Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Announces Plans for 35th Annual Event

Shannon Beeman
December 17, 2015

Organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) today unveiled initial plans for the 2016 conference, the premier event for Midwest venture capital, that will be held May 17-18 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich. More than 450 attendees from throughout the Midwest are expected to attend the Symposium, including leading venture capitalists and the best of the Midwest early stage and emerging, high-growth companies in the region that are seeking institutional investment.

Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Zell Lurie Institute Ross School University of MichiganFor the 35th year, approximately 40 companies will be chosen to present to potential investors and stakeholders, and for the third year, the Symposium will feature its successful University Research track to showcase the commercialization landscape and emerging startups coming out of Midwest-based schools. The Symposium will also feature guest speakers and panel presentations hosted by some of the nation’s leading investors and entrepreneurs. Past keynotes have included Brad Keywell, CEO of Lightbank, and Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem around the country continues to grow, and the Midwest is no exception to that,” said finance professor David Brophy, MGCS founder and director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “In the past, companies looking for funding have moved to the coasts—but the market is broadening, and investors will find good companies wherever they are. By attracting money to and creating better deals here in the Midwest, the stronger of an ecosystem we create.”

Armune BioScience, a Michigan-based company that develops and commercializes blood tests for cancer, presented at least year’s MGCS in the hopes of raising visibility and funding. “The Symposium is a great forum to drive awareness of our business and to begin to forge relationships,” says David Esposito, president and CEO. “We still have an ongoing dialogue with some of the venture capitalists who saw us present, and we did secure angel investment as a result of our appearance and subsequent follow-up.” To date, Armune BioScience has raised approximately $6.8 million in convertible notes and grants for the development and validation of Apifiny, its flagship product that tests for prostate cancer, and is currently raising its Series A.

The annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is hosted by the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business, with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Organizers are currently enlisting sponsors for the 2016 event, with packages ranging from $1,000-$10,000. Applications for companies to present will be available online January 4, 2016. For more information or to become a sponsor, please visit http://www.michigangcs.com/.