Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Partners with Midwest Research University Network to Shine a Spotlight on Technology Transfer Programs and Innovation throughout the Midwest

Shannon Beeman
March 5, 2015

Today, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) announced details of a unique partnership with the Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) to feature six premier MRUN institutions at the Symposium. The new track will shine a spotlight on technology transfer and commercialization programs at Midwest universities, and create an opportunity for investors to learn more about the emerging companies and innovations they are incubating.

Hosted by Zell Lurie with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, this year’s Symposium will be held May 19-20, 2015 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich. The Symposium, which serves as a conduit for introducing early stage and emerging growth companies seeking funding, to U.S. investors prospecting deals, is known for attracting high-quality investors from around the country.

MRUN is a regional cooperative of 50 institutions involved in creating and funding research- and technology-based startup businesses. Over the last 11 years, MRUN has expanded its reach to 14 Midwestern states. Alongside the University of Michigan, its members include Iowa State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In addition to university officials, MRUN attracts investors and accelerators that are promoting Midwest startup development.

Six universities will present at MGCS. Each will provide an overview of the technology transfer program and startup landscape at their institution followed by snapshots of several new and interesting ventures emerging from these programs. Investors in attendance will then have access to company executive summaries and contact information for follow up. The new relationship will supplement the MGCS university track, which debuted at last year’s MGCS.

“Michigan has been one of the most successful Midwestern states in both investing in and attracting financial investments for startups,” said Gary Keller, president and managing director, MRUN. “What’s unique about MGCS is that it brings together a broad scope of stakeholders focused on early-stage and medium-sized investments for technology companies in a way that is relatively unparalleled to any other state venture forum that occurs in the MRUN territory.”

The Midwest is a breeding ground for innovative research-based and technology companies and Michigan in particular represents a hot bed for venture capital investment. According to the National Venture Capital Association, in 2014 alone, there was almost $220 million invested in state companies by all sources.

Due to this significant investment momentum, organizers of MGCS expect that 90 high-growth, innovative ventures will compete to secure one of the 40 available slots to present at this year’s premier networking and investment event. The application deadline for presenting companies at the MGCS is fast approaching and must be submitted online by Tuesday, March 10.  Selected companies will be notified on Thursday, April 2.

Applications will be screened by a committee of qualified, national and regional venture capitalists who will select participants based on market opportunity, competitive advantage, management team, intellectual property and financial model. Selected companies will be invited to deliver a 10-minute pitch at the Symposium and will receive 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 the greater VC and entrepreneurial community will provide individualized coaching.

For more information, please contact Mary Nickson at (734) 615-4424 or visit the website at www.MichiganGCS.com.