Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Adds Focus On University Tech Transfer

ANN ARBOR — Potential investors will have the chance to learn more about university tech transfer and the emerging companies it creates under a new track at this year’s Michigan Growth Capital Symposium.

The annual venture capital conference, organized by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, announced the new track Thursday in partnership with the Midwest Research University Network.

Six universities will present at this year’s MGCS. Each will provide an overview of the technology transfer program and startup landscape at their institutions, followed by snapshots of several new and interesting ventures emerging from these programs. Investors in attendance will then have access to company executive summaries and contact information for follow up. The new relationship will supplement the MGCS university track, which debuted at last year’s MGCS.

MRUN is a regional cooperative of 50 institutions involved in creating and funding research- and technology-based startup businesses. Over the last 11 years, MRUN has expanded its reach to 14 Midwestern states. Members include staffers from UM, Michigan State University, Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, Iowa State University, the Univesrity of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, and the University of Manitoba. Investors and accelerators promoting Midwest startup development are also involved.

Hosted by the Ross School’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, the 2015 MGCS will be held May 19-20 at the Marriott Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti. The symposium introduces early stage and emerging growth companies seeking funding to U.S. investors prospecting deals, and it’s known for attracting high-quality investors from around the country.

The Midwest is a breeding ground for innovative research-based and technology companies and Michigan, in particular, represents a hot bed for venture capital investment. According to the National Venture Capital Association, in 2014 alone, $220 million was invested in state companies by all sources.

Due to this significant investment momentum, organizers of MGCS expect that 90 high-growth, innovative ventures will compete to secure one of the 40 available slots to present at this year’s premier networking and investment event. The application deadline for presenting companies at the MGCS is Tuesday, March 10. Selected companies will be notified on Thursday, April 2.

Applications will be screened by a committee of qualified, national and regional venture capitalists who will select participants based on market opportunity, competitive advantage, management team, intellectual property and financial model. Selected companies will be invited to deliver a 10-minute pitch at the symposium and will receive exhibit space throughout both days of the event. In addition, a dedicated team of industry experts from the Michigan Small Business Development Center, the New Enterprise Forum and the venture capital and entrepreneurial community will provide individualized coaching.

For more information, contact Mary Nickson at (734) 615-4424 or visit www.MichiganGCS.com.

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