MGCS Presenting Companies Surpass $1.3 Billion Mark in Capital Raised in Past Decade

Shannon Beeman
February 25, 2014

Underscoring the event’s integral role in the region’s burgeoning start up and venture capital community, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium today announced continued momentum for the companies selected to present at each year’s event. In the past decade alone (2004-2013), the Symposium has provided nearly 350 companies with the opportunity to present to investors at the event and those companies have gone on to raise more than $1.3 billion in capital. The call for presenting companies for the 2014 event is currently open, with an April 1 deadline to submit.

The 33rd annual Symposium is being held June 17-18, 2014 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich. As one of the longest running university-hosted programs of its kind, the Symposium is the premier Midwest networking event for national leaders in venture capital investment to connect with emerging growth companies actively searching for partners and funding. Each year, the Symposium showcases up to 40 “Best of the Midwest” companies seeking up to $20 million in funding, including seed, early-stage, late-stage, and pre-IPO companies.

The Symposium provides the best exposure for many Midwest companies to get in front of venture capitalists and other investors, with more than 450 attendees expected at the 2014 event. In addition to impressive numbers around total capital raised, companies that have presented at the Symposium in the past decade have also:

  • Received funding from respected, leading regional and national venture capital firms
  • Realized 20 successful exits, including many acquisitions and three IPOs
  • Represented a wide-range of high-growth industries driving the Michigan and Midwest innovation economy forward, including technology, healthcare, biotech and clean energy

Rob Underhill, the president and chief executive of Simple-Fill Inc., presented at the 2013 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and says the experience was extremely valuable in helping his company improve its business and go-to-market strategy. Following the event, the company received its first tranche of $50,000 in pre-seed funding from TechColumbus, a high-tech start-up incubator in Columbus, Ohio, to power development of the alpha prototype of the company’s natural gas compressor. “We’re still very bullish on our technology,” said Underhill. “The capital infusion from TechColumbus was a milestone that will accelerate our progress.”

“Since its inception in 1980, the Symposium has been very successful from a funding perspective and has forged countless, valuable relationships that continue to foster growth in the region’s startup community,” said Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Founder David J. Brophy. He expects this year to be no different, noting, “The outlook for 2014 is quite good because we’re experiencing synergy created by the intersection of tailwinds on the local and national levels. Locally, we’re seeing the launch of more-solid companies and an increasing number of meet-ups among people engaged in technology-based and social networking-based start-ups.”

Call for Presenting Companies Open through April 1
Companies seeking institutional investment of $500,000 to $20 million within the next 12 months are invited to apply to present. Selected companies will be invited to deliver a 10-minute pitch at the Symposium and will receive dedicated exhibit space throughout both days of the event. In addition, a dedicated team of industry experts from the Michigan Small Business Development Center, the New Enterprise Forum, and greater VC and entrepreneurial community will provide coaching.

The application deadline is Tuesday, April 1 and selected companies will be notified on Thursday, April 24. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of qualified venture capitalists.