ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium today unveiled preliminary plans for the 2013 event, which is the Midwest’s annual must-attend gathering to connect angel, seed and growth stage investors from across the U.S. with executives of early stage and emerging growth companies and related stakeholders. It is scheduled for May 21-22, 2013 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Celebrating its 32nd year, the University of Michigan-produced Symposium has become known as a champion of entrepreneurial growth and investment opportunities in the greater Midwest. Since the first growth capital symposium held in 1980, it has helped more than 800 companies raise funding and has been taken on the road by the University to Florida, Iowa and even Warsaw, Poland.
Cleveland, Ohio-based OnShift Software, which offers a communications platform to help employers fill open shifts and replace absent workers, presented at the 2011 Symposium and has since closed on its Series B round of funding. “It was a great event with a good number of investors, many who are focused on our area,” said CEO Mark Woodka about his experience at the event. “The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium organizes the investor presentations by type of company so you only pitch to investors that have an interest in what you do. We received strong interest from three venture firms due to our presentation at the Symposium and the connections we made there will also benefit us for future funding needs.”
In addition to presentations from 32 “Best of the Midwest” companies across emerging growth sectors such as life sciences and technology, the Symposium will feature keynote speakers and panel discussions led by some of the nation’s leading investors and entrepreneurs. The sessions will provide insight on venture capital and investment trends, with input from seasoned industry executives representing firms of all sizes and across myriad industry specialties.
“The Symposium represents the many people and organizations that work tirelessly to prove to the world that Michigan—and the Midwest more generally—have what it takes to develop into an innovation hub that could hold its own with the likes of the Silicon Valley and Boston: the research, the investment power and the talented entrepreneurs, among other things,” said David J. Brophy, Symposium founder and director and professor of finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “People are now paying attention to us big time. We should all feel good about it, but never quit working.”
The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is hosted by the Ross School of Business’ Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Additional sponsors for the 2013 event are currently being enlisted, with sponsorships ranging from $1,000-$10,000. The application for companies to present is currently available online. For more information or to become a sponsor, please visit www.michigangcs.com.