Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson to Keynote Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

Shannon Beeman
April 13, 2012

Ann Arbor, Mich. – April 13, 2012 – Today, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium announced that Jason Mendelson, co-founder and managing director of Foundry Group, will deliver the opening keynote address at the 31st annual event. Mendelson will provide the event’s opening keynote address, which will be followed by a robust program of panels and presentations from 32 startups seeking funding ranging from half a million to $20 million. A partial list of these presenting companies was also revealed today and the closing keynote, who will be be introduced by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, will be announced in the coming weeks.

“There’s a perfect storm of activity happening in Michigan, including incentives offered by the state, further development of the entrepreneurial community and sizable investments in R&D from local universities,” said David J. Brophy, founder and director of the Symposium and professor of finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “People are now paying close attention to activity here.”

Mendelson on the State of the State’s Venture Capital

A Michigan native and graduate of the University of Michigan, Mendelson will provide attendees with his view on the state of the Michigan venture capital investment landscape and the factors driving its marked success over the past five years.  He will also present on the energy found in the state and how those involved in the regional investment community can connect with recognized investors from across the U.S. and maximize the momentum created.

Mendelson has over a decade of experience in the venture capital and technology industries in a multitude of investing, operational and engineering roles. He co-founded Foundry Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based venture capital firm focused on making investments in early-stage information technology, Internet and software startups, most notably Zynga.

Select Presenting Companies Unveiled

A total of 32 emerging startups from the Midwest and beyond will present at the Symposium. The companies represent high growth industries such as medical devices, information technology and mobile, and many are drawn on technology commercialized at the state’s robust University research corridor.  Here is a sample of this year’s presenting companies:

  • Swift Biosciences (Michigan) – develops enabling technologies for genomics and personalized medicine
  • Commuter Advertising (Ohio) – provides active and entertaining audio advertising onboard public transit vehicles
  • NeuWave Medical (Wisconsin) – specializes in developing and commercializing energy-based minimally invasive medical devices
  • Alert Communications (Michigan) – a refurbisher and wholesale distributor of mobile phones
  • Atterocor (Michigan) – a research and development company focused on therapeutics for adrenal disease
  • Vestaron (Michigan) – developing a new generation of insecticides derived from peptides produced by spiders

The complete list of presenting companies will be made available on the Symposium’s website on May 8.

Presented by the University of Michigan Zell Lurie Institute‘s Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, this year’s Symposium will be held May 15-16, 2012 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  To learn more or register to attend the Symposium, visit

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 Midwestbusinesses 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 31st 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 theUniversity ofMichigan with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.