Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Unveils Presenting Companies

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Anticipating record attendance among the investment community at the upcoming Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, taking place May 10-11 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, event organizers Monday unveiled the complete list of companies that will vie for funding at this year’s event.

The 41 presenting companies symbolize the “Best of the Midwest” businesses and were selected from a competitive pool of 85 applications. 

During the past 10 years, more than 300 companies have presented at the symposium. Seventy-one percent have raised capital totaling $1.7 billion in investment dollars and of those, 20 percent have gone on to realize successful exits.

This year’s roster represents the Midwest industries that have emerged as having the greatest growth potential, including information technology, clean technology, medical devices and life science. Among them are seven university spinouts, including InPore Technologies and Life Magnetics, as well as companies traveling from as far as Kentucky and Massachusetts to participate. This year will mark an encore appearance for several companies, most notably Esperion Therapeutics. The Plymouth-based biotech company presented in 1998, was bought out by Pfizer in 2004 for $1.3 billion and after divesting in 2008, is back to present at the symposium in 2011.  

Nextronex Energy Systems, a Toledo-ased solar component manufacturer, will be presenting at the Symposium for the irst time, in the highly anticipated clean tech track. Commenting on the value of the event, CEO Bruce Larsen said: “Many of the companies that have presented at The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium have gone on to great success, which makes me confident that it is going to be a great forum for Nextronex. It has the clout to attract the influential Midwest and coastal VCs that we’re eager to pitch, but it is still intimate enough that we’ll be able to make one-on-one connections and cultivate relationships with them.”

Hosted by the Ross School of Business’ Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association,  The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, has become the gold standard for start-up investment in the Midwest. It serves as a conduit for introducing regional and national investors to promising startups and established, high growth organizations seeking funding. This year a new format has been expanded to include companies seeking angel and seed funding, as well as companies seeking follow-on rounds of funding up to $20 million.

“There is no question that the quality of presenting startups has improved, which is a testament to the fact that we are part of something major happening in the Midwest,” said David Brophy, founder of the Symposium and professor of finance at University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “The light bulb has gone on. Large research universities are embracing technology transfer, talent is staying local and investors are doing deals here. I’m confident the next Michigan success story, akin to HealthMedia or Accuri, could be among this year’s crop of presenting companies.”

The complete list of presenting companies is now available at www.michigangcs.com.  Registration will remain open until May 9 at the same site. 

MGCS is the original university-based venture fair, which was first held in 1979. This nationally attended two-day event provides an opportunity for financiers to connect with up-and-coming Midwest businesses and learn about emerging technologies. MGCS is presented by the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

More at www.michigangcs.com

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