With record attendance, the 2015 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner focused on the tremendous growth of the entrepreneurial and investment community in Michigan and the broader Great Lakes Region. Our Executive Director Maureen Miller Brosnan welcomed our members and guests to an evening of celebration and reflection, and took a moment to recognize some special guests in attendance: our amazing board of directors, including incoming chairman Tony Grover, of RPM Ventures, incoming treasurer & chairman elect, Mark Olesnavage of Hopen Life Science Ventures, and several members of our state legislative community.
Keynote speaker Gregg Kaplan, Operating Partner at Pritzker Group Private Capital in Chicago, spoke about the power of a strong corporate culture and lessons he learned as Founder and Former CEO of Redbox DVD Rental. Then, Jan Garfinkle, founding partner at Arboretum Ventures and member of the National Venture Capital Association board of directors, introduced an exciting new video showcasing the Great Lakes Region’s rapid growth trajectory:
The video set an exciting tone for the awards portion of the evening, during which the audience heard some of Michigan’s greatest success stories. Each of the 2015 winners have contributed to the betterment of our state; they’ve taken hold of the momentum that’s been growing over the last decade and worked hard to build on it. Arboretum Ventures broke state fundraising records – putting Michigan on the map while funding technology that will save lives. Duo Security will put more than 200 Michigan residents to work before the end of 2015, changing the lives of our friends and neighbors one new job at a time. Mina Sooch worked tirelessly to nurture Michigan startups – and created several successful companies in her wake. MVCA also recognized Tom Porter, who has spent the last 30 years building Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community – guiding and inspiring our young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. And for the first time, the Michigan Venture Capital Association recognized the next generation of investment genius with the Up & Coming Investor of the Year Award which was earned by Detroit Innovates, Adrian Ohmer.
Meet our 2015 Awardees:
The evening wouldn’t have been possible without this year’s amazing sponsors!