Capital Climate Is Mean In Michigan, VCs Say at Symposium, But We’re Used to Dealing With Bad Weather

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There are a total of 16 venture capital firms in existence in Michigan. In terms of amounts raised, Michigan is in the fourth tier—out of five—ranked number 19 in the country, just below Indiana and just above Ohio. In 2009, there were 25 venture capital investments in Michigan, worth a total of $131 million. For comparison, there were 1,137 investments in California worth $8.8 billion all told; and 303 investments in Massachusetts worth $1.9 billion.

Total VC investment in Michigan companies during 2009 represents 0.74 percent of the 2009 national total.

These numbers do not bother Mina Sooch, president of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, who gave the gathering a David Letterman-style “Top 10 List” of reasons why Michigan will succeed.

10. There’s no place but up from here.
9. We invent and make really cool stuff.
8. Despite rumors, the talent has not left the state.
7. The state has invested, since 2000, in diversifying (and not just in casinos).
6. We will work for cheap. (Capital efficiency is key to VC returns).
5. Even if the last car company fails, we will always have our lakes.
4. Young venture firms are growing and growing up.
3. We know what we don’t have—capital, capital, capital.
2. Success breeds success (indicating that we will see some exponential improvement).
1. It’s all about the money.  (6X returns on investment in Michigan).

Inside jokes and wisecracks aside, Sooch’s theme remained the same as that of other … Next Page »

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