ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Organizers of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Thursday unveiled preliminary plans for the 2014 conference June 17-18.

As one of the longest running programs of its kind, the decades-old symposium is expected to bring together more than 450 attendees including top investors from across the country, executives of early stage and emerging growth companies seeking $1-20 million in funding, and related stakeholders.

Once again, the event will be held at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti.

In a new addition, the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest will host its 14th annual statewide business plan competition award’s reception on June 17 prior to the start of the MGCS. The first place winner of the GLEQ’s mid-year emerging company category, announced in January, will receive an invitation to present at the MGCS.

“We are really excited about the coordinated timing of our events,” said GLEQ executive director Diane Durance.

Now in its 33rd year, the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium has served as a critical catalyst for innovation and a champion of entrepreneurial investment opportunities in the region. In addition to presentations from approximately 40 early stage and emerging growth companies seeking funding, MGCS will feature keynote speakers and panel discussions led by some of the nation’s leading investors and entrepreneurs. The sessions will provide insight on venture capital and investment trends, as well as provide industry snapshots of emerging growth sectors such as life sciences and technology.

“Michigan ranks as one of the most proactive and most admired states, in terms of what has been done with a relatively small amount of capital,” said Kelly Williams the global head of Credit Suisse’s Customized Fund Investment Group and keynote speaker at the 2013 Symposium. She added that the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium epitomizes the unique collaborative atmosphere and supportive entrepreneurial environment that has contributed to the state’s success.

The state of Michigan currently has 25 venture capital funds providing growth capital to promising start-ups spawned by university research discoveries and inventions across various academic disciplines. This growing network is bolstered by savvy global investors who are willing to look farther afield to source new deals, including in the Midwest. This ramped-up connectivity bodes well for the region’s reputation as an innovative community and a source for high-potential technology and social-networking investment deals.

The symposium is hosted by the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business, with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Sponsors for the 2014 event are currently being enlisted, with packages ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Applications for companies to present will be available online Jan. 1. For more information or to become a sponsor, please visit


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