WEST MICHIGAN — Following their venture capital brethren, angel investors in Michigan are putting more money into more deals, a sign of a steadily improving economy and the maturation of existing angel networks.
After two years of making fewer investments, angel investors put $9.5 million into 50 deals in Michigan in 2011, according to a recent annual report from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. The data show 2011 was one of the best years ever for angel investing in Michigan and easily surpassed the activity of the previous four years.
WEST MICHIGAN — It's not that he can't find the right person for a job opening.
Dennis Echelbarger just needs to look a little harder and take a little longer to find an accountant with the experience he needs.
WEST MICHIGAN — The state of the venture capital industry in Michigan is best summed up in four words: more investors, more money.
Michigan is now home to 20 venture-capital firms, up from 15 just three years earlier, according to the Michigan Venture Capital Association's annual report that details continued growth in the industry. Another seven firms based elsewhere have an office in Michigan.
After improving profitability during 2011 and in the first quarter of 2012, Macatawa Bank Corp. is in far better shape financially and positioned to eventually begin growing again in the future.
The opening of a downtown Grand Rapids office reflects a new growth strategy that will see West Michigan Community Bank further expand its branch network in the next few years. New locations are possible for the small Hudsonville-based bank in both the Holland area and along the M-6 and M-21 corridors in southern Kent County, President and CEO Phil Koning said.
Huntington Bank says it’s surpassed the $1 billion mark and is well ahead of schedule toward lending $2 billion to small and mid-sized businesses in Michigan through a lending commitment made nearly a year ago.
Paul DeVries, who played college football for Western Michigan University two decades ago, has turned to an online “crowdfunding” campaign in hopes of raising $20,000 to underwrite the further development costs for his computer game.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. doesn’t want to be in the business of picking winners and losers, but it’s hoping a new venture match fund will provide a market-driven program aimed at filling a funding gap for early-stage companies.
What started as a niche opportunity when credit tightened during the tough economy has become a target of greater focus for United Federal Credit Union
As the banking industry enters another era of mergers and acquisitions, Michigan credit unions continue the steady consolidation trend that has been occurring for more than a decade, though at a slightly slower rate the last two years.
The small community bank may very well go extinct as the banking industry reacts to recent changes in federal regulations. Bankers and industry experts cite the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — the largest overhaul of the nation’s banking regulations in decades, passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis — as a key driver of the expected increase in merger-and-acquisition activity in the coming years.
Pat Gill returns to the banking scene in West Michigan as Grand River Bank begins moving beyond its startup phase. Gill, who led the former Byron Bank prior to its acquisition by Chemical Bank nearly two years ago, joined Grand River Bank on Feb. 1 as president and CEO.
More than a year after moving his private equity firm to his home state, Martin Stein has begun forming a new investment fund to target Michigan-based companies for acquisition.
Mergers and acquisitions are keeping Jack Hendon and his partners at H&S Companies pretty busy these days. The Fremont-based accounting and consulting firm is advising clients on transactions, but the 60-person firm with offices around the region also closed a couple deals of its own in the first month of 2012. H&S Companies acquired companies in Mt. Pleasant and Rockford and continues to look for add-on acquisition opportunities to expand geographically, add capabilities and leverage overhead, Hendon says.
KALAMAZOO — The planned opening of a Grand Rapids office marks First National Bank of Michigan’s first foray out of its hometown Kalamazoo market.
Just as it’s done in Kalamazoo, FNB of Michigan aims to build business in the much-larger Grand Rapids market through a high-touch style of community banking aimed at small businesses and retail customers.
We expect interest rates to remain low, which should be good for those homeowners refinancing and for homebuyers during the coming year, as well as any businesses that are looking to refinance or expand. However, deposit rates will also remain low, as banks remain flush with cash and don’t have many good loan opportunities.