Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) hosted the 2017 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner on November 15, 2017 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to celebrate the organization’s 15-year anniversary. With a record-breaking attendance of nearly 300 individuals from across the country, the event was a full-filled awards ceremony that focused on highlighting the strengths of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community: capital, research, community, and talent.
The evening began with a networking reception and welcoming remarks from new MEDC CEO, Jeff Mason. After attendees sat down for dinner, MVCA Executive Director, Maureen Miller Brosnan, kicked off the ceremony by honoring special attendees in the audience who have been critical to the success of the organization: the MVCA Board of Directors and MVCA Founders. She also recognized the incredible accomplishments and growth of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community citing research from the MVCA Annual Research Report.
In the last 15 years, Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community achieved:
- a 200 percent increase in the number of startup companies receiving venture capital investment.
- a 150 percent increase in the amount of capital invested in local startups.
- a 300 percent increase in the number of venture capital firms.
- a 700 percent increase in capital under management.
That said, Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community had much to celebrate! MVCA Chairman and Managing Partner of RPM Ventures, Tony Grover, then took the stage and started the commencement of the awards celebrating the 2017 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner Nominees.
Capital Event of the Year
Serial entrepreneur and investor, Mina Sooch, and Director of Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Seun Oyewole, presented the Capital Event of the Year Award. The Capital Event of the Year Award recognizes innovative companies that are revolutionizing industries. Capital Event of the Year Nominees included LLamasoft, Deepfield, and Cirius Therapeutics.
And the award goes to… LLamasoft!
Community Impact Award
Endeavor Detroit Managing Director, Antonio Luck, and Grand Circus CEO and Cofounder, Damien Rocchi, presented the Community Impact Award – a new award to recognize organizations, events, or individuals that create the meaningful, effective connections necessary to build Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy. Community Impact Award Nominees included Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, and Techstars Mobility.
And the award goes to…Michigan Growth Capital Symposium!
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Director of New Economy Initiative, Pamela Lewis, and Chief Storyteller of the City of Detroit, Aaron Foley, presented the Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Entrepreneur of the Year recognizes entrepreneurs who are fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial community in Michigan. Entrepreneur of the Year Nominees included Duo Song and Jon Oberheide of Duo Security, Kalyan Handique of Celsee Diagnostics, and serial entrepreneur, Dan Gilbert.
And the award goes to…Dug Song and Jon Oberheide of Duo Security!
Lifetime Achievement Award
Partner of Plymouth Growth Partners, Evan Ufer, and Manager, Strategic Opportunities of UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Adrian Ohmer – both former awardees of the Up & Coming Investor Award – presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lifetime Achievement Nominees included Ian Bund, Mike Jandernoa, and Jody Vanderwel.