Invest Michigan announced this week that it has invested $275,000 in four early-stage tech startups through the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0. The four startups also secured co-investments worth $3.4 million from private investors, far exceeding the minimum 1:1 matching funds required by Invest Michigan.
“All of the startups we funded look like very promising companies with very strong management,” says Charlie Moret, president and CEO of Invest Michigan. “We look at it as the beginning of a relationship, and we hope to grow with them.”
The companies receiving funding are:
—AdAdapted, $25,000: Based in Ann Arbor, AdAdapted has created a mobile advertising platform that delivers brand messaging without taking the user outside the app.
—Denovo Sciences, $125,000: Plymouth’s Denovo Sciences is a cancer diagnostics company developing tools, like liquid biopsies, that detect cancer cells with greater sensitivity than standard approaches.
—A2B Bikeshare, $25,000: A2B is a kioskless, smart bike-sharing startup located in Ann Arbor
—Tetra Discovery Partners, $100,000: Grand Rapids-based Tetra Discovery is a biotech startup working on a new drug which targets schizophrenia, depression, and other cognitive issues by enhancing memory formation in the brain’s neurons. (Watch for our profile of Tetra Discovery Partners later this week.)
“To have the diversity of technology represented by these four companies is pretty exciting,” Moret says. “It’s indicative of the startups occurring here in Michigan. The fund is still very new; to partner with these companies and help with their financing and support as they grow is very exciting for us.”
Moret says the $6.8 million Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0, established earlier this year, has gotten more than 60 inquiries so far from startups in need of investment capital. He says the fund will often make relatively small investments as part of a larger, syndicated round.
“We’re trying to find companies that demonstrate sustainability in both their technology and business models,” Moret adds. “So far, we’re finding great opportunities. By year’s end, we expect to announce a few more.”