James Flynn, Deerfield Capital Management and Adam Lilling, Plus Capital to Headline Midwest’s Leading Venture Capital Event

Shannon Beeman
May 3, 2016

35th Annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Hosts Speakers from Leading Investment Firms Across the U.S.

Today, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) unveiled its expert speaker line up for the 35th annual event, which serves as a conduit for introducing early stage and emerging growth companies seeking funding to U.S. investors prospecting deals. The 2016 program will feature keynote addresses from James Flynn, managing director of Deerfield Capital Management and Adam Lilling, founding and managing partner of Plus Capital. MGCS will also feature informative panels on topics ranging from the impact of healthcare reform, medical software startup challenges and a new Tech Transfer “Alley” that will provide a larger platform for Midwest universities to spotlight Tech Transfer offices and their emerging company spin-outs.

Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Zell Lurie Institute University of MichiganHosted by the Ross School of Business’ Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, this year’s Symposium will be held May 17-18, 2016 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich. More than 450 entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives are expected to attend for networking, company presentations and panel discussions. The conference has a track record of attracting high-quality investors from around the country each year.

Influential Industry Speakers

The program will kick off with a keynote address from Adam Lilling who currently serves as founding and managing partner of LA-based Plus Capital, a firm that manages early-stage venture capital investing, equity-driven partnerships and start-up operations for top celebrities from Hollywood, music and sporting. Kicking off with the keynote on day two will be from James Flynn, managing partner of Deerfield Capital Management, a New York-based multi-billion dollar venture capital firm with a focus on healthcare investment. Flynn oversees the firm’s investment activities as well as the day-to-day management of the organization.

The program will also feature high-caliber speakers representing entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives who will lead informative discussions on pivotal industry issues. Confirmed speakers include:

  • V. Kadir Kadhiresan, PhD, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson – JJDC, Inc.
  • Robert Crutchfield, General Partner, Harbert Venture Partners
  • Michael Liang, PhD, Partner, Baird Capital
  • Jeffery J. Stolte, Partner, Providence Ventures
  • Tom Shehab, MD, Principal, Arboretum Ventures
  • Julia Owens, Ph.D. President & CEO, Millendo
  • Bob Smith, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Research & Development, Pfizer
  • Jim Evans, CEO, Socrates Analytics
  • Martin Felsenthal, Partner, Health Velocity Capital
  • Jonathan Murray, Managing Director, Draper Triangle Ventures
  • Kurt Skifstad, PhD, CEO, ArborMetrix
  • David Neustaedter, Worldwide Research & Development, Pfizer
  • Mark Woodka, CEO, OnShift
  • Matt Bell, Principal, Cultivian Sandbox Venture Partners
  • Matt Bower, Partner, Varnum
  • Jim Adox, Managing Director, Venture Investors
  • Kirsten Leute, Senior Vice President of University Relations, Osage University Partners
  • Rik Vandevenne, Director, River Cities Capital Fund
  • Karen Spilzewski, RiverVest Venture Partners
  • David Wentzloff, Co-CEO & Co-founder, PsiKick; Professor, EECS, University of Michigan
  • Manny Stockman, Associate, Osage University Partners

University of Michigan Selected to Host 2017 Coulter Investment Forum

In related news, organizers of MGCS also announced that as part of the 36th annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, May 16 and 17, 2017, the University of Michigan will hold MGCS in conjunction with the Coulter Investment Forum.

Each year, the Coulter Investment Forum, sponsored by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, showcases 30 emerging life sciences companies that have originated in Coulter Translational Research Partnerships at one of 16 universities. This one-day event is an exciting opportunity to preview 25 to 30 life science companies seeking seed to early-stage investment. Company participation is restricted to those with innovations that have been vetted through the Translational Research Partnership Program at one of the 16 university partners using the Coulter Commercialization Process. This documented process uses business like processes to accelerate academic innovations to the market to improve patient care. Solutions range from device to imaging, diagnostics to therapeutics.

Selecting the University of Michigan and MGCS as the host venue for 2017 underscores the dynamic and growing venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Midwest. In fact, start up and venture capital activity in the Midwest–which boasts talent from prestigious research universities like the University of Michigan and an affordable cost of living–has outpaced the rest of the country in terms of growth. According to a recent report conducted by the Michigan Venture Capital Association, over the last five years, total capital under management has grown 47 percent in Michigan, but fallen 17 percent nationwide and the amount invested in Michigan has grown 295 percent, compared to 97 percent nationwide.

“For the past 35 years, the caliber and content at MGCS has evolved from a few people discussing entrepreneurial venture capital trends to a nationwide event that attracts some of the most prestigious investors and budding entrepreneurs in the country,” said David Brophy, professor of finance and founding director of MGCS. “We are honored – but not surprised – that the Coulter Investment Forum, a conference that celebrates university startup companies from across the world, has chosen Michigan to host its 2017 event, and we are looking forward to collaborating with them as we prepare for next year.”

The 36 companies selected to present at this year’s 2016 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will soon be announced. To learn more or to register, visit www.Michigan-GCS.com and follow conversations through #MGCS2016 on Twitter.

About the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS)

MGCS is the original university-based venture fair, which was first held in 1979. This nationally attended two-day event provides an opportunity for investors to connect with up-and-coming Midwest businesses and learn about emerging technologies. The Symposium offers the opportunity to build relationships with an unparalleled business network of distinguished private equity industry leaders, leading university research faculty and entrepreneurial business professionals. MGCS is presented by the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance and the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

About the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.