The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) provides vital support to the state's VC and angel investment communities. The organization has over 200 individual members representing over 70 private and corporate VC funds, angel investors, private equity firms and entrepreneurial infrastructure participants. "The MVCA has been very successful in the state of Michigan, probably the most successful organization of its type in the Midwest," said MVCA Board Chair and Arboretum Ventures Managing Director Tim Petersen. "Our organization gives businesses from outside the state of Michigan access to other venture capitalists in the state, and organizes meetings for venture capitalists, law firms and accountants who are active in the state."
The MVCA's core service program, Venture Upstart, is funded by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant. It offers a suite of services to support Michigan's VC community by assisting entrepreneurs, angel groups, venture capitalists and portfolio companies. One component, the Executive in Residence Program, offers experienced entrepreneurs the opportunity to join a venture firm. The CEO Placement Program works to increase the number and quality of venture-backed executives in the state. Venture Upstart's MI Venture Fellows Program is supporting Michigan's next generation of VC's, and the Angel Network Growth Program supports the state's established angel groups, helping to attract members and increase deal flow.
The missions of the MVCA and the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) are closely aligned. "The MVCA is more than proud to be a sponsor of the Symposium," said Petersen. "Although the MGCS is not our event, it is tightly linked to what our organization is trying to do. W'’re helping promote venture capitalists and our portfolio companies in the state of Michigan."
While the VC industry has been struggling nationwide, the MVCA and MGCS are thriving in the state of Michigan. "There are many people who assist with both organizations. I don't think it's a surprise that they mutually benefit each other," said Petersen. He notes that MGCS attendance has grown in the past decade, reflecting continual evolution of the event. "In the Midwest it's really become one of those events where people put it on their calendar, because its going to be a very efficient couple of days seeing excellent companies and catching up with fellow investors."