MGCS Founder and Director David Brophy Receives Leaders and Best Award

Shannon Beeman
May 19, 2016

David J. Brophy was recognized for 35 Years of Visionary Leadership at MGCS 2016

David Brophy, Zell Lurie Institute University of Michigan RossUniversity of Michigan Finance Professor David Brophy, the founder and director of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, received the Leaders and Best Award today in recognition of the visionary leadership he has brought to the symposium for more than three decades.

“Dave has been the guiding light of this event for 35 years,” said Ken Nisbet, executive director of U-M Tech Transfer, who presented the coveted award during a ceremony on the second day of the 2016 MGCS. “He also has been a wonderful teacher, adviser, mentor and friend to all of us, and has launched countless students into careers in venture capital and private equity finance and investment. In addition, Dave has been an active participant and supporter of economic development in Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan.”

In accepting the award, which he characterized as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize, Brophy said: “This is the love of my life. When (venture capital investor) Ian Bund, (business leader and philanthropist) Ted Doan and others began to talk about launching the first venture fair, it seemed like a good idea and a short-term solution to the economic situation in Michigan.” The University’s Institute for Social Research sponsored the event for a number of years. Later, the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, which Brophy founded in 1994, and the Zell Lurie Institute, launched in 1999, lent their support to the symposium.

Brophy extended special thanks to Mary Nickson, manager of the symposium, for her tireless efforts to expand the reach, scope and quality of the event. This year, 450 individuals, including in-state and out-state venture investors, entrepreneurs, startup company CEOs, university commercialization experts and others drawn from the entrepreneurial ecosystem, both locally and nationally, attended the symposium.

“Looking forward, we want to expand and deepen the symposium and improve its quality every year,” Brophy said.  “It’s been my pleasure to be here with you, and I hope we can continue what we started so many years ago.”

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