The 2020 Midwest Venture Showcase has announced that 61 companies seeking funding will present to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and business executives at the virtual event on May 5-8.
The showcase is a partnership between the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium and InvestMidwest, both of which had in-person events scheduled. The organizations combined their resources into a single virtual show in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The companies in the showcase from the Midwest span the life sciences, medical device, agriculture and food, and tech industries. Of the 61 companies, 28 are seeking seed stage funding, and 33 are seeking Series A or B funding. The companies are from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Virginia.
Presenting companies’ innovations include a mobile device to diagnose and follow up with COVID-19 patients through heart monitoring, testing to identify and treat children who have medical conditions due to antibodies attacking the brain, technology to increase crop production through increased quality of light, an all-in-one diabetes management system in a smartphone case, and a system that allows easy and stable blood collection samples from anywhere.
The event also will feature 12 companies from the Capital Innovators tech accelerator 2019-2020 cohorts and 35-40 Tech Transfer spinouts seeking pre-seed and seed funding. Participating universities include Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.
The showcase is working to accommodate the needs of the investor community. All presentations will be taped in advance, with pitch videos going live on May 5 and remaining available through June 5. There will be opportunities to interact with the companies on May 5 during a virtual networking session and on May 7-8 during one-on-one meetings.
“We listened to our investors and designed the event based on their feedback,” says Phyllis Ellison, executive director of InvestMidwest. “We created a format that allows busy investors to access presentations at their own pace during a time when they may also be focusing heavily on their existing portfolio.”
The Midwest Growth Capital Symposium was first held in 1980 and brings together venture capital investors, angel investors, companies, university tech transfer officers, and research faculty. It is presented by the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance (led by Professor David Brophy) at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor. This year’s event was originally scheduled for May 12-13 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti Township.
The InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum brings together high growth companies from across the Midwest that are seeking $1 million or more in equity investments in life science, tech, agriculture, food, and energy tracks. It has been held for 20 years and was scheduled for April 22-23 in Missouri.