Grand Rapids-based Hopen Life Science Ventures has made five investments to date, is near to closing on a sixth, and has a few deals in process. "We'd expect that in the next six months or less to be closing on at least two, possibly three, investments," said Managing Director Mark Olesnavage.
With venture capital tight across the board, Olesnavage notes that there is far more demand for capital than there is available. As a result, there are great deals to be found. "The venture community certainly has more demand for capital than it has capital, in terms of what we invest in life science and health care," he said. "It is a buyer's market in terms of looking at the best deals available when you do have capital."
The market has been revealing co-investment opportunities with limited partners. "When you get to know more about the management, and the company has furthered the development pathway in times of tight capital, that sometimes provides unique opportunities for some of the limited partners within a fund to co-invest," said Olesnavage.
Hopen has found the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium to be a valuable networking resource. Olesnavage suggests that attending entrepreneurs do their research in preparation for the Symposium. "Sometimes it's finding the right partner within the fund," he notes. "Try to get connected with the right person. With the right fund and the right person, that takes some diligence within the entrepreneurial network."