206
Jackson 49201

O2 Investment Partners
40900 Woodward Ave., Ste. 200
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Oakland Standard Co.
280 W. Maple Rd., Ste. 305
Birmingham 48009

Ottawa Avenue Private Capital
126 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 500
Grand Rapids 49503

Peninsula Capital Partners
500 Woodward Ave., Ste. 2800
Detroit 48226

Rainstar Capital Group
P.O. Box 140991
Grand Rapids 49504

Riverstone Growth Partners
6400 Telegraph Rd., Ste. 2000
Bloomfield Hills 48009

Rockbridge Growth Equity
1070 Woodward Ave.
Detroit 48226

Sigma Investment Counselors
186 E. Main St.
Northville 48167

Simon Group Holdings
335 E. Maple Rd.
Birmingham 48009

Soaring Pine Capital Management
335 E. Maple Rd.
Birmingham 48009

Speyside Equity
Ann Arbor

Stage 2 Innovations
26800 Haggerty Rd.
Farmington Hills 48331

Stone River Capital Partners
261 E. Maple Rd.
Birmingham 48009

Stratford-Cambridge Group
801 W. Ann Arbor Trail, Ste. 235
Plymouth 48170

Strength Capital Partners
350 N. Old Woodward Ave., Ste. 100
Birmingham 48009

Sturbridge Capital
280 N. Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham 48009

Superior Capital Partners
500 Griswold St., Ste. 2320
Detroit 48226

Talon Group
400 Talon Centre Dr.
Detroit 48207

Tillerman and Co.
59 Baynton Ave. NW
Grand Rapids 49503

TMW Enterprises
101 W. Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 800
Troy 48084

Transportation Resource Partners
2555 S. Telegraph Rd.
Bloomfield Township 48302

TRP Capital Partners
2555 S. Telegraph Rd.
Bloomfield Twp. 48302

True North Equity
477 S. Main St.
Plymouth 48170

Union Lake Management
7609 Locklin
West Bloomfield Twp. 48324

ValStone Partners
260 E. Brown St.
Birmingham 48009

Venture Investors
201 S. Main St., Ste. 900
Ann Arbor 48104

Vision Investment Partners
700 N. Old Woodward Ave., Ste. 300
Birmingham 48009

Volution Capital Management
130 S. First St., Ste. 201
Ann Arbor 48104

The Windquest Group
201 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 500
Grand Rapids 49503

Wolverine Capital Partners
2478 Heronwood Dr.
Bloomfield Hills 48302
Sources: Michigan Venture Capital Association, DBusiness research

Metro Detroit Investment Banks

Amherst Partners
255 E. Brown St., Ste. 120
Birmingham 48009

Arbor Capital Markets
Ann Arbor

BeaconView Capital
1002 N. Main St.
Rochester 48307

Blue River Financial Group
1668 S. Telegraph Rd., Ste. 250
Bloomfield Hills 48302

Boulevard and Co.
333 W. 7th St., Ste. 280
Royal Oak 48967

Cascade Partners
29100 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 405
Southfield 48034

Charter Capital Partners
1420 Broadway St.
Detroit 48226

300 Park St., Ste. 480
Birmingham 48009

34977 Woodward Ave., Ste. 210
Birmingham 48009

Greenwich Capital Group
189 Townsend St., Ste. 200
Birmingham 48009

P&M Corporate Finance Inc.
2 Towne Square
Southfield 48076

Paint Creek Capital Partners
755 W. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy 48084

Pendo Advisors
400 Renaissance Center, Ste. 2600
Detroit 48243

UHY Corporate Finance
719 Griswold St., Ste. 630
Detroit 48226

Source: DBusiness research

Michigan Family Funds

(Talbert “Ted” and Leota) Abrams Foundation
271 Woodland Pass
East Lansing 48823

Allen Foundation
812 W. Main St.
Midland 48640

Baiardi Family Foundation
2328 Pinecrest St.
Harbor Springs 49740

(Guido A. and Elizabeth H.) Binda Foundation
15 Capital Ave. NE, Ste. 205
Battle Creek 49017

Cook Family Foundation
120 W. Exchange St., Ste. 202
Owosso 48867

William Davidson Foundation
P.O. Box 1688
Birmingham 48012

(Douglas and Margaret) DeCamp Foundation
3485 W. M 179 Hwy.
Hastings 49058

(Daniel and Pamela) DeVos Foundation
P.O. Box 230257
Grand Rapids 49523

(Dick and Betsy) DeVos Foundation
P.O. Box 230257
Grand Rapids 49523

(Douglas and Maria) DeVos Foundation
P.O. Box 230257
Grand Rapids 49523

(Herbert H. and Grace A.) Dow Foundation
1018 W. Main St.
Midland 48640

(Alden and Vada) Dow Fund
315 Post St.
Midland 48640

(Vera and Joseph) Dresner Fund
6960 Orchard Lake Rd.
West Bloomfield Twp. 48522

Erb Family Foundation
215 S. Center St., Ste. 100
Royal Oak 48067

(John E.) Fetzer Institute
9292 W. KL Ave.
Kalamazoo 49009

Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
Two Towne Square, Ste. 920
Southfield 48076

Ford Foundation
320 E. 43rd St.
New York, NY 10017

Ford Motor Co. Fund
1 American Rd.
Dearborn 48126

Frey Foundation
40 Pearl St. NW, Ste. 1100
Grand Rapids 49503

Generations Management
13919 SW Bayshore Dr.
Traverse City 49684

Hagerman Foundation
601 S. Saginaw St.
Flint 48502

(Edward and June) Kellogg Foundation
1250 Byron Rd.
Howell 48843

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Battle Creek


(James S. and James L.) Knight Foundation
440 Burroughs, Ste. 380
Detroit 48202

Laidlaw Family Foundation
314 Newman St.
East Tawas 48730

(Richard and Jane) Manoogian Foundation
21001 Van Born Rd.
Taylor 48180

McGregor Fund
333 W. Fort St., Ste. 2090
Detroit 48226

Meijer Foundation
80 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 101
Grand Rapids 49503

Morley Family Foundation
P.O. Box 2485
Saginaw 48605

(Charles Stewart) Mott Foundation
503 S. Saginaw St., Ste. 1200
Flint 48502

Ruth Mott Foundation
111 E. Court St., Ste. 3C
Flint 48502

R.E. Olds Foundation
P.O. Box 4900
East Lansing 48826

Suzanne Upjohn Delano Parish Foundation
211 S. Rose St.
Kalamazoo 49007

Porter Family Foundation
212 W. Summit St.
Ann Arbor 48103

Reid Family Foundation
3159 Alco Dr.
Waterford 48329

Russell Family Foundation via Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
333 W. Fort St., Ste. 2010
Detroit 48226
313-961-6675, ext. 118

Schaap Foundation
P.O. Box 75000, MC 3302
Detroit 48275

(Charles J.) Strosacker Foundation
812 W. Main St.
Midland 48640

Taubman Foundation
200 E. Long Lake Rd., Ste. 190
Bloomfield Hills 48304

(Harry A. and Margaret) Towsley Fund
240 W. Main St.
Midland 48640

Tummala Charitable Foundation
1240 Woodkrest Dr.
Flint 48532

(Harold and Grace) Upjohn Fund
300 S. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo 49007

Van Elslander Family Fund
6500 E. 14 Mile Rd.
Warren 48092

Walters Family Fund
P.O. Box 370
Midland 48381

Williams Family Fund
380 N. Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham 48009

Karen Colina Wilson Foundation
P.O. Box 728
Grosse Ile 48138

Matilda R. Wilson Fund
1901 St. Antoine St., 6th Floor
Detroit 48226

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
3101 E. Grand Blvd.
Detroit 48202

Source: DBusiness research

Michigan-based Angel Investor Groups

Ann Arbor Angels
201 S. Division St., Ste. 430
Ann Arbor 48104
Mission: Invest in young companies with breakthrough products or services while sharing expertise, providing mentoring, and facilitating connections to the broader marketplace.

Ark Angel Fund
30095 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 101
Farmington Hills 48334
Mission: The fund invests in early stage, startup, and other technology-based businesses, along with assisting in the development of such firms.

Belle Michigan Impact Fund
217 Lake Shore Rd.
Grosse Pointe Farms 48236
Mission: Provide superior returns for investors while serving the early-stage capital needs of companies led by women.

BlueWater Angels Investment Network
1320 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 6
Saginaw 48602
Mission: Recognize the value of supporting and nurturing the entrepreneurial community for the economic benefit of mid-Michigan and Michigan in general.

Birmingham Angels
34300 Woodward Ave., Ste. 200
Birmingham 48009
Mission: Building a network of active, progressive, and innovative investors that are committed to turning the U.S. into a powerhouse startup ecosystem.

Capital Community Angel Investors
1181 Ridgewood Dr.
East Lansing 48823
Mission: Introduce qualified entrepreneurs to member investors, focusing on disruptive early-stage investments that offer a sustainable competitive advantage.











Commune Angels
440 Burroughs St., Ste. 631
Detroit 48202
Mission: To expand access to angel investing and capital investing in scalable consumer, enterprise, and life science companies that transform lives. Diversity is essential to transformative innovation, and members are committed to contributing their experiences, relationships, and resources to drive better outcomes for investors, portfolio companies, and their customers.

Grand Angels
40 Pearl St., Ste. 336
Grand Rapids 49503
Mission: Invest in new ideas that will have a positive effect on the world, focusing on west Michigan and border states.

Great Lakes Angels
568 Woodway Ct., Ste. 1
Bloomfield Hills 48302
Mission: Provide funding to capital-efficient, early-stage companies located in the Midwest.

Ka-Zoo Angels
40 Pearl St. NW, Ste. 336
Grand Rapids 49503
Mission: Measure impact through business growth, job creation, and the attraction to and retention of talent in west Michigan. (This is an affiliate of Grand Angels.)

Michigan Angel Fund
201 S. Division, Ste. 430
Ann Arbor 48104
Mission: Provide funding to the most promising, capital-efficient, early-stage companies in Michigan.

Michigan Capital Network
37 Ottawa Ave. NW
Grand Rapids 49503
Mission: Through its prompt investment and constant monitoring, it assists entrepreneurs who want to establish world-class businesses.

Muskegon Angels
200 Viridian Dr.
Muskegon 49440
Mission: Find, fund, and mentor great young companies, from pitch through successful exit, with a priority on job creation and development in the Muskegon area.

Pointe Angels
Grosse Pointe

Woodward Angels
Mission: Invest in tech and digitally scaling companies in and around Detroit at the pre-seed and seed stage.

Sources: Michigan Venture Capital Association, DBusiness research

Economic Development Organizations

Ann Arbor SPARK
330 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor 48104
Mission: Advance the economy of the Ann Arbor area by establishing it as a desired place for innovation and growth.

Dearborn Economic and Community Development
16901 Michigan Ave., Ste. 6
Dearborn 48126
Mission: Business retention, attraction, and investment; improving neighborhoods; contributing to a high quality of life.

Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
500 Griswold St., Ste. 2200
Detroit 48226
Mission: Design and implement innovative solutions that attract investment, create jobs, and advance Detroit’s economy for all residents.

Flint Community and Economic Development
1101 S. Saginaw St.
Flint 48502
Mission: To improve the quality of life for all residents of the city of Flint through the creation of safe and healthy neighborhoods, and promoting a growing and diverse economy.

Grand Traverse Economic Development Corp.
202 E. Grandview Parkway
Traverse City 49684
Mission: To help grow, retain, and expand business in the Grand Traverse region.







Lansing Economic Development Corp.
1000 S. Washington Ave., Ste. 201
Lansing 48933
Mission: Attract, expand, and retain business and industry in the city of Lansing.

Livonia Economic Development
33000 Civic Center Dr.
Livonia 48154
Mission: The retention and expansion of existing Livonia businesses, and attracting new business.

Michigan Economic Development Corp.
300 N. Washington Square
Lansing 48913
Mission: Market Michigan as the place to do business, assist businesses in their growth strategies, and foster the growth of vibrant communities across the state.

The Right Place
125 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 450
Grand Rapids 49503
Mission: To build the next chapter in west Michigan’s growth story.

34300 Woodward Ave., Ste. 200
Birmingham 48009
Mission: Provide resources and services to start and grow a business.

Sterling Heights Economic Development
6633 18 Mile Rd.
Sterling Heights 48314
Mission: Attract, expand, and retain business and industry.

Westland Economic Development
36300 Warren Rd.
Westland 48185
Mission: To provide leadership in the retention, expansion, and attraction of businesses.

Source: DBusiness research

Asset Management Companies

Advance Capital Management
1 Towne Square, Ste. 800
Southfield 48076

Azimuth Capital Management
200 E. Long Lake Rd., Ste. 160
Bloomfield Hills 48304

Bloom Asset Management
31275 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 145
Farmington Hills 48334

R.H. Bluestein & Co.
260 E. Brown St., Ste. 100
Birmingham 48009

Clarkston Capital Partners
91 W. Long Lake Rd.
Bloomfield Hills 48304

DeRoy & Devereaux
2000 Town Center, Ste. 2850
Southfield 48075

Jay A. Fishman Ltd. Investments
901 Wilshire Dr., Ste. 555
Troy 48084

FormulaFolio Investments
89 Ionia NW, Ste. 600
Grand Rapids 49503

Mainstay Capital Management
10775 S. Saginaw St.
Grand Blanc 48439

Munder Capital Management
480 Pierce St.
Birmingham 48009

Plante Moran Financial Advisors
27400 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield 48034

Q3 Asset Management
2175 Cole St.
Birmingham 48009

Rehmann Capital Advisory Group
1500 W. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy 48044

Retirement Income Solutions
2301 Platt Rd., Ste. 300
Ann Arbor 48104

Schwartz and Co. Investment Advisors
3707 W. Maple Rd., Ste. 3212
Bloomfield Hills 48301

Seizert Capital Partners
34100 Woodward Ave.
Birmingham 48009

Telemus Capital
2 Towne Square, Ste. 800
Southfield 48076

World Asset Management
411 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit 48226

Zhang Financial
101 W. Big Beaver Rd., 14th Floor
Troy 48084


Source: DBusiness research