Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Unveils Flagship Ventures’ Noubar Afeyan as Keynote Speaker

Shannon Beeman
April 24, 2012

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson also Part of the Program for the Midwest’s Leading Venture Capital Event

Today, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium announced that Noubar Afeyan, founder, managing partner and CEO of leading early stage venture capital firm Flagship Ventures, will deliver the keynote address to begin the second day of the 31st annual event.  University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman will provide opening remarks to introduce Dr. Afeyan and also share her thoughts on how the University’s commitment to research and development and entrepreneurship is helping to deliver on the promise of Michigan as a hotbed of innovation and investment activity.

Flagship Ventures is an active member of the greater Michigan venture capital community, and recently unveiled plans to establish a presence in the state by mid-2012. This comes on the heels of Venture Michigan Fund II, a fund-of-funds which is managed by Credit Suisse, making a $15 million investment commitment in Flagship Ventures Fund IV, which invests in early-stage companies.   Flagship  has recently invested in Tangent Medical, an innovator in IV therapy products, and had a successful exit with Accuri Cytometers, a University of Michigan spinout that makes scientific instruments and was bought by New Jersey medical device giant Becton, Dickinson and Company in 2011 for $205 million.

“Michigan is on the track to success and we’re excited to be a part of that,” said Afeyan. “Accuri is a prime example of how the talent, university research, entrepreneurial community, pubic support and growing investor base has converged to generate real success. The next Accuri may very well be at the Symposium.”

Afeyan has nearly a quarter century of experience as an inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist and currently leads Flagship Ventures’ VentureLabs unit that invests and launches transformative startups. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987 and currently lectures widely in the United States and internationally on diverse topics ranging from entrepreneurship, innovation and venture capital to biological engineering, drug discovery, medical technologies and renewable energy. He also serves on a number of public and private company boards including Affinnova, BIND Biosciences, BG Medicine, Breathable Foods, Eleven Biotherapeutics, Essentient, Joule Unlimited, LS9 and moderna therapeutics.

In addition to Afeyan’s address on Wednesday morning, Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson will deliver a keynote to open the event on Tuesday. Mendelson’s information technology background complements Afreyen’s medical and biotech expertise, and together they will provide Symposium attendees with a diverse level of insight into the trends shaping key industries in Michigan’s investment landscape. The program will also feature 32 presentations from companies seeking $500,000 to $20 million in funding and six panel presentations.

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 www.MichiganGCS.com.