Grand Angels Spring Reception and Dinner celebrates Jody Vanderwel for 12 years of leadership in Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community.
Grand Angels Spring Reception began with networking over cocktails followed by opening remarks from newly appointed Grand Angels President, Tim Parker. Vanderwel was recognized for her leadership and dedication that has been instrumental to the group’s success since joining in 2005. Attendees were then able to hear presentations from entrepreneurs building high-growth companies.
“I hope everybody in this room realizes when they go to work as an entrepreneur, investor, and as a member of the entrepreneurial community, what you do makes a difference. I am grateful to know everyone in this room. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Vanderwel.
As president, Vanderwel oversaw Grand Angels’ deal sourcing, investing, and portfolio management, and represented the group at networking and educational events across Michigan. In addition to this role, she was also managing partner of Grand Angels Venture Fund II. Vanderwel previously worked in private practice for several years before joining Herman Miller as Corporate Counsel and then Vice President for Corporate Giving.
Vanderwel is currently a member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association Board, the Michigan Accelerator Fund I Advisory Board, the Plymouth Venture Partners Fund III Advisory Board, the Baker Publishing Group Board, and the Fuller Theological Seminary Board. In February of 2014, Governor Snyder appointed her to a four-year term on the Michigan Strategic Fund. She is the former Chair of the Priority Health Board.
“Jody’s visionary leadership has been integral to growing Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community and we are honored to have her as a board member at MVCA,” said Maureen Miller Brosnan, Executive Director of MVCA. “This acknowledgment recognizes the incredible community Jody has built to help drive Michigan’s economy forward.”
Grand Angels invests in enterprises that will not only yield a return but will also have a positive effect on our region through business growth, job creation, and talent attraction and retention. Established in 2004, the group only invests in companies based in Michigan and bordering states.
Since its founding, Grand Angels has achieved a number of accomplishments. Of note, the group has invested $23,236,956 across 105 rounds of financing in 39 growing startup companies in Michigan. Additionally, the group has successfully raised two funds: Grand Angels Co-Investment Fund I ($1,891,000) closed in June 2011 and Grand Angels Venture Fund II ($6,847,222) which closed in January 2015. Grand Angels have more than tripled its members, growing from seven founders to more than 40 members. Among these accomplishments, the group boasts several successful exits, including RG Identics, Accuri, and Gemphire.