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Michigan Venture Capital Association Receives $500,000 for its Venture Fellows Program

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Michigan Venture Capital Association Receives $500,000 for its Venture Fellows Program

The VF Program, with funding support from the state, will help to support the talent needs of venture capital firms in Michigan

 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. – February 28, 2023 – Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA), the trade association for the venture capital and angel community in Michigan, announced today the re-launch of its 2023 Venture Fellows Program thanks in part to a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to provide matching funds for growth of talent in Michigan’s venture firms and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Fellows program was first launched in 2011 with the purpose to increase the number of venture professionals in Michigan and to accelerate the fundraising and deployment of capital in the state.

Although the Michigan entrepreneurial and investment community has been successful in funding and employing professionals representing a diverse demographic, more progress can be made. This grant will allow MVCA to further help Michigan address an investor talent shortage and set a benchmark for the industry that more clearly reflects representative population and the companies they support.

“Talent is essential and a priority for Michigan and the relaunch of the Venture Fellows program will help assist Michigan investor funds to add more staff capacity in order to expand their efforts,” said Ara Topouzian, MVCA’s Executive Director. “This program is meant to ignite a new generation of investors that will hopefully create their own funds and support Michigan’s entrepreneurial community.”

The Venture Fellows Program, which aims to attract and retain investment professionals in Michigan by matching emerging talent with local venture capital firms, has been structured with an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The program objectives are to:

  • Curate a Network of Diverse Talent of Venture Fellows
    • Provide Venture Fellows alumni persistent connection to Michigan entrepreneurial and Venture ecosystem independent of location (methods where Venture Fellows can stay in touch)
    • Provide entry point and onramp for Venture Fellow prospective candidates and publish information to DEI talent pools
  • Establish Michigan Venture Capital Ecosystem as Leader in Diverse Talent
    • Assist Michigan Venture Capital firms into adopting leading DEI policies and practices
    • Enable Michigan Venture Capital firms to hire the next generation of diverse Venture Fellows
    • Create a diverse talent pool of investors that in turn will ensure Michigan’s ecosystem of investments will also be diverse
  • Provide Michigan venture firms with the economic ability to take on junior talent

The 2023 Venture Fellows Program will require candidates to have a track record of actively contributing to building a diverse and inclusive community, a commitment to diversity initiatives, and will incorporate training on diversity and inclusion as part of MVCAcademy, a required one-day training for Venture Fellows. In addition, venture firms who participate in the program will be required to submit a statement regarding their firm’s commitment to building an inclusive entrepreneurial and investment community in Michigan.