ANN ARBOR — Even with the distinction of being the longest-running university-based venture capital fair in the nation, organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium say they’re continually refining the format and program in order to attract the best and brightest startups and investors from across country. To that end, event organizers Tuesday announced that they have tapped Ann Arbor-based event tech firm CrowdJuice to maximize networking opportunities among attendees and extend the life of MGCS beyond the two-day symposium for the respected roster of investors already registered to attend.
“We’re going to see some bigger funds participating, more representation of growth capital companies presenting, plus our usual array of startup and early stage companies,” said David J. Brophy, MGCS founder and director and professor of finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “With this in mind, we’re crafting a program that, upon inspection, will look very much like what’s going on in the market — and leaning in the direction of what we expect to be coming down the road. Providing insight into the latest market trends and access to up-to-date technology to navigate networking opportunities are the touches that make the Symposium a must-attend event each year.”
Ann Arbor-based CrowdJuice provides an event app that brings powerful, interactive features to conferences, trade shows, and corporate meetings. It was first introduced at the 2011 Symposium, enabling attendees to connect ahead of the event, engage during it, and maintain contact into the future. Following positive feedback, organizers have opted to not only again offer the CrowdJuice app to registered attendees, but also extend the service.
The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will offer its own mobile app for the 32nd annual event, powered by CrowdJuice. Available exclusively to registered attendees, the app will enable users to network with other attendees, learn about event sponsors and get details on presenting companies. It will also feature trending tweets based on hot topics emerging from the event’s program and active dialogue. The mobile app will be available to registered attendees in mid-April.
More than 65 investment firms will be represented at this year’s event, including angel, seed and growth stage investors from across the U.S. In addition to partaking in the many networking opportunities, investors will hear presentations from up to 36 “Best of the Midwest” companies across emerging growth sectors such as life sciences and technology, as well as contribute their expertise to a number of panels set to take place during the event.
Investment firms represented at the 2012 event included Landmark Angels/Landmark Capital, Flagship Ventures, GM Ventures, BioStar Ventures, Plymouth Management Company, Hopen Life Science Ventures, Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Essex Woodlands, Lighthouse Capital Partners, 5AM Ventures, Michigan Accelerator Fund, Bank of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Angels, Apjohn Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, Open Prairie Ventures, Allos Ventures, RPM Ventures, Triathlon Medical Ventures, TGap Ventures, Huron River Ventures, Chrysalis Ventures, DFJ Mercury, Baird Venture Partners, Early Stage Partners, Venture Investors, ARCH Venture Partners, SV Life Sciences, Beringea, Credit Suisse, Arsenal Venture Partners, Amherst Fund, Rho Ventures, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, DTE Energy Ventures, Foundry Group, Quaker Partners, Grand Angels, Resonant Venture Partners, Detroit Venture Partners, Ascension Health Ventures, Lumira Capital, Dow Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Osage University Partners, Boston Financial & Equity Corp., SWMF Life Science Fund, Converge Medical Technologies, Silicon Valley Bank, Arctaris Income Fund LP, Capital Midwest, River Cities Capital Funds, MK Capital and more. Many will again be represented in 2013.
The 32nd annual symposium is being held May 21-22, at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti. More than 400 entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives are expected to attend to hear presentations and panels from luminary speakers, as well as a showcase of the most promising of early to later stage Midwest, high-growth companies seeking institutional investment within the next 12 months. To learn more or register, visit www.MichiganGCS.com and follow conversations about the Symposium by tracking #MGCS on Twitter.
MGCS is the original university-based venture fair. This nationally attended two-day event provides an opportunity for financiers to connect with up-and-coming Midwest businesses and learn about emerging technologies. The symposium offers the opportunity to build relationships with an unparalleled business network of distinguished private equity industry leaders, leading university research faculty, and entrepreneurial business professionals. Entering its 32nd year, MGCS continues to draw top investors from coast to coast. 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 and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.