Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is Next Week

By Amanda Lewan on May 13th, 2016 / Comments

One of the top events for entrepreneurs raising funds is coming up. The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will be next week May 17th and May 18th at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti.

This is the 35th year for the symposium, bringing together nearly 40 of the “Best of the Midwest” high growth companies. As part of the event, there’s a University Pitch Track showcasing up and coming startups. More than 450 active investors, founders, and CEOs are expected to attend.

As you may know, Michigan has seen a steady growth in Venture Capital as reported annually by the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Check out this year’s report, which shows an increase of companies receive investment up to 141, 45% more over the last five years. Michigan firms currently have $2.2 billion under management.

David Brophy, founder of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, spoke with us on the upcoming event and changing landscape of investment in Michigan.

What signs of growth have you seen? And what struggles are left to overcome with venture capital in Michigan?

We’ve got lots of demand. Lots of startups. There has been an increasing supply of entrepreneurial people; the universities are seeing lots of students creating companies. People are beginning to come back and also move here. So those are all positive signs. We still have trouble attracting institutional capitals in the the state and outside the estate.

Why should institutions get involved? 

Most institutions are somehow linked to the local population and the local economy in one way or the other. Whether it’s a university endowment or a pension fund, etc, and would benefit from the economic growth investing in startups. 

The health of the economy is fundamental to that relationship. With the 2008 crash and reduction of the impact of the auto industry in the state. Everyone is trying to re-industrialize and figure out what we’re going to do in the absence of the auto industry that is loosing it’s size and impact. The base is entrepreneurship

What are you seeing in terms of out of state investments vs. local investments?

We need more equity capital and capital for growth with local investors. It’s in short supply. When we take money from sources outside the state it is a good sign but it’s also risky. What typically follows is the company moving to where the money is coming from. We give birth to this child and then we find that just when the company gets productive, it goes somewhere else. It’s not good for sustainability.

How is the Growth Symposium helping this community of entrepreneurs and investors? 

It’s the main point of connectivity within the state from those outside the state. What we do and what we’ve always done is give local companies a venue and a forum, an opportunity to show themselves to investors in Michigan and outside Michigan. We draw investors from both coasts, the Midwest, and sometimes other countries. Companies continue to be motivated to participate. They get real results from it.

Check out the upcoming event and more Michigan funding resources in our open directory.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.