Venture capitalists have a valuable resource in the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer. According to Executive Director Ken Nisbet, many in the VC community have remarked on the university's high quality startups in terms of a quality and impact. "We take university discoveries and license them to different companies," he said. "We help create company licenses and assist in building them. We have a very large research budget and conduct multiple startups a year. U-M is among the top ten universities in terms of the quantity of university-based startups that are licensed and launched."
Several success stories have come out of the office in recent months. Tangent Medical Technologies secured $8.6 million after receiving FDA approval for its NovaCath IV device. NanoBio raised an $11 million Series C round, boosting its total funding to over $130 million. MedHub, Inc. signed 11 new enterprise contracts this year and has plans to hire aggressively in 2013. Virginia-based learning technology company Echo 360 recently acquired U-M startup LectureTools.
Nisbet said that the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) has played a large role in fostering growth of university-based startups. It provides startups with a premier pitching platform and valuable networking opportunities. In turn, he notes, startups from the U-M Office of Technology Transfer contribute to the robust presentation schedule, helping to attract investors. "MGCS helps everyone. We help the event and the event helps us," said Nesbit.
For more information on the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, visit www.techtransfer.umich.edu.