The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Tuesday announced the call for presenting companies for the 30th annual Midwest equity event which will be held May 10-11 at the Marriott Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti.

The symposium connects leaders in the venture capital investment world with the entrepreneurs, startups and emerging growth companies that are actively searching for partners and funding. 

The symposium has a long history of focus on early-stage deals, in large part due to the region’s rich flow of technology from regional universities and its industrial base. However, recently the Midwest has seen significant growth both in the rate of venture financing and in its organized venture community, attracting venture capitalists from around the country with interests that are further up the growth curve. In fact, the growth rate of venture financing in the Midwest has outpaced California in recent quarters, prompting the symposium to expand its offering so companies at several stages will have the opportunity to pitch potential investors.

The opening day will feature companies seeking $500,000 to $2 million in funding and the second day will showcase companies seeking more than $2 million and follow-on rounds of funding. To be considered, companies should be projecting $20 million in revenue within five years and be seeking funding in the range of $500,000 to $20 million, with preference given to those with a Midwest connection. Other criteria for consideration include: market opportunity, competitive advantages, intellectual property, financial projections and the quality and experience of the management team.

“It’s really important that we do a good job of launching companies and getting them on a solid financial footing early on,” said symposium founder David J. Brophy, finance professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “As the region’s investment landscape continues to grow a little faster, we’ve got to loudly ring that bell so that investors from around the country know we’re here and that we have opportunities. That, of course, has been the primary purpose of the symposium for 30 years now.”

Companies selected to present will have the opportunity to deliver a 10-minute presentation to showcase their business opportunity to an audience of venture capitalists and institutional investors. Additional benefits to presenting companies include a four-page executive summary in the conference program, a listing of the company name and link on the event Web site, investor pitch and presentation coaching and table-top exhibit space.

Illinois-based Ohmx Corp. presented at last year’s symposium and has since secured a round of angel funding that enabled them to begin product development with its manufacturer in preparation for a 2012 market launch.

“We learned a lot and met a lot of people,” said Dimitra Georganopoulou, vice president of research at Ohmx, about her MGCS experience. “There was a lot of pitching and a lot of selling our vision and our beliefs. And there was a lot of negotiating. This is part of what would be similar to venture funding.”

The final deadline for application submissions is Tuesday, March 8.  For more information or to submit an application, visit Selected companies will be notified by March 31.


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