Back to Blog April 30, 2018 in

Intel Capital to Headline 37th Annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

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Michigan Growth Capital Symposium 2017
Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, 2017

Top industry speakers and entrepreneurs are scheduled to host Michigan Growth Capital Symposium on May 15-16, including Jim Adox of Venture Investors, Jonathan Murray of Draper Triangle, Tim Peterson of Arboretum Ventures, Kelly Sexton of University of Michigan – Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships, Michael Psarouthakis of University of Michigan – Tech Transfer Venture Center, and Dug Song of Duo Security.

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) announced that Wendell Brooks, senior VP at Intel Corporation and president of Intel Capital, will keynote its 2018 program. The conference will also include panel discussions on venture capital and tech transfer topics led by industry experts, as well as pitch presentations from high-growth Midwest startups. More than 400 entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives are expected to attend for networking, company presentations and panel discussions. The conference has a track record of attracting high-quality investors from around the country.

MVCA is also bringing back its annual invite-only MGCS After-Party for MVCA members and out-of-state investors on Tuesday, May 15!  

Brooks will open the 2018 program. A University of Michigan alum, Brooks is responsible for leading, managing and driving Intel’s M&A strategy and execution, as well as overseeing Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, which makes equity investments in innovative technology startups and companies worldwide in support of Intel’s strategic objectives. He has spent 23 years in the investment banking industry and has deep experience in both the United States and Europe.

“The investment landscape is constantly changing in reaction to the economic and legislative climate both here in the Midwest and the broader United States,” said David Brophy, director of the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan. “The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium allows us the opportunity to hear from world-class speakers and learn from each other while forging and strengthening the relationships that will continue to move the Midwest’s entrepreneurial economy forward.”

In addition to these presentations, attendees will also hear from entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives as they address top issues that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists face in today’s tech transfer, cybersecurity and healthcare environments. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jim Adox, managing director, Venture Investors
  • Jennifer Baird, co-founder Accuri; founder and CEO, TroveAx
  • Sundu Brahamsandra, president, NeuMoDx Molecular
  • Rodney Davenport, CTO, State of Michigan
  • Mark Forchette, president and CEO, Delphinus Medical Technologies
  • Erik Iverson, managing director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
  • Brian Kelly, CEO, Censys
  • Jack Miner, managing director, Cleveland Clinic Ventures
  • Jonathan Murray, managing director, Draper Triangle
  • Rob Owens, managing director, equity research analyst, KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Tim Petersen, managing director, Arboretum Ventures
  • Dan Rhodes, president and CEO, co-founder, Strata Oncology
  • Jeff Schumann, CEO and co-founder, Wiretap
  • Kelly Sexton, associate VP for research, University of Michigan Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships
  • Kurk Skifstad, Ph.D., CEO, ArborMetrix
  • Dug Song, CEO and co-founder, Duo Security

The program will also feature pitch presentations from promising Midwest companies in the life sciences and technology industries that are seeking investment funding. The full list will be announced later this month. There will also be a dedicated tech transfer pitch track, highlighting the innovative companies coming out of the Midwest’s top-tier universities. Confirmed participants include:

  • Karen Deak, Director Network Engagement, University of Notre Dame
  • Andy McColm, Innovation Center, Michigan State University
  • Jack Miner, Cleveland Clinic Ventures, Cleveland Clinic
  • Michael Psarouthakis, Tech Transfer Venture Center, University of Michigan
  • Russ Straate, Office of Tech Commercialization, University of Minnesota
  • Cheryl Turnbill, Venture Capital & New Ventures, Ohio State University

Hosted by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business’ Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, this year’s Symposium will be held May 15-16, 2018 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich.

For more information on MGCS 2018, please visit To find out more about the MVCA After-Party, please contact MVCA Events and Program Manager, Molly Theis, at [email protected].

About the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) is the original university-based venture investment fair, which was first held in 1981. This decades-old nationally attended event is the largest Midwest fair of its kind that brings together venture capital investors, business angels, start-up companies, university tech transfer officers and research faculty. MGCS provides an opportunity for participants from the venture capital community to connect with Midwest start-ups seeking funding and to learn about emerging innovations that span tech and the life sciences. MGCS is presented by the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance and the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

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