Despite its image as an example of Rust Belt decay, Michigan has “much more going on here entrepreneurially than the rest of the country realizes,” says David Brophy, professor of finance and director of the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance. In this video, Brophy discusses how programs at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business are helping feed Michigan’s entrepreneurial rebirth.
Putting the Growth in Growth Capital
When U-M Ross Professor David Brophy and a few others founded the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium 32 years ago, there was one thing to say to a startup looking for funding in Michigan.
You could count the number of venture funds in the state on one hand.
It’s a new ballgame now, and Brophy hopes the Symposium played, and will continue to play, a role in growing Michigan’s entrepreneurial and venture capital sector.
“At the time, few startups stayed in the state or even made it because there was not much in the way of funding,” Brophy says. “So the idea for the Symposium was direct. We just wanted a program where we could gather up companies that seemed to have value, and we would invite investors from around the country to come in and see what they thought. I thought it might last a few years.”
What started as a small gathering is now a national, two-day event that attracts nearly 500 annually. Financiers and entrepreneurs connect and get deals done. The 2014 event will be held June 17 & 18 at the Marriott Resort, Ypsilanti.
“It’s created a lot of good energy, received great state support, and we’re wrapping the ball of twine more tightly as we go along,” Brophy says.