February 20, 2014 @ 6:23 am

Drive Capital Recognizes Benefits of Doing Business in the Midwest

There is great venture capital news for the Midwest. Drive Capital has recognized that the next great technology company could come from right here.


“Silicon Valley is great,” he says. “But everyone forgets that 40 years ago it was just apple fields and orchards. When we look around the Midwest, we see a lot of the raw ingredients for what could potentially be a great economic driver for tech, which over time will create great industries.”


Read the whole article.


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February 11, 2014 @ 2:00 am

ArborMetrix Receives Additional $1.3 Million in Series B Financing From Renaissance Venture Capital Fund and Detroit Innovate Fund

National Market Demand for Performance Analytics for Surgical and Specialty Care Surging


ANN ARBOR, MI–(Marketwired – Feb 10, 2014) – ArborMetrix, Inc., a leading provider of real-time healthcare analytics, today announced that it has increased its Series B financing by $1.3 million to allow Renaissance Venture Capital Fund and Detroit Innovate to participate.


The earlier round of Series B financing, announced in July, was led by RPM Ventures (RPM) alongside existing investor Arboretum Ventures. Wolverine Venture Fund also participated in the earlier investment.


The latest investment will accelerate ArborMetrix’s national market expansion to meet surging demand for its proven real-time, risk-adjusted clinical performance analytics tools. ArborMetrix’s analytics enable healthcare providers and payers to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of surgical and other specialty care.


“We have followed the progress of ArborMetrix and have continually been impressed with its innovative approach to healthcare analytics,” says Chris Rizik, CEO of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. “There is an acute need for actionable information that can increase the quality of healthcare and reduce its costs, and ArborMetrix is a pioneer, developing unique tools that will help healthcare providers to address these issues in ways that simply haven’t been possible before. The bar is high for Renaissance to invest directly in a company, but we were so excited by the great promise we see in ArborMetrix that we wanted to be part of it.”


The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is a Michigan-based fund that supports the growth of venture capital in Michigan while serving as a bridge between Michigan’s emerging innovation company community and its strong industrial and commercial base.


“ArborMetrix is positioned extremely well for taking a leadership role in healthcare analytics,” said Adrian Fortino, Vice President of Detroit Innovate. “We look forward to working with the team as they scale up nationally.”


Detroit Innovate is a Southeast Michigan-focused early stage investment fund targeting technologies in the healthcare, transportation, advanced manufacturing and resource efficiency sectors.


ArborMetrix CEO Brett Furst stated, “The local support for enabling fast-paced growth in Michigan companies is incredible. We are very excited to welcome Renaissance and Detroit Innovate into the ArborMetrix fold. Their involvement in accelerating our growth will certainly open up exciting new opportunities for ArborMetrix to expand across the U.S.”


TWEET THIS: .@ArborMetrix secures $1.3 M from @RENVCF, @DetroitInnovate to help expand nationally to meet demand for #clinical performance analytics


About the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
Formed out of the groundbreaking “Road to Renaissance” initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) is the largest privately funded organization of its kind in the US. The investors in Renaissance recognized the importance of venture capital in the economic growth of the State as well as the financial rewards available to investors who mine the treasure of research and innovation present at Michigan’s world-class universities, institutions and corporations. Through its investment in top tier venture firms that are active in Michigan, as well as its own co-investments in emerging Michigan companies, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is helping to drive forward both innovation and growth of emerging companies in the region. For more information, visit http://www.renvcf.com/.


About Detroit Innovate
Detroit Innovate was launched by Invest Detroit as an early stage fund to fuel high-growth companies in the Detroit Region. The fund is part of Invest Detroit’s family of funds that serve as catalysts for targeted economic development. The fund targets enabling technologies in the healthcare, transportation, advanced manufacturing and resource efficiency sectors.

Visit http://www.detroitinnovate.com


About ArborMetrix
ArborMetrix, Inc., based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a healthcare analytics and software firm specializing in quality measurement, cost-efficiency and performance improvement for surgical and other acute hospital and specialty-based care. The company focuses on developing rigorous data analysis and actionable business intelligence solutions that raise the bar on quality, performance, utilization and cost-efficiency for hospitals, health systems, specialty societies, quality collaboratives and health plans. ArborMetrix’s unique, cloud-based technology evolved from groundbreaking research by the company founders on improving the quality of surgical care and econometric performance measurement. For more information, visit www.arbormetrix.com, email info@arbormetrix.com or call 734-661-7944, ext. 7008.


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January 23, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

Beringea invests in UICO, innovator of the world’s most durable touchscreens

Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has announced its fund has led an investment in UICO, an innovator and manufacturer of highly durable touchscreen technology, headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois. The investment will support UICO’s hiring plans and working capital needs as the company continues to grow and produce larger volume programs. Also participating in the financing round were existing investors, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Plymouth Venture Partners, and Chicago-based Hyde Park Angels.


UICO supplies Fortune 1000 clients with the company’s duraTOUCH® touchscreens that work in the harshest environments–withstanding temperature extremes and rough handling–and that perform when wet, and with thick gloves. The company nearly tripled production during 2013, and has established strategic relationships in China and throughout the United States to prepare for significant growth over the next year and beyond. Sectors that benefit from UICO’s highly differentiated touch technology include automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, military, marine, industrial and wearables.


“UICO has a robust, growing customer pipeline in a variety of industries; its superior water and glove touch performance is appealing to many different types of end users.  The proprietary, differentiated products UICO offers, managed by an experienced team, makes this an extremely promising investment for us,” said Mark Donnelly, principal at Beringea.


“Our partnership with Beringea comes at a key time in our company’s growth trajectory,” added Bahar Wadia, CEO of UICO. “We are now well-positioned to capture an even larger portion of the rapidly growing global market for durable touchscreens.”


About Beringea

Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office Beringea LLP, invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.


With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.


In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.


About UICO

UICO is the maker of duraTOUCH®, the world’s most durable PCap touch technology. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch solutions in extreme environments of use. UICO is headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois with key suppliers and manufacturing partnerships worldwide to support a large and growing customer base of leading OEMs in automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, military, marine,  industrial and other commercial product segments. For more information, visit www.uico.com.


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January 14, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

Plymouth Ventures Launches Next Fund

Plymouth Ventures recently announced the launch of Plymouth Venture Partners III (PVP III). With a fund size targeted to be $60 million, PVP III will continue to execute on the same strategy and focus as PVP II. The fund will invest in growth stage businesses located in the Great Lakes region.


After two months of initial fundraising, the new fund completed a $31.6 million first close, with a total of $39 million in signed commitments. Managing Partner Mark Horne stated, “We are excited to launch our next fund. It’s a great time to invest in this region, and we are seeing a steady flow of interesting new opportunities. This strong first close will allow us to seamlessly move from Fund II to Fund III, and continue to invest without interruption.”


Plymouth Ventures also announced the formation of the PVP III Advisory Committee. The initial committee is made up of four PVP III Limited Partners and will expand up to seven at the final close, expected in May or June. Advisory member brief bios are listed below:

Michael T. Monahan (Chairman)
Mike Monahan was a career commercial banker, starting in 1960 at Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit. He held a variety of positions within the bank, ultimately becoming Vice Chairman responsible for all credit and lending activities. In 1990 he was elected President of the bank and its holding company, Manufacturers National, Inc., and remained so until the merger of Manufacturers with Comerica. Mike served as President of Comerica Bank from 1992 to 1999, when he then retired to form Monahan Enterprises, LLC, a consulting and investment company. Mike received a BBA from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Gerry Boylan
Gerry Boylan co-founded Long Point Capital, a middle market private equity firm in 1998. Currently, Long Point has investments in 11 companies with sales of over $700 million and over 3,000 employees. Prior to Long Point, Gerry was Vice President of Business Development for Masco Corporation where he was involved in more than 35 M&A transactions exceeding $2 billion in value. He is a Board Member and past Chairman for Detroit PAL, a non-profit athletic league in Detroit building character in approximately 10,000 children.

William Foster
Bill Foster has helped clients, non-profits and small companies for the past 22 years meet their goals through risk management. Currently advising on over $4 billion in diversified assets, he enjoys the challenge of capital markets around the world. The Foster family has had a long history of private investment over multiple generations, and Bill participates in the active management of those investments through a family office based in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Sean M. O’Donnell, CFA
Sean is a Principal with the Customized Fund Investment Group of GCM Grosvenor based in Birmingham, Michigan. GCM Grosvenor is one of the world’s largest and most diversified independent alternative asset management firms, with over $44 billion in assets under management. Sean has primary responsibility for six Michigan-focused funds which include over $600 million of private equity capital in a broad range of regionally-targeted fund investment, co-investment and direct investment strategies. Prior to joining the Customized Fund Investment Group in 2009 (then a group within Credit Suisse), Sean was a Vice President with Donnelly Penman Capital LLC and responsible for the firm’s private and public investment activities. Sean began his career in Detroit with Deloitte Corporate Finance in 2001. Sean holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, with distinction, a BA from Michigan State University, with high honors, and is a CFA charter holder.


About Plymouth Venture Partners III, L.P.
Fund III is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners I and II, which have collectively invested in 39 companies since 2003. Plymouth Venture Partners III invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region.

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I, Plymouth Venture Partners II, and Plymouth Venture Partners III. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.


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January 8, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Follow-on Investments in Four Portfolio Companies in Q4

Ann Arbor, MI— Plymouth Ventures had an active fourth quarter making follow-on investments in four of its portfolio companies out of Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II. These investments were in the following companies:

InContext Solutions – a software company that supplies virtual simulation software to the market research industry, based in Chicago, Illinois. www.incontextsolutions.com
365 Retail Markets – a Troy, Michigan-based software and hardware provider to vending operators that are putting in unmanned “smartshops” into locations currently served by large vending machine banks. www.365retailmarkets.com
UICO – a multi-featured touchscreen developer that provides highly durable touchscreens that can be used with gloves and while wet, based in the Chicago suburbs. www.uico.com
IDV Solutions – a visualization software company that specializes in the physical security space. Multiple Fortune 100 companies use IDV’s product to manage their physical security operations. IDV is based in Lansing, Michigan. www.idvsolutions.com


Each of these companies was funded in response to their significant growth opportunities. Mark Horne, Plymouth Venture’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “As the PVP II portfolio continues to mature, we are pleased to see our companies grow and develop new opportunities for investment. We love to put more money to work with these winning teams. Each of these companies has created significant value since we originally invested in them. We are excited to partner with them and continue to fund their growth.”


About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.


About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.



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January 2, 2014 @ 11:07 am

Baird Capital Opens Ann Arbor Office, Sees Michigan as Ripe with Potential

When global investment firm Baird Capital announced in 2013 that it was opening a Michigan office, investors – and entrepreneurs – took notice. Not only is the firm’s Ann Arbor office its first outside of a major metro area, it’s being headed up by David Gregorka, whose entrepreneurial roots grow deep in the state.


Before joining Baird Capital, Gregorka was working on several projects with the Office of Tech Transfer at the University of Michigan. He assumed this position after leaving HealthMedia, a venture-backed company he co-founded in Ann Arbor in 1998 that was acquired in 2008 by Johnson & Johnson.


Being deeply entrenched in Michigan’s entrepreneurial eco-system is a differentiator for Gregorka. “I’ve worked with all seven research universities in the state and most of the ecosystem partners, at the state and local levels, and can bring those relationships to bear in building a network in Michigan for Baird,” Gregorka explained. “Although we chose to locate in Ann Arbor, Baird is excited by what we are seeing across the state.”


Baird Capital’s venture capital team invests in early and growth stage companies in tech enabled services and health care. Since its inception, Baird Capital has invested approximately 50 percent from its three funds in Midwest companies.


“We see a strong pipeline of potential investments in Michigan in both IT and health care,” Gregorka explained. “This strong potential is consistent with Baird Capital’s overall investment strategy. As an organization, we are committed to partnering with leading entrepreneurs and helping them build great companies.”


Those partnerships and relationships are key to what Baird is and does – and was a critical factor in the firm’s decision to open an office in Michigan. Gregorka intends to use his experience and existing relationships to help Baird find the best investment opportunities in the state.


“Being here is a chance to work with entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they’re in Baird Capital’s ‘sweet spot’ for investments,” Gregorka explained. “Being a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is something that Baird Capital, as an organization, likes to do. You never know when an entrepreneur or company that isn’t a potential investment today will become a future partner.”


Baird Capital was an early investor in Accuri Cytometers, an Ann Arbor company that had a very successful exit. It is currently invested in Ann Arbor-based Molecular Imaging, a contract research organization that provides services to pharmaceutical companies and conducts small animal imaging studies. The company is on the fast track to success, having just expanded operations to the west coast to run a preclinical imaging center at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, Calif.


Baird Capital’s investment in Molecular Imaging is part of larger pool that also includes Michigan Venture Capital Association member Beringea. Baird typically syndicates with other investors and hopes to increase the deals it does with other Michigan firms.


“Ultimately, finding and making investments in IT services and health care companies – both early and growth stage – is the primary focus of Baird Capital’s work, including our office here in Michigan,” Gregorka said. “As an organization, the Baird team has been in the trenches as venture capitalists and as entrepreneurs, and we know what it takes to be successful. We see Michigan as a ripe environment for future success.”

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December 24, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

ForeSee Results Acquired by Answers for More Than $200 Million

ForeSee Results, Inc., the leader in customer experience analytics was acquired by Answers Corporation, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions that enhance customer acquisition and brand engagement.


“We’re excited about this new phase in our company,” said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee. “Combining with Answers provides ForeSee with a broader platform from which to continue our rapid growth and maintain our position as the dominant player in the Customer Experience Analytics industry.”


Read more about it.



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November 26, 2013 @ 1:33 am

Jim Adox and Venture Investors Charge Full Steam Ahead

Jim Adox and Venture Investors are charging full steam ahead in a challenging economy, and in doing so, are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible here in Michigan. Dreaming big – including the potential for a new, state-sponsored fund of funds – and being willing to work for it are setting Adox and his firm apart, and positioning them for leadership.


Adox joined Venture Investors in 2007 as a managing director and heads up its Ann Arbor office. Venture Investors, founded in 1982, is one of the leading venture capital firms in the Midwest.  It’s focused on making seed and early stage healthcare and technology investments.  With offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Venture Investors is strategically located in the backyards of the nation’s two leading public research universities. The firm is currently investing out of its fifth fund and has more than $200 million under management.


Venture Investors recently made three exciting investments, UpTo, Reshape Medical and NetSocket.  UpTo, a social calendar app that’s generating a ton of buzz, is the firm’s first investment in Detroit, and one that it made in collaboration with Detroit Venture Partners. ReShape Medical is a nonsurgical weight loss company headquartered in Southern California, and NetSocket is a Plano, Texas company focused on software-defined networking solutions (SDN).


Although Venture Investors’ recent deals are diverse having just closed its fifth fund has Adox and his team particularly bullish about Michigan’s future. “It’s a really challenging environment to close funds, and we’re pleased we were able to accomplish it,” he said. “Michigan offers some unique resources, such as the Venture Michigan Fund, that make choosing to raise VC and make investments here appealing. There are a lot more VCs to do deals with and more experienced entrepreneurs, and Venture Investors has a new fund and money to invest. I’m looking forward to making a few more Michigan investments in the next year.”


Adox came to Michigan from the east coast, despite never having heard of Ann Arbor before choosing University of Michigan’s engineering school. “My familiarity with Ann Arbor was tied to Bob Seger’s song about Ann Arbor,  ‘Main Street’,” he said. “Once I got here, though, I didn’t leave. After graduation, I became a gear head in automotive world through an executive engineering program at Chrysler.  I left that position and returned to U-M, where I earned my MBA.”


He left U-M with more than an MBA, though. It was during his MBA program when he was introduced to VC through professors David Brophy, director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, Andy Lawlor, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship and Strategy and Director, Global MBA Projects, and Tom Kinnear, the Eugene Applebaum Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies.  Adox maintains these transformative relationships today.


Adox, who was recently elected chair of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, sees assets like the Venture Michigan Fund, a fund of funds managed by Credit Suisse, as critical to the state’s future success. He also sees the state’s burgeoning entrepreneurial network as a strong indicator of future success.


“The more I’ve gotten involved with MVCA, the more I’ve seen that there’s an opportunity to improve Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Adox explained. “I want to play a role in that. I’ve been here 15 years and have a good idea of where we’ve been and where we can go. I want to do my part to improve the opportunities for everyone – entrepreneurs and VCs alike.”


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October 24, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

Outgoing MVCA Chair Tim Petersen: VC in Michigan Bucking National Trend, Inspiring Startup Culture in State

Tim Petersen sees VC as the spotlight that’s making Michigan shine bright in the national landscape.


“Venture capitalists in Michigan continue to grow in an environment where, in other parts of the country, the industry is contracting,” said a Managing Director of Arboretum Ventures and the outgoing chair of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. “Nationally, statistics are down, but in Michigan, we’ve accelerated venture under management and are getting more deals done compared to most of the rest of the country. What’s exciting is that people – entrepreneurs and other VCs – are taking notice of what’s happening here.”


Now on its third fund, Petersen and his partners have led Arboretum Ventures to incredible success. The organization is a prime example of what’s exciting about Michigan’s VC community right now.


“Arboretum’s core portfolio companies in the third fund, including Tangent Medical Devices, ArborMetrix and NeuMoDx, are looking very promising,” said Petersen, “and they’re all based in Michigan. We don’t just invest in Michigan, but the Michigan companies are really exciting.”


“In the past year, one of our companies, Esperion Therapeutics, went public,” Petersen added. “Two years ago we helped found ArborMetrix and it has outgrown its start-up space and now has prime office space in downtown Ann Arbor.”


In addition to his work at Arboretum, Petersen has served as the chair of the Michigan Venture Capital Association for the last two years. He’s quick to point to the organization’s greatest accomplishment: Bringing up the next generation of venture capitalists and keeping the industry ahead of the national curve.


“The launch of the Michigan Venture Capital Association Venture Fellows Program has been very exciting,” Petersen said. “It has struck a chord with our VC members, and they’re readily utilizing the program. We weren’t sure what to expect when we launched it with MEDC support less than two years ago, and it’s exciting that it has really taken off. Having spent time with the fellows, it’s easy to see that there’s a desire to be in this profession, in Michigan.”


To Petersen, Michigan’s future only looks brighter when considering what’s yet to come. He’s particularly inspired by the growing ranks of serial entrepreneurs in Michigan, and the potential for that trend going forward.  “In recent years, there have been more and more entrepreneurs that are exiting and then starting a new venture,” he said.  “When I talk to students about being an entrepreneur, I always say it’s a profession – it’s a lifelong gig. The good news is that experience makes it easier to grow a successful company, which is why serial entrepreneurs are so important.”


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September 30, 2013 @ 8:27 am

Join MIBB for the Fall 2013 Israel Medical Technology Roadshow

Fall 2013 Israel Medical Technology Roadshow 

Presented by 

The Trendlines Group and OurCrowd


Trendlines, is a leader in developing early-stage Israeli companies, and OurCrowd,  is the Israel-based equity crowd-funding platform for early-stage investment opportunities.The roadshow will feature 6 innovative Israeli start-ups.


Accredited investors and strategic partners are invited to hear presentations, meet the entrepreneurs and to learn more about Trendlines, OurCrowd and the Israel start-up nation story.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Choose your location and rsvp by:

Friday, October 11th


8-10 a.m. in Grand Rapids



4:30-6:30 p.m. in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti


  • CoreBone: a natural bone graft material for enhanced  strength and healing in orthopedic and dental procedures
  • Gordian Surgical: a unique 2-in-1 device that opens and closes incisions during laparoscopic surgery, saving physician time and preventing complications
  • SensoGo: a portable, easy-to-use system for walking pattern analysis in diagnosing orthopedic, sports medicine, and geriatrics (elderly falling risk) disorders
  • SiL Vascular: a next-generation balloon catheter for targeted treatments and improved outcomes of blocked arteries in the limbs

About Michigan Israel Business Bridge

The Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization established to facilitate business and investment opportunities between Michigan and Israel for their mutual economic benefit. MIBB brings new business to Michigan and creates jobs by encouraging Israeli businesses with new technologies to establish their North American business centers in Michigan.

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The MVCA is a non-profit trade organization designed to bring together venture capital industry participants in the state of Michigan. The organization's goal is to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan.
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