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2017 West Michigan Entrepreneurial Study Highlights Regional Growth of its Entrepreneurial and Investment Community

Research from Michigan Venture Capital Association Shows Strong Pipeline of Venture-Backed Startups in West Michigan

View the 2017 West Michigan Entrepreneurial Study Here!

For Immediate Release – August 21 – Ann Arbor, MICH. – The Michigan Venture Capital Association today announced the findings from its 2017 West Michigan Entrepreneurial Study, a comprehensive analysis of the entrepreneurial and investment community across West Michigan from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids. The study reveals there is a strong pipeline of venture-backed startups throughout company growth stages. These findings highlight the advancement and vibrancy of the region’s entrepreneurial and investment community.

Strong Pipeline of Businesses Shows Solid Foundation for Economic Growth

In the last three years, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of venture-backed startups in West Michigan. The seed, startup/early, and the growth/expansion stages are represented equally with approximately a third of the venture-backed startup companies in West Michigan at each stage of growth. Additionally, the study found 50 percent of the startup companies that have received venture capital funding in the region are life science companies, and 29 percent are information technology companies.  Having a full pipeline of businesses at all stages of growth and across many sectors creates a breadth of opportunities for the people and businesses in Michigan.


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MVCA Executive Director, Maureen Miller Brosnan

“It has become increasingly clear that West Michigan is a leader in innovation, talent, and entrepreneurship and plays a critical role in driving Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community forward,” said MVCA Executive Director, Maureen Miller Brosnan. “West Michigan is a perfect example of a region that’s supporting companies at all stages of

“From the beach to the board room, West Michigan is a marvelous region for entrepreneurs who are looking to build a business, life, and family,” said Craig Hall, serial entrepreneur, investor at Lee Shore Enterprises and chair of the Local Development Finance Authority board governing the Holland SmartZone. “The area embodies the very ideal of the entrepreneurial and investment community’s forward-thinking vision of a high performing and empowering entrepreneurial ecosystem – all wrapped in a beautiful, welcoming and imminently livable environment. In doing so, it uniquely engages its business, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations into an effective collaborative culture helping ensure growing prosperity for years to come.”

2017 West Michigan Study Key Findings

  • There are currently 28 active venture-backed startups in West Michigan; this represents 20 percent of the startup companies growing in Michigan.
  • In the last three years, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of West Michigan startup companies.
  • 50 percent of the startup companies that have received venture capital funding in the region are life science companies, and 29 percent are information technology companies.
  • 36 percent of venture-backed startups in West Michigan are in the seed stage, 28 percent are in the startup/early stage, and 29 percent are in the growth/expansion stage.
  • There are six venture firms headquartered or with an office in the West Michigan; these firms represent 20 percent of the venture capital firms in Michigan.
  • In the last year, 13 startups in West Michigan received more than $58,000,000 from venture capital firms.

For more information and a complete look at the findings, please visit http://michiganvca.org/research/westmi-study/.


About Michigan Venture Capital Association

The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) is a non-profit trade organization designed to increase the amount of capital and talent available to venture and angel investors for the funding of Michigan’s most innovative entrepreneurs, as well as to work closely with them to transform breakthrough ideas into new companies and industries that drive Michigan job creation and economic growth. MVCA membership includes private and corporate venture capital funds, angel investors, universities and economic development organizations, and service providers. More than 400 individuals are members of MVCA, representing over 100 organizations across the nation. For more information, visit www.MichiganVCA.org.

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Posted August 21, 2017 in MVCA NEWS