Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund Invests $1M in Start-Ups


ANN ARBOR — Four Michigan companies recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, totaling $1 million. To date, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan’s SmartZones to support start-ups’ product commercialization, has awarded 83 Michigan companies with seed funding totaling more than $19 million.

“It’s exciting to see how Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund companies use the investments to drive growth; the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund makes a measurable, positive impact on a start-up’s chance of success in the state,” said Skip Simms, manager, Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and senior vice president of Ann Arbor SPARK.  “Early funding recipients, like Compendia Bioscience, have gone on to achieve significant success, including expansion, hiring and attracting marquee clients.  The four early stage companies funded this round are using the award to attract additional outside funding and get solidly on that path to success.”

The four companies recently awarded Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investment are Fusion Coolant Systems, Local Orbit, New Eagle Products, and Seelio. Fusion Coolant Systems is innovating an advanced coolant and lubrication system for use in manufacturing that increases production rates and tool life. Local Orbit provides e-commerce and business management tools for the “new food economy”. New Eagle offers controls system solutions including tools, products, and services. Seelio is commercializing its online platform that empowers college students to showcase their work and skills to startups.

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund companies have attracted more than $25.5 million in matching grant and equity funds. Combined, Michigan Pre-Seed Fund investments have helped to create more than 43 net new jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity fund that invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration.  Ann Arbor SPARK serves as the Fund’s administrator.

To qualify for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, start-up technology-based companies must have the sponsorship of a local SmartZone. In addition to SmartZone sponsorship, companies must have received grant, angel or venture capital funding as a match for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investment. 

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund that receives the same returns as the third party investor. The returns that the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will be redeployed by the Fund as first round capital to more Michigan-based start-ups.

Funds for this initiative were provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a Michigan Strategic Fund program designed to accelerate the growth and diversification of Michigan’s economy. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, provides administrative support for the 21st Century Jobs Fund. The MEDC markets Michigan and provides the tools and environment to drive job creation and investment.