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Michigan Orgs Awarded $25M to Support Entrepreneurs

August 11, 2011

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently announced the recipients of $25 million in awards from Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund. Each of the eight organizations receiving the awards will use the funding to support Michigan entrepreneurs and technology commercialization. The largest single allotment, $10.8 million, will benefit Ann Arbor SPARK, which plans to replenish its Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund with the award. Other recipient organizations will be offering capital and business assistance around the state.

The 21st Century Jobs Fund is a program of the Michigan Strategic Fund, which is administered by MEDC. Since its creation in 2005, the fund has promoted the commercialization of new technologies and provided capital for startup companies. The current round of awards will support programs at the eight recipient organizations for the next two to three years.

Ann Arbor SPARK is slated to receive $10.8 million, $9.17 million of which will replenish the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. The four year-old program invests in pre-seed stage companies all over Michigan in collaboration with the state's SmartZones. Another $600,000 will cover the administrative costs of the newly-formed Michigan Angel Fund. The remaining $1.05 million will help fund the second annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, which offers more than $1 million in prizes to startup companies through the Business Accelerator Network of Southeast Michigan.

Highlights from the other programs receiving funding include:

  • Biosciences Research & Commercialization Center of Western Michigan University will receive $3.8 million for a statewide pre-seed fund for life science startups.
  • Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center will receive $3.5 million for a Business Accelerator Fund, which will support startups connected with the state's business incubators.
  • Michigan Venture Capital Association will receive $3.1 million for its Entrepreneur-in-Residence and CEO placement programs, a venture fellow program to develop venture capital talent and the Angel Network Groth program.
  • Inforum Center for Leadership will receive $700,000 to implement two programs to support women entrepreneurs, including a technology commercialization program using the ACTiVATE model and a mentor network.
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