ANN ARBOR — Two Michigan Venture Capital Association member firms were recently awarded a loan from the organization’s Executive in Residence placement program, marking the first distributions from the program’s new Venture Upstart II allocation from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Plymouth Ventures and RPM Ventures will welcome executives Kevin Terrasi and Kurt Skifstad respectively into their firms for a period of deal sourcing and advisement, with an ultimate goal of placing that executive in a leadership role at a portfolio company.

“We’re excited to relaunch the EIR/CEO Placement Program, which has been one of our most popular programs for members,” said Merrill Guerra, executive director of the MVCA.  “We’ve chosen two firms who are committed to keeping our entrepreneurial talent in the state.  This program continues to make a difference to the many executives in our market who might otherwise have had to leave the state to find compelling leadership opportunities in their entrepreneurial niches.”

Terrasi and Skifstad both bring operational experience to their venture firm sponsors.

Terrasi joins Plymouth following his tenure as Vice President of Engineering and a Director of Pump Engineering Inc. LLC, a Plymouth Ventures Fund I portfolio company which was sold in 2009 to Energy Recovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII).

Skifstad, executive-In-residence at RPM Ventures, has founded, co-founded, or been part of the senior management team of multiple ventures, including three firms that were acquired, one that went public, and two companies that are still operating. In addition to his operating experience, Skifstad mentored entrepreneurs in his position at University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer and teaches a senior-level class on entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan and attended the executive education program at UM’s Ross School of Business.

Billed as a talent attraction and retention program, the EIR/CEO Placement program was developed in 2007 to help Michigan venture firms support the eventual placement of an EIR into a portfolio company’s operations post-investment or find and hire a qualified CEO candidate for a portfolio company.


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