The halls of the Ypsilanti Marriott Resort were abuzz yesterday as investors, entrepreneurs and members of the innovation community descended upon the hotel for Day 1 of the 30th anniversary Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. Over 250 people attended, with more expected to join on Day 2.
The afternoon program kicked off with two tracks of presenting companies. In the IT/Technology track, company representatives pitched a standing-room only crowd of investors for funding. Buycentives, a one-to-one marketing incentive tool, and LocalOrbit, a web platform that streamlines the process of buying/selling local food, were among them. During a concurrent session, companies from the Medical Device/Technology Track presented next door. Among them was a favorite from the Michigan Business Challenge, Reveal Design Automation.
Following the presentations, attendees then heard a compelling discussion on early stage investing, featuring leaders in the local angel (Walter Young, Swift Biosciences), venture capital (John McIlwraith, Allos) and entrepreneurial (Jennifer Baird, Accio Energy) communities. The conversation covered a wide range of important topics, from how long it takes an investor to make a decision on and close a deal, to how angels and VCs work together on deals, what to look for in board members, and why, sometimes, entrepreneurs needs to walk away from funding.
After a networking cocktail reception where attendees mingled in a packed crowd, Day 1 came to a close. For more on all that went down, follow #MGCS on Twitter, and check back on the blog tomorrow for a complete recap of Day 2.