Michigan Venture Capital Industry Outpacing National Growth, According to Report

Michigan now has 44 percent more venture capital firms and 86 percent more investment professionals than it did in 2009, according to a report released by the Michigan Venture Capital Association. While the state ranks near the middle of the pack for total venture investment dollars and per capita investment, the size of its venture capital community has shown strong growth over the past five years, led by healthy life science and information technology industries. The total amount of capital under management has also grown, from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion during that period. Investment activity in Michigan appears to be increasingly targeted to smaller deals, resulting in twice as many deals in 2013 as in 2009. Download the report…

Brookings Examines State, Local Options in Financing Clean Energy Development

Inconsistent federal support for clean energy research and infrastructure projects in recent years has hampered the blossoming of an industry that has long been touted as a key part of the new American economy. As a result, states and local governments have stepped into the fray with clean energy funds, green banks and other tools to finance the development of the clean energy economy. A paper from the Brookings Institution explores another underutilized tool available to local governments, the bond market.

MA Group Crafts Strategy to Confront National Decline of Early Stage Bio Capital

Massachusetts’ continuing success in the biopharmaceutical sector depends on finding new ways to fund startup and early stage research activities, according to a new strategic plan released by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio). The report cites recent data showing that life sciences venture capital has fallen by 50 percent over the past five years and many investors have turned to later stage investments. In place of this model of startup funding, the group recommends engagement with a number of alternative funding channels, including angel groups, foundations, wealthy individuals and crowdfunding services. The report also includes a number of other recommendations to improve the environment for new and growing life sciences firms.

Mid-Atlantic, NY Regions Gaining Ground in U.S. Angel Market, According to Report

Together, New York and the Mid-Atlantic region were home to as much angel investment activity as California, according to the 2013 Year in Review edition of the HALO Report, published by Silicon Valley Bank and the Angel Resource Institute. Last year, California continued its reign as the top single region for angel activity, with 18.6 percent of U.S. deals and 19.6 percent of dollars. For the first time however, the combined activity of New York and the other Mid-Atlantic states reached levels similar to California, with 18.6 percent of deals and 19.7 percent of dollars. Activity dipped in New England, the Southeast and the Northwest. Combined activity in the Internet, Healthcare and Mobile & Telecom sectors represented more than three-quarters of all angel deals.

New Commercialization Efforts Launched by Universities, Industry Partners

University-focused initiatives that help bring new technologies and products to market help drive regional economic development and encourage an entrepreneurial culture on campuses. To create stronger connections with the private sector, eliminate barriers between universities and the innovation community, and better support industry needs, some higher education institutions are honing in on entrepreneurship and commercialization activities.

New York Launches $1B Green Bank; Other States Seeking Best Practices

A proposal first announced during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State address came to fruition earlier this month with a request for proposals (RFP) to fund clean energy projects through New York’s newly established green bank. A green bank is a state-sponsored nonprofit lender that provides long-term, low-cost financing support. Its purpose is to increase public-private investing in clean energy while offering consumers lower-cost energy solutions, according to the Green Bank Academy.

New and Public Investors Join Seed and Early Stage Capital Boom

Angel and venture capital firms invested more in seed and early stage companies last year than any time in the past decade (for details see the related Useful Stats article). Seed and early stage companies appear to be generating a great deal of attention from the venture capital industry, even as overall U.S. investment activity remains steady. Both seed and early stage investment continue to grow, a development that a recent CB Insights report attributes to the proliferation of new micro VC funds and multi-stage venture firms. Though year-end numbers are not yet available for angel investing, which represents a major source of financial support for seed and early stage companies, early reports indicate that activity levels continue their trend of steady growth.

Useful Stats: U.S. Seed and Early Stage Venture Capital Investment by State, 2008-13

Last year, U.S. venture capitalists invested about $10.7 billion in seed and early stage companies, 17.1 percent higher than 2012, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Moneytree survey.  Though the overall venture capital (VC) market has returned to about the same level of activity as before the economic crisis, investment in seed and early stage companies has grown by more than a third. Most of this increase is attributable to growth in early stage investment, but seed activity has grown as well (as discussed in another article).

Useful Stats: U.S. Venture Capital Per Capita and Share of National Total by State, 2008-13

After hitting an all-time high in 2012, California’s dominance of the nation’s venture capital activity receded a bit last year. California continues to receive about half of the country’s venture investment dollars and about 40 percent of its dealflow, but in 2013, the state’s share of dollars fell from 53 to 50 percent, according to data from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association (PwC/NVCA) Moneytree survey. Massachusetts, which has been host to about 10 percent of national venture activity in past years, also saw its share of total U.S. activity decline. Gains in second tier venture capital states appear to account for the shift, including upticks in Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia. Massachusetts continue to lead the country in terms of dollars and deals per capita, though for the first time that lead was threatened by the rise of Washington, D.C., as a venture capital hotspot.

Ontario’s New Public-Private Fund-of-Funds Could Raise $300M

Ontario officials launched a new fund-of-funds this week intended to boost capital resources for high-tech companies. The Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is a privately led initiative, supported by federal and provincial funds. The governments of Canada and Ontario have agreed to make a combined capital commitment of $1 for every $2 secured from the private sector. Current commitments total $217.5 million CAD ($195.4 million USD), but leaders hope to match the government’s maximum match level of $300 million CAD ($269.6 million USD) in a second closing later this year. Read the announcement…


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