GRAND RAPIDS — The managers of Michigan Accelerator Fund I are seeking to raise up to $5 million from investors to provide further financial backing to portfolio companies.
A new roadmap aims to reboot efforts to build Michigan’s life sciences industry and compete with similar clusters around the U.S. and the world.
Venture capital investing in Michigan had one of its best years ever in 2012, setting the stage for what one venture investor sees as “another very big year” for further growth.
Investors say once Michigan’s maturing life sciences industry can regularly generate success stories, the chances are that more venture capital will follow.
In an industry notorious for long — and expensive — development cycles, Tetra Discovery Partners LLC has a decided edge: a burn rate of almost zero, according to its founder.
After closing fundraising on its flagship fund to invest more than $15.1 million in early stage Michigan-based businesses, a Grand Rapids venture fund can now focus on building its investment portfolio and recording its first exit.
A Grand Rapids venture fund exceeded its first-year goals, both in funds raised from investors and investments made. Michigan Accelerator Fund I netted $9 million in commitments from investors during its first year, lifting the total capital that it will have available to $15 million. Launched in January 2011 with $6 million in state seed funding, the venture fund expected to raise $4 million from private investors.
The $100,000 was nice. But just as valuable to Barry Nowak were the connections he made by participating in the 2011 Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, an annual business plan competition that provides capital to young businesses in the state that can prove their mettle to judges.