We’re proud to introduce our new board chair, Tim Petersen. Tim, who is the managing director at Arboretum Ventures, is responsible for Arboretum’s financial and fund management activities and is a member of its Investment Committee. He has been a venture capital investor for the past 14 years.
Read about Arboretum in a recent Wall Street Journal blog.
“We have the strongest state venture capital association in our region. We’re the envy of our neighbors in this area. My biggest goals are to continue on the momentum we have built over the past ten years in this organization and in this state,” Tim explained, when asked about his goals as board chair. “We’re rising relative to other states nationwide in terms of venture capital under management in firms headquartered in Michigan. Michigan is now around 15th in capital under management nationwide, whereas we were consistently outside of the top 20 ten years ago.”
Our Q& with Tim:
What do you think is a trend to watch in terms of VC in 2012?
Nationwide, venture fundraising has been off significantly the past three years. A lot less capital has been committed to new funds than has been deployed from existing firms, many of which raised those funds in the 2005 to 2007 time period. That situation cannot last forever. Hopefully, the overall contraction of the venture industry is reaching a bottom. As mentioned earlier, Michigan has bucked the nationwide trend pretty well, but ultimately we’re not immune to the broader market. Big notable exits like the Facebook IPO certainly help.
Why do you think VCs should join MVCA?
Well, we’re pretty fortunate right now in that almost all active VC firms in the state are members. So, I guess the question is how the MVCA continues to provide value to our members. One way is through programs that directly benefit our members such as the Michigan Venture Fellows program recently funded by the MEDC, where we are helping member firms identify and hire younger professionals to work within their firms. The MEDC is very excited by this program, as we are helping to identify and train the next generation of venture capitalists in the state. We have four member firms participating in the program in 2012, and hope to add six more firms in 2013-2014.
What’s the biggest perk of MVCA membership?
I don’t think I could name just one. The programs, the networking events, the advocacy we do on behalf of the VC industry at both the state and national level are all important, to name a few.
Are there exciting things going on in Michigan that fellow MVCA members should have on their radars?
I think the depth and breadth of activities are at an all-time high, which is amazing considering the industry is contracting nationwide. New VC firms being started on both the west and east side of the state. There are exciting venture-backed companies across different sectors – energy, biotechnology, technology, medical products.