Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund Invests $2M in Nine Start-Ups


ANN ARBOR — Nine Michigan companies recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, totaling more than $2 million. To date, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan’s SmartZones, has awarded 72 Michigan companies with seed funding totaling more than $16 million.

“The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is helping businesses across the state bring their innovative products to market,” said Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK’s senior vice president and administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.  “As more companies continue to apply for and receive these funds, we fulfill the Fund’s mission of diversifying economic opportunity in Michigan.”

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund supports a start-up’s commercialization efforts. Specific innovations include:

  • Angott Medical Products, based in Bloomfield Hills, is developing breast cancer testing technology.
  • Axonia Medical, of Kalamazoo, is developing technology to rebuild and restore damaged peripheral or central nervous systems using tissue-engineered nerve grafts.
  • Ann Arbor-based Blaze Medical Devices is developing spectral analysis for red blood cells.
  • Coliant Corporation, of Warren, is developing a power outlet to connect and mount electrical devices on motorcycles and other outdoor recreational vehicles.
  • Plymouth-based DeNovo Sciences, winner of the 2011 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, is developing a microfluidic device that captures and isolates viable cancer cells in their own compartments where single cell analysis can be done.
  • ePaySelect, of Midland, is developing an electronic bill payment system.
  • Oxus America, of Rochester Hills, is developing a portable oxygen concentrator medical device.
  • Syzygy Biotech, based in Grand Rapids, is developing biotech products for DNA amplification used in research.
  • Grand Rapids-based Varsity News Network is developing custom, online high school sports publications.

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund companies have attracted more than $20 million in matching grant and equity funds.  Combined, Michigan Pre-Seed Fund investments have helped to create more than 100 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 companies must be based on a technology in one of the state’s identified competitive technologies and 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 with 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 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 Corp., 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. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative, visit www.MichiganAdvantage.org.