March 10, 2014 @ 6:19 am

Jim Adox on Comcast Newsmakers‏

Our board chair, Jim Adox was recently interviewed by Laurel Hess on Comcast Newsmakers. They discussed the venture capital atmosphere in Michigan and how investments in the state are on the rise.

 

The interview will air in a rotation on Headline News at :24 and :54 past the hour, the week of March 17th.

 

You can also watch the interview online now.

 

 

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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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November 5, 2013 @ 4:03 am

MVCA Honors VCs, Deals at Annual Meeting; Names New Chair, Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 5, 2013 – Ann Arbor, Mich. – At its annual meeting, the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) awarded Best Financing to Esperion, the MVCA 100 to FutureNet, Best Exit to Pioneer Surgical Technology and Lifetime Achievement to Tom Kinnear.  It also announced its 2014 executive committee and board of directors.

 

“The last year affirmed Michigan’s reputation as a destination for innovation-based businesses and the VCs that back them,” said Carrie Jones, MVCA’s executive director.  “Even as venture capital declined nationally, access to capital increased in Michigan. There are amazing companies accomplishing amazing things here, and MVCA’s annual meeting is a chance to celebrate those individuals and organizations that are part of that success story.”

 

Esperion, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing first-in-class, oral, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering therapies for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, was honored with MVCA’s Financing of the Year award.  In June, Esperion issued an initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market.

 

MVCA honored FutureNet with its 100 Award for achieving $100 million in revenue this year. FutureNetGroup is a Detroit-based energy and environmental, construction, technology, and security company that provides infrastructure improvement and protection through innovative technologies.

 

Pioneer Surgical Technology was awarded by MVCA as the Best Exit. In 2013, the Marquette-based company was successfully acquired by RTI Biologics. The acquisition created a global surgical implant company positioned for growth in orthopedics and biologics.

 

Tom Kinnear was honored by MVCA for his lifetime achievement. Kinnear is the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  He previously served as executive director of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition to his teaching, Kinnear supports the U-M Office of Tech Transfer and is chairman of the state-backed Venture Michigan Fund. He also is active in the entrepreneurial community as a co-founder, advisor, angel investor, and Board member of startup companies, including: Network Express, BlueGill Technologies, Accuri Instruments, Avail Networks, Avidimer Therapeutics, Mobius Microsystems, Janeeva, nanoCerox, and NanoBio. He is also a limited partner in Apjohn Ventures, Arbor Partner Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, EDF Ventures, and RPM Ventures. He is a member of the investment committee for EDF Ventures and for Arboretum Ventures.

 

At its annual meeting and awards dinner, MVCA also announced its 2014 board of directors.  Jim Adox of Venture Investors will serve as the organization’s board chair.  Other board members serving 2014-2015 are:

  • Josh Beebe, MK Capital
  • Hugo Braun, North Coast Technology Investors
  • Pete Farner, TGap Ventures
  • Patricia Glaza, Arsenal Ventures
  • Tony Grover, RPM Ventures
  • Mark Horne, Plymouth Venture Partners
  • Tom Kinnear, University of Michigan Ross School of Business
  • Jon Lauckner, GM Ventures
  • Mark Olesnavage, Hopen Life Sciences Ventures
  • Tim Petersen, Arboretum Ventures
  • Jeff Rinvelt, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
  • Ted Serbinski, Detroit Venture Partners
  • Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Jody Vanderwel, Grand Angels

 

About the MVCA
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.  Membership includes private venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds, private equity firms, angel investors, and entrepreneurial infrastructure participants.  The MVCA is a vehicle to bring together industry participants and to provide a concerted voice for Michigan’s venture capital industry.  www.michiganvca.org

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April 4, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

NetSocket Secures $9.2 Million Series B Round Of Funding

Investment To Fuel Company Expansion Into SDN Market

 

NetSocket, a leading provider of network service assurance solutions for unified communications (UC), announced today that the company has secured $9.2 million in Series B funding. The round was led by new investor Venture Investors, with participation by existing investors Sevin Rosen Funds, Silver Creek Ventures and Trail Blazer Capital.

 

The new capital will be used to accelerate the launch of a new solution, aimed at the dynamic and growing Software Defined Networking (SDN) market. The product announcement and launch are planned for this summer. “NetSocket has been innovating in the Unified Communications (UC) service assurance solutions space, as evidenced by the traction generated from our recently announced expanded collaboration with Microsoft. NetSocket’s Cloud Experience Manager (CEM) now optimizes Microsoft Lync UC service management and user’s experience,” said John White, president and CEO of NetSocket. “We plan to apply that same innovation and focused vision to the SDN market which we expect to experience explosive growth this year.”

 

Joining the Board of Directors at NetSocket will be Jim Adox, managing partner at Venture Investors. “NetSocket has the right mix to become a major market force; a proven leadership team experienced in service assurance and networking technologies, an incredible portfolio of intellectual property and patents, along with a strong communications-focused syndicate of investors,” commented Jim. “I’m very excited about how the new solution will apply the power of NetSocket’s service assurance, routing and policy control software into virtualized networks in an SDN architecture.”

 

About NetSocket
NetSocket is a leading innovator of network service assurance solutions, providing a trouble-free unified communications experience in enterprise and service provider environments. For more information, visit www.netsocket.com.

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November 8, 2011 @ 1:12 am

Michigan Venture Capital Association appoints 2012 Board of Directors, recognizes members at Annual Dinner

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) celebrated a year of individual, company, and statewide industry achievement at its Annual Dinner held November 7 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Over 145 members of the Michigan venture community attended the evening event, where incoming Chairman Tim Petersen introduced members of the organization’s 2012 Board of Directors. They include:
• Tim Petersen (Chairman), Arboretum Ventures
• Ron Reed (Vice Chairman/Past Chairman), Seneca Partners
• Jim Adox, (Vice-Chairman/Treasurer), Venture Investors
• Jeff Bocan, Beringea
• Hugo Braun, North Coast Technology Investors
• Pete Farner, TGap Ventures
• Mark Horne, Plymouth Management Company
• Tom Kinnear, U-M Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute
• Jon Lauckner, GM Ventures
• Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
• Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK
• Mina Sooch, Apjohn Ventures
• Jody Vanderwel, Grand Angels
• Ken Van Heel, Dow Chemical Company
• Donald Walker, Arbor Partners

Pete Farner, Mark Horne and Jon Lauckner are new to the board and begin three-year terms while former director John McIlwraith of Blue Chip Venture Company completes his board involvement after a six-year term.

“It was a wonderful evening that really celebrated the best of the best in our industry,” said Merrill Guerra, Executive Director of the MVCA. “We’re pleased so many venture investors, portfolio company executives, development officials and other supporters could join us, showing the growth and success the venture capital community has demonstrated in Michigan.”

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

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November 30, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

MVCA Talent Committee charting course for talent retention, growth

Members of the MVCA Talent Committee are preparing for a busy 2011.  Among the group’s initiatives–sustaining the EIR/CEO Placement program, creating a new MVCA Fellowship program aimed at recent advanced degree graduates of in-state universities, and continuing the popular “Super HotShots” talent recruiting night.

MVCA Talent Committee

MVCA Talent Committee Members Jim Adox, Amy Cell and Tim Petersen

The committee members include:  Jim Adox, Venture Investors; Amy Cell, Ann Arbor SPARK; Tim Petersen, Arboretum Ventures; and Jeff Barry, Plymouth Management Partners.

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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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