ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Several Michigan companies have recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, totaling more than $1.8 million. To date, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan’s SmartZones, has awarded 61 Michigan companies with seed funding totaling more than $13.4 million.

“Funding that helps a company bridge the gap between research and development and sales is critical to achieving overall success,” said Skip Simms, Ann Arbor Spark senior vice president and administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. “Retaining these innovative start-ups in Michigan, as well as the talent that they attract, improves our economic vitality.”

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund supports a start-up’s commercialization efforts.

Specific innovations include:

* Ann Arbor-based ArborWind’s patented wind turbine design enables its customers to generate electricity efficiently and economically using renewable wind energy
* Arbor Plastic Technologies, based in Bloomfield Hills, formulates and manufactures patented and proprietary additives for the plastics industry.
* Auburn Hills-based LEID Products manufactures electronic locker and cabinet storage with biometric asset protection and control for military facilities, medical facilities, crime and research labs, law enforcement departments, universities, libraries, and large corporations.
* Practical EHR Solutions LLC, based in Ann Arbor, helps physician practices maximize the return on their electronic health records investment by selecting and installing the proper software and hardware, customizing the software to the physician’s preferences, achieving meaningful use and maintaining the system throughout its life.
* RetroSense Therapeutics is an Ann Arbor company that’s developing a novel gene therapy to restore vision in retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and dry age-related macular degeneration.
* Reveal Design Automation, based in Ann Arbor, provides scalable software products and services for identifying flaws in complex digital chip designs.
* Grand Rapids-based Seedus Biotech, formerly Syzygy Biotech, produces low-cost, high-quality biological reagents fundamental to DNA amplification.
* Zipments, based in Grand Rapids, is an online marketplace that connects businesses to people within their local communities who perform real-time delivery services.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity fund that invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration. Ann Arbor Spark, the economic development agency for Washtenaw County, serves as the fund’s administrator.

To qualify for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, start-up companies must be based on a technology in one of the state’s identified competitive technologies and have the sponsorship of a local SmartZone. In addition to SmartZone sponsorship, companies must have received grant, angel or venture capital funding as a match with the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investment.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund that receives the same returns as the third party investor. The returns that the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will be redeployed by the Fund as first round capital to Michigan-based start-ups.


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