New High-tech Startup Investment Fund Springs from MSU Foundation and MEDC

The Michigan State University Foundation in East Lansing and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. have created a new investment fund for high-tech startups in Michigan.
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MSU
Michigan Rise, a subsidiary of the MSU Foundation, has been named the administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund III. // File photo

The Michigan State University Foundation in East Lansing and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. have created a new investment fund for high-tech startups in Michigan.

Michigan Rise is a wholly owned subsidiary of the MSU Foundation, which has been named administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund III by the MEDC’s Michigan Strategic Fund.

The new fund will work with the MSU Foundation and the MEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative to support entrepreneurs and technology startups in the state by providing capital, mentorship, assistance with grant funding, and more. Applications for investment through the fund are available here.

“We are so excited to get started with Michigan Rise,” says Jeff Wesley, executive director of Michigan Rise. “Our logo (a rising sun) is a reflection of our belief that each day is a new opportunity to bring innovation to success. Our team is dedicated to assisting early stage Michigan startups with capital and leveraging our relationships across the state of Michigan.

“Part of this effort will include working closely with our partners in Michigan SmartZones, and other regional and national seed stage investment groups.”

The fund will align with the MEDC’s key investment areas including advanced automotive and mobility, advanced manufacturing and materials, alternative energy, agricultural processing technology, information technology, homeland security and defense technology, agriculture, life sciences, and other technologies. Investments will range between $50,000 to $150,000 each – up to $250,000 total – for Michigan-based startup companies.

Michigan Rise will invest in high-growth and high-impact technology startups that have a majority of their employees living in Michigan, with an emphasis on startups aligned with MEDC’s core focus areas.

“I believe there is a tremendous opportunity in Michigan for innovation to thrive with our incredible universities and a high density of STEM talent,” says Prem Bodagala, director of Michigan Rise.

Nataliya Stasiw, portfolio manager with the MEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation team, says, “As the entrepreneurial ecosystem rebounds from the ongoing pandemic, this funding will be vital in ensuring Michigan’s early-stage startups have the tools necessary to scale and succeed.”

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