The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund recently invested $1.8 million into start-ups based in the Great Lakes State, and half of them went to small businesses that call Ann Arbor home.
Among the local firms that have scored pre-seed funding are wind-turbine designer ArborWind, digital medical records consultancy Practical EHR Solutions
, retinal gene therapy start-up RetroSense Therapeutics
, and software firm Reveal Design Automation
. Each of those companies pulled in six-figures' worth of funding, on top of several other high-dollar private investments.
The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund helps Michigan-based start-ups raise capital so they can hit that final bridge before pushing forward a project, such as a clinical trial or marketing effort. So far the five-year-old fund has invested $13.4 million in 61 start-ups, with much of that money helping entrepreneurs finish a fundraising round.
"In Michigan that has been very difficult money for entrepreneurs to raise," says Skip Simms, senior vice president at Ann Arbor SPARK
and administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund
. "We created this program so we could co-invest."
The state recently issued a request for proposals for the next Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, which Simms and his co-workers at Ann Arbor SPARK hope to run again. A decision could come as soon as this week.
"We hope to have more funds put into the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund very soon, so we can continue it for a few more years," Simms says.
Source: Skip Simms, senior vice president at Ann Arbor SPARK
Writer: Jon Zemke