Back to Blog August 27, 2018 in

Michigan Venture Capital Association Announces 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner Nominees

Navigate all the resources featured in the Landscape Guide by geographic location, industry sector, and organization type. Landscape Guide
Everything you need to know to make a meaningful first connection can be found in our 2021-22 Landscape Guide! Download the Guide

2023 MVCA Research Report

Our state's entrepreneurial economy hinges on our ability to provide capital to our high-growth, high-potential companies. Download the Report

Governor Rick Snyder to Kick Off Start MI Up: Michigan Ventures Forward at Awards Ceremony Recognizing Innovators in Michigan’s Entrepreneurial & Investment Community

Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA), the nonprofit trade association founded in 2002 to increase the amount of capital and talent for Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community, will host the 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner with Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Eastern Market in Detroit. 

The 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner attracts nearly 300 attendees from across the country to celebrate the companies, talent, and capital emerging from the region. This year, Governor Rick Snyder will co-host the MVCA Annual Awards Dinner to kick off a multi-day networking event called Start MI UP: Michigan Ventures Forward presented by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Designed to showcase the state’s growing investment opportunities in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Start MI Up is being held in conjunction with the MVCA Annual Awards Dinner and Renaissance Venture Capital Fund’s UnDemo Day.

“The nominees recognized at this year’s awards dinner are creating a bright future for Michigan,” said Chairman of the MVCA Board of Directors and Arboretum Ventures Managing Director, Tom Shehab.  “We’re thrilled to honor the achievements of the entrepreneurial and investment community that will have a lasting impact on Michigan’s economy.”

The awards ceremony recognizes individuals, companies, and organizations who have powered the growth of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community. MVCA members will vote to select the winners for the Exit of the Year, Community Impact Award and Up-and-Coming Company of the Year categories. The Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has helped build the foundation of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community, will be selected by the MVCA Board of Directors. All awardees will be announced live at the dinner.

“Michigan has always been a pioneer for entrepreneurship and we’re proud to celebrate the investors, entrepreneurs, and organizations who are building on this legacy,” said MVCA Executive Director, Maureen Miller Brosnan. “We’re proud to work alongside Governor Snyder, MEDC and Renaissance Venture Capital Fund to shine a light on the incredible talent, research and ideas in the state.”

2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner Nominees

Exit of the Year

  • Duo Security is an Ann Arbor-based cybersecurity company that offers a security platform to help prevent cybersecurity breaches. Cisco announced its intent to acquire the company for $2.35 billion to integrate its network, device, and cloud security platforms with Duo’s authentication and access products.
  • nuTonomy is a Boston-based mobility company founded by two world-renowned experts in robotics and intelligent vehicle technology, Karl Iagnemma, a Michigan native, and Emilio Frazzoli of MIT. With Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners as a lead investor for both its Seed and Series A rounds, Delphi acquired the company for $450 million to scale and deliver autonomous vehicles throughout the country.
  • SPLT is a Detroit-based mobility company that provides a carpool app for employers to offer as a benefit to employees. The company was acquired by Bosch for an undisclosed amount to expand throughout Latin America.

Community Impact Award

  • Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, a program of ID Ventures, is a competition that supports Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their companies to investors while building connections with entrepreneurs, business acceleration resources, and experts in their sector during carefully curated individual meetings.
  • Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is a fund of funds that supports the growth of venture capital in Michigan.  For every $1 Renaissance has deployed during its past nine years, it has helped attract $17, or a total of $1.3 billion of investment, back into the State of Michigan.
  • TechTown is an incubator and accelerator with a full suite of programs for tech startups and local businesses.  In the last 10 years, TechTown has served nearly 2,000 companies, which created more than 1400 jobs and raised more than $130 million in capital.

Up-and-Coming Company of the Year

  • Blue Medora is a Grand Rapids-based software company founded by Carl B. Erickson and Nathan Owen that provides monitoring integration software for application performance, cloud and database management platforms.
  • Clinc is an Ann Arbor-based IT company founded by Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang that offers a global conversational AI training platform deploying the next generation of natural language processing and deep learning technology for enterprises.
  • May Mobility is an Ann Arbor-based mobility company founded by Edwin Olson, Alisyn Malek and Steve Vozar that unlocks a better life today with self-driving transportation.
  • Strata Oncology is an Ann Arbor-based life sciences company founded by Dan Rhodes, Scott Tomlins and Keith Flaherty that is transforming cancer care by systematizing precision oncology across a large network of health systems and pharma companies.

To register for the 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner and find out more information about Start MI Up: Michigan Ventures Forward and Renaissance Venture Fund UnDemo Day, please click here.

About Michigan Venture Capital Association

The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) is a nonprofit trade organization founded in 2002 to increase the amount of capital and talent available to venture and angel investors for the funding of Michigan’s most innovative entrepreneurs. The organization works closely with entrepreneurs 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

Press Contact:
EntryPoint for Michigan Venture Capital Association
[email protected]