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MVCA Honors VCs, Companies at 2014 Annual Awards Dinner

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — NOVEMBER 17, 2014 – Ann Arbor, Mich. — At its annual awards dinner on December 1, 2014, the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) will honor ForeSee Results with the Best Exit Award, ProNAi Therapeutics with the Financing of the Year Award, Detroit Labs with the “100” Award and Michael Finney with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In the most recent research report, MVCA reported that the number of venture-backed companies in Michigan grew 111 percent in the last five years; indeed, there’s much to celebrate in terms of startups and activity happening in the state,” said Emily Heintz, MVCA associate director. “The MVCA awards shine a spotlight on Michigan’s entrepreneurial community.”

The MVCA Annual Awards Dinner attracts attendees from across the nation to celebrate the success of the venture capital community in Michigan.  In addition to featuring awardees, the MVCA Annual Awards Dinner will include a keynote by Shinola president Jacques Panis. Tickets for the 2014 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner are available for purchase online.

ForeSee Results, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is an online customer experience analysis firm.  ForeSee is being recognized as MVCA’s Best Exit for the company’s tremendous growth in Michigan and its acquisition by Answers Corporation. This was Answers’ largest acquisition to date.

Based in Plymouth Township, Mich., ProNAi makes cancer drugs.  The company is being recognized with MVCA’s Financing of the Year award for raising $59.5 million in growth capital.  ProNai’s success is remarkable; it was the largest amount of venture capital ever raised at one time in Michigan.  As part of this fundraise, the company, and supporting Michigan-based venture firms, was successful in bringing a large amount of money into Michigan from outside of the state.

Detroit Labs, based in Detroit, Mich., is an organization of talented mobile app designers and developers.  Detroit Labs is being recognized by MVCA with the 100 Award for launching its 100th app. The company’s innovations include apps for Domino’s Pizza, DTE Energy, and Chevy. In the last year, Detroit Labs grew its team to 45 employees and expanded out of its startup space.

Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), based in Lansing, Mich., is being honored with MVCA’s Lifetime Achievement award for his ongoing support of venture capital firms in Michigan, and for his support of the state’s startups.  In the last 10 years, he has been actively involved in the establishment of several initiatives that have grown the venture capital community in Michigan into what it is today, including the 21st Century Investment Fund, the Life Science Corridor Program, and the Pure Michigan Venture Development Fund. The Pure Michigan Venture Development Fund invested in four new venture capital funds in Michigan – Resonant Capital, Michigan eLab, Detroit Venture Partners, and Detroit Innovate.

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 venture capital firms, corporate venture 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.

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