Back to Blog January 09, 2012 in

MVCA PRESS RELEASE: Two new MVCA Executive-In-Residence awardees chosen

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ANN ARBOR, MICH.—Two MVCA member firms were recently awarded a loan from the organization’s Executive in Residence (EIR)/CEO Placement Program, marking the first distributions from the program’s new Venture Upstart II allocation from the MEDC.  Plymouth Ventures and RPM Ventures will welcome executives Kevin Terrasi and Kurt Skifstad respectively into their firms for a period of deal sourcing and advisement, with an ultimate goal of placing that executive in a leadership role at a portfolio company.

“We’re excited to relaunch the EIR/CEO Placement Program, which has been one of our most popular programs for members,” said Merrill Guerra, Executive Director of the MVCA.  “We’ve chosen two firms who are committed to keeping our entrepreneurial talent in the state.  This program continues to make a difference to the many executives in our market who might otherwise have had to leave the state to find compelling leadership opportunities in their entrepreneurial niches.”

Terrasi and Skifstad both bring operational experience to their venture firm sponsors. Terrasi joins Plymouth following his tenure as Vice President of Engineering and a Director of Pump Engineering, Inc./LLC (PEI), a Plymouth Ventures Fund I portfolio company which was sold in 2009 to Energy Recovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII).  Skifstad, Executive-In-Residence at RPM Ventures, has founded, co-founded, or been part of the senior management team of multiple ventures, including three firms that were acquired, one that went public, and two companies that are still operating.  In addition to his operating experience, Skifstad mentored entrepreneurs in his position at University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer and teaches a senior‐level class on entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and attended the Executive Education Program at U-M’s Ross School of Business.

About the MVCA EIR/CEO Placement Program
Billed as a talent attraction and retention program, the EIR/CEO Placement program was developed in 2007 to help Michigan venture firms support the eventual placement of an EIR into a portfolio company’s operations post-investment or find and hire a qualified CEO candidate for a portfolio company.  In 2011, the MVCA received a second 21st Century Jobs Fund award from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to renew its EIR and CEO Placement programs.  This grant award allows the MVCA and the MEDC to work together to foster an environment to help entrepreneurs and Michigan-based venture-backed companies succeed.  Under the EIR program, Michigan venture capital firms may apply for a loan award to assist with the first year salary of an EIR.  Under the CEO Placement program, the loan award may be used to pay the one year salary of a newly recruited CEO in one of their Michigan-based portfolio companies.  The CEO Placement loan award may also be applied toward the recruiting fees incurred in finding an entrepreneurial CEO.

For information about the MVCA EIR or CEO Placement programs, visit or contact Merrill Guerra at 734.929.9970.

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 private venture capital funds, corporate venture capital 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.

About Plymouth Ventures Fund II
Plymouth Ventures Fund I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Ventures II is actively looking to invest in strong early expansion-stage companies in the Great Lakes region. Plymouth has four partners: Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Bob Savage, and Jeff Barry, with offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. Visit for more information.

About RPM Ventures
RPM Ventures, founded in 2000, is a seed and early stage venture firm with $75 million under management. RPM concentrates its investing in Information Technology, taking advantage of the firm’s West Coast experience and Midwest roots.  The combination of these positions RPM to bring a grounded perspective to its investing that reflects an integration of Silicon Valley culture and relationships with Midwest values and network. RPM is a founding investor in numerous deals, often investing before there is a product or management team in place. Additionally, RPM is a valuable investing partner for companies within sectors in which the firm has specific expertise, including: Retail Automotive Software, Solutions for Industrial and Retail enterprises, E-commerce, Online Marketplaces, Cloud and Social Media Infrastructure, and spinouts from leading research universities. For more information, visit