VC Activity in MI Nearly Doubled in 2014, Beating National Trend

Venture capital activity in Michigan nearly doubled in 2014, according to the MoneyTree report released last week by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). There was $219 million in venture capital invested in Michigan startups last year, compared with $111 million in 2013. Michigan’s rate of increase far exceeds the national average: 97 percent, compared with 61 percent.

Maureen Brosnan, the new executive director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, says 2014’s growth is part of a continuing trend. “Capital is still very much available in Michigan,” she says. “Ten years ago, the decision was made to establish state-sponsored VC funds, and those investments continue to pay off.”

The NVCA ranked Detroit 38th on its list of 160 U.S. metro areas with the most VC activity, with $106 million total invested. Ann Arbor was ranked 46th, with $67 million invested; the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area was ranked 63rd, with $31.4 million; Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland was ranked 86th, with $13.6 million; and Lansing was ranked 147th, with $850,000. Flint even made the list—it was ranked 157th, with $50,000 invested.

Brosnan predicts Michigan’s explosive VC growth will continue. In 2015, she says the MVCA will work to build relationships with institutional investors, who proved to be pivotal in pulling Detroit from bankruptcy. “I want to expand their understanding of what venture capital can bring to Michigan’s economy.”

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