In 2017, MVCA was thrilled to present the 10th MVCA Annual Research Report, reflecting Michigan’s venture capital community in 2016. We had much to celebrate last year – as shown during the 2017 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner – and all indications point to the long-term vitality of the entrepreneurial community in Michigan. However, findings showed we still have work to do to ensure there remains a robust capital continuum for Michigan’s entrepreneurs and their growing companies. The ability to adequately fund companies at all stages of growth is an important milestone our community will strive to meet in 2018 and the coming years.
MVCA reached out to members of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community to hear their thoughts and perspectives on trends they think will gain momentum in 2018. In this blog post, we have responses from Komal Doshi (Ann Arbor SPARK), Hirak Parikh (University of Michigan), Chris Stallman (Fontinalis Partners), Jim Tenzillo (Invest Michigan), and Jake Simon (Fontinalis Partners & MVCA Venture Fellow). While we don’t know for sure what the new year will bring, if even a fraction of these come true, there’s exciting activity happening in Michigan!
Komal Doshi, Ann Arbor SPARK
“As we move into 2018, we will continue to see innovations in connected platforms, artificial intelligence, autonomous technology, security applications, alternate energy, shared mobility and optimization solutions. There will, however, be an increased focus on how we create systemic architectures on one hand and personalized, people-focused experiences on the other. Additionally, the nature of partnerships in 2018 will be multi-player and action-oriented, focusing on pilots and deployments, and capturing validated learning from these initiatives.”
Hirak Parikh, Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund
“It is hard to predict the specific winners. We’ll see more and more progress on the electric-autonomous car front with early-adopters making the leap first. Subtle changes will be less on the road than in infrastructure and legislation that will be making the connected-smart car more ubiquitous. In general, we’ll see more Coastal interest and investment in the Ann Arbor-Detroit startup corridor leading to our local companies becoming more nationally famous.”
Chris Stallman, Fontinalis Partners
“I believe 2018 will see further investment activity and exits in robotics and automation—autonomous vehicles are an easy example, but also industrial and business process automation.”
Jim Tenzillo, Invest Michigan
“With Bitcoin’s rise, there is a lot of hype today around the financial application of blockchain, but I think the use of blockchain in other industries will grow substantially in 2018.”
Jake Simon, Fontinalis Partners
“Advancements in proven technologies are laying the groundwork for the future state of mobility. Autonomous vehicles, ubiquitous connectivity, smart logistics, and drone operations are only a handful of the various sectors that will continue thriving in 2018 due to innovation in software, AI, VR/AR, robotics, and more. We are only beginning to revolutionize mobility and believe Michigan is uniquely positioned to drive global growth as an enabling agent of the industry.”