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Sunday, 18 October 2015 21:30

Conference seeks to bolster Michigan’s angel investor community

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A networking event this week in Ypsilanti aims to bring together existing and prospective angel investors in Michigan and explore their opportunities.

The Ann Arbor- and Detroit-based Growth Capital Network and Startup Angels of Washington, D.C. will host the Startup Angels Michigan conference on Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti.

The event is designed for angel investors and those who want to become an angel. The program aims to show them the opportunities and challenges of investing in technology, share success stories and “what happens when it’s done well,” said Paula Sorrell, a former Michigan Economic Development Corp. executive who’s now a private consultant helping to organize the event.

“There are big opportunities in tech investing and if it’s an area you’re not familiar with, there are people who can help you with tech investing,” Sorrell said.

Organizers are partnering on the event with Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Ann Arbor Angels, Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan Angel Fund, Michigan Venture Capital Association and Grand Angels.

Michigan has seen steady growth over the last decade in both venture capital and angel investing and is now the home of nine active angel groups. At the end of 2014, those angel groups had a combined 257 investors, a 37-percent increase from five years earlier.

The were 210 startup companies in Michigan supported by angel investors in 2014, twice the number in 2009, according to the 2015 research report by the MVCA. Eight of 10 angel deals in the state are syndicated.

But despite the growth, the state still needs greater access to capital.

“We need more capital for follow-on funding, we need more capital for early deals,” Sorrell said. “It would be nice to see kind of this next big push to help it grow to an even more significant level. There are more opportunities and people are becoming more familiar with the tech sector. Now is the time to act.”

For more information on the event and to register, visit

Read 5194 times Last modified on Sunday, 18 October 2015 22:30

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