16 Jun Michigan Growth Capital Symposium includes Wisconsin Tech Companies
Ann Arbor, MI.-The University of Michigan’s Business School may have put its finger on the pulse of the future for growing technology firms in Wisconsin and the rest of the Midwest.
The 22nd Annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium began at the University of Michigan with over 300 attendees representing entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from across the country.
Allan Dines, Assistant Director of Corporate Relations at the University of Wisconsin, said that the meeting had a different focus this year. “The meeting planners decided to connect the dots and broaden the scope to focus on where deals come from: namely from University tech transfer offices and from the careful nurturing provided by angel investors,” said Dines.
Dines said that the event is beneficial for Wisconsin technology companies because there are many more start-up technology companies than companies that are ready for the traditional first venture capital round. “Beyond providing a much needed platform for companies barely past the idea stage, this meeting is bringing together seed and venture capital investors with early and later stage technology companies in IT and the life Sciences,” said Dines.
Over 150 people attended the symposium’s pre-event reception last Tuesday with Gov. Jennifer Granholm. She spoke about her commitment to what she coined the “Technology Tri-Corridor.”
In an introductory speech, Dr. David Brophy, director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at The University of Michigan Business School, said that the symposium was started to help strengthen the links between investors, entrepreneurs, business and university communities. Brophy also said the event serves to “shine a light on the significant growth and success of technology firms in the Midwest.”
The symposium hosted a panel discussion on “Growing Midwest Businesses” that identified the five key components that companies in the Midwest need to succeed, including technology, management, capital, culture and infrastructure. Panelists also recommended that Midwest technology companies concentrate on building their image and put an emphasis on showcasing entrepreneurial business success.
A host of Wisconsin companies, including Virent, Eragen, Cellectar, Uclid Software, NeoClone, Precision Information, Precision Golf Systems, Neuron Farm, TFX Biosciences, and Egg Splitters presented their businesses to venture capitalists and investors. Each speaker was given 12 minutes to make a case for their company, and the companies were asked tough questions to determine if they are a good investment deal.