Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Draws Venture Financing Activity from Midwest


ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This year’s Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, which will be held May 10-11, 2011, at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich., is attracting record attention from investors, emerging startups and regional sponsors who want to be part of the Midwest’s promising investment landscape. Since its inception 30 years ago, the Symposium has come to play a vital role in drawing investor attention to the region. Bolstering excitement for this year’s event is a robust venture financing environment in the Midwest. In fact, in 2010 alone an estimated 44 deals were completed in Michigan, totaling over $231 million.

The Midwest has also experienced rapid growth with the launch of several investment programs designed to inject local investors and companies with critical funds.  One of the biggest programs, the Venture Michigan Fund II (VMF II) was launched in January to support high quality venture capital funds committed to investing in Michigan-based companies. VMF II, which will have several representatives at the Symposium, has capital totaling $120 million and plans to invest in venture capital funds targeting seed and early stage capital Michigan companies in a wide range of high growth, emerging industries including advanced manufacturing, health care and life sciences, information technology.

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium acts as a conduit for introducing these regional, as well as national, investors to new businesses that represent the “Best of the Midwest.” For this reason the Symposium has become a must-attend networking event for companies, and has served as a launching point for many startups.  In fact, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund has invested in eight companies that have presented at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium since the Fund’s inception in 2007.  These include Advanced Battery Concepts, Armune BioScience, Intervention Insights, NextCat, Inc. and Tangent Medical Technologies.

Commenting on the Symposium’s value to investor attendees, Skip Simms, Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund programs administrator and interim CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK said, “Once these companies find some capital through their contacts as a result of the Symposium, then they’re able to leverage those investments with some additional capital from us.  What’s interesting for me, when I go to the Symposium, is that I see the companies that we’ve already invested in presenting for their next round of capital, and I also see companies trying to raise their first round of capital that I know I’ll be seeing probably within the next six to twelve months.”

Be a Part of the 30th Anniversary Symposium

Forty-four companies, representing a range of industries, will present for an audience of venture capitalists, angel investors and institutional investors. This year, the new format will include companies seeking angel and seed funding on the first day, with companies seeking follow-on rounds of funding showcased on day-two.  The early deadline to submit is Tuesday, February 22, and the final deadline is Tuesday, March 8; presenting companies will be revealed on March 31.

Sponsorship opportunities still remain for this year’s event and range from $1,000-$10,000. GM Ventures will be participating for the first time as a Platinum sponsor, and other confirmed 2011 sponsors include:  Essex Woodlands, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Zell Lurie Institute, Michigan Venture Capital Association, Arboretum Ventures, Early Stage Partners, Miller Canfield, Pepper Hamilton, Venture Investors, Apjohn Ventures, Ann Arbor SPARK, BioStar Ventures, Chrysalis Ventures, DFJ Mercury, Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest, Honigman, Leap, Inc., RPM Ventures, Amherst Fund, Bank of Ann Arbor, Allos Ventures, Bodman, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship, Fletcher Spaght, U-M Office of Technology Transfer.

For more information on submitting an application to present or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.MichiganGCS.com.

About the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS)

MGCS is the original university-based venture fair, which was first held in 1979. This nationally attended two-day event provides an opportunity for financiers to connect with up-and-coming Midwest businesses and learn about emerging technologies. The Symposium offers the opportunity to build relationships with an unparalleled business network of distinguished private equity industry leaders, leading university research faculty, and entrepreneurial business professionals. Entering its 30th year, MGCS continues to draw top investors from coast to coast. MGCS is presented by the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

SOURCE: Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

CONTACT: Jean Serra, +1-617-426-2222, jserra@v2comms.com; or Mary Nickson of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, +1-734-615-4424, mnickson@umich.edu

Web Site: http://www.MichiganGCS.com