MGCS Panels Offer Insights from Industry Experts

Shannon Beeman
May 14, 2012

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium  (MGCS) offers  attendees the opportunity to learn from leading  industry experts on broad range of topics. With six sessions spanning two days,  the Symposium agenda appeals to investors and entrepreneurs alike.

IT Investing: Picking Firms to  Back – Why It’s Different, This Time
by Early Stage Partners

This panel will offer panelists’ proven expertise and advice for  choosing IT firms to invest in. It will also provide insight into how the  market has changed and what it means for investment strategies moving forward.  Topics to be covered include comparison of IT startups today versus in the .com  era, cloud computing and online infrastructure, and the evolving business model  of building businesses on top of existing platforms and websites.


Dick Beedon,  Founder & Chief Advocacy Officer, Amplifinity
Jacob Cohen, Vice President, Detroit Venture Partners
Jonathan Murray, Managing Director, Early Stage Partners (Panelist/Moderator)

James Pavlik,  Partner, Baird Venture Partners

Geographic  Expansion of Your Venture Capital Fund: Opportunities, Challenges, and  Considerations 
by Venture Investors 

This panel will present a candid discussion based on the panelists’ experiences  in expanding their venture funds, and from observations of other funds efforts  to do the same. Topics will include fund raising, deal sourcing and investment,  and operational best practices. The panel will also address challenges such as  reduction in funding, weaker average VC returns, difficult exits, and  unpredictable/unreliable opportunities (specifically for life science  companies).


Jim Adox, Managing Director, Venture Investors (Panelist/Moderator)
Keith Crandell, Co-founder and Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners
Greg Madden, Portfolio Manager, SV Life Sciences
Brandon Park,  Principal, Credit Suisse

What Really  Goes on Behind the Scenes: Starting and Operating a Venture Capital Firm 
by Arboretum Ventures 

This panel will give entrepreneurs, angel investors and new venture capital  investors an opportunity to learn about the process of forming and operating a  venture capital firm. Panelists include experienced VCs from different parts of  the country (focusing on different industry sectors) that have played key roles  in the creation of their firms. Discussion will target two groups:  entrepreneurs (new and veteran), and junior venture professionals. Among the  topics to be discussed is a report issued by Silicon Valley finding that the VC  industry is contracting – but Michigan is bucking that trend.

Moderator: Tim  Petersen, Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures


Blair Garrou, Managing Director, DFJ Mercury
Jason Rottenberg,  General Partner, Arsenal Venture Partners
Harry Wilcox,  CFO and Partner, Flagship Ventures

Funding the  Next Leg of Growth: Planning, Preparing and Completing a Growth Stage  Investment 
by Plymouth Management Company 

This panel will discuss how to best build the foundation for growth taking into  account the role of founders and early capital rounds, initial  commercialization success, and fine tuning the business model. In addition,  panelists will address how to identify and assess growth to accelerate the next  leg, as well as how to successfully seek venture capital funding for growth.  The panel will spotlight two Michigan early stage growth companies: Lynx  Network Group and Relume Technologies, Inc., offering insights from each  company’s leadership team and their lead VC investors.


Christopher Barber, Co-Founder, Lynx Network Group
Jeff Bocan, Managing Director, Beringea

Mark Horne, Managing Partner, Plymouth Venture Partners II (Panelist/Moderator)
Crawford Lipsey, CEO, Relume Technologies, Inc.
Michael Wooldridge,  Partner, Varnum

U.S.  Medical Device Companies Trending to R&D Investments Abroad: How Venture  Capital Firms are Adapting 
by BioStar Ventures

This panel will discuss the current trend for medical device companies to  direct their investments in research and development, animal studies, clinical  trials and initial infrastructure outside the U.S. and the impact on the U.S.  venture capital sector. It will provide an in-depth look at how venture capital  firms are adapting and changing their strategies to these global marketplace  changes.

Moderator: Jeffrey  O’Donnell, Venture Partner, BioStar Ventures


Steven Almany, MD, FACC, Director of Medical Innovation, William Beaumont  Hospital
Matthew Rieke, MD, Partner, Quaker BioVentures
Immanuel Thangaraj, Managing Director, Palo Alto, Essex Woodlands

Life  Sciences Investing: What Do Investors Want? 
by Pepper Hamilton and Baird  Venture Partners

Venture capitalists and venture-backed executives in the life sciences field  will discuss the who, what and where of today’s investment environment for  companies seeking venture capital, as well as possible funding trends for the  future.

Moderator: Michael B. Staebler, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP


Matt Hermann, Senior Managing Director, Ascension Health Ventures
Jason Lettmann, Principal, Morgenthaler Ventures
Peter Shagory, Partner, Baird Venture Partners
Marc Singer, Managing Partner, Osage University Partners