Category Archives: Venture Capital

StockX Closes $6M Funding Round

DETROIT – StockX, the online consumer “stock market of things,” announced that it has closed a $6 million round of funding from several celebrity investors, including actor Mark Wahlberg, rappers Eminem and Wale, music manager Paul Rosenberg, former AOL executives Ted Leonsis and Steve Case, singer-songwriter Tim Armstrong, talent manager Scooter Braun, fashion designer Jon Buscemi, and others.

Additional investors include Courtside Ventures, a media and technology venture fund, and  Detroit Venture Partners, both backed in part by Quicken Loans founder and downtown Detroit investor Dan Gilbert.

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Michigan VC Symposium Issues Call For Presenting Companies

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will return for its 36th annual celebration of entrepreneurship and business growth May 16-17 at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti.

Organizers have issued their call for presenting companies, who want to offer their visions for innovative products and services to an audience of more than 600 investors, founders, and tech transfer professionals.

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LTU-backed startup event draws nearly 500 people

SOUTHFIELD — Nearly 500 people attended the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship, better known as ACE’17, held Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Westin Southfield.

Lawrence Technological University is a managing partner of the event, a celebration of all things entrepreneurial.

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ACE ’17 Coming Jan. 26

SOUTHFIELD — The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship 2017, better known as ACE ’17, will be held Jan. 26 at the Westin Southfield hotel.

ACE celebrates and promotes entrepreneurship in the Great Lakes region by bringing together entrepreneurs, service providers, investors, students, government agents, and other members of the business community to network, learn, and connect.

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Holly steel firm gets $3.5M VC loan

Steel Producer Gets $3.5M VC loan

HOLLY — The venture fund Arctaris Michigan Partners LLC and affiliates announced a $3.5 million growth capital loan for Holly-based AFCO Manufacturing LLC, a manufacturer of adjustable steel columns.

This transaction represents one of seven current investments for AMP’s fund, which was created through a partnership between Arctaris Michigan Partners LLC, the State of Michigan and U.S. Treasury Department to provide growth capital to underserved and underbanked Michigan businesses.

With 49 years of operations, AFCO fabricates certified adjustable steel columns, lintel angles and temporary telescoping support columns for the home construction industry.

AFCO’s base of more than 100 customers consists of distributors of residential building products and large homebuilders, spanning from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains.

The company has 17 employees and expects significant job growth to meet growing customer demands.

“Arctaris’ investment into AFCO demonstrates our confidence in the company’s leadership and our firm’s commitment to providing non-dilutive royalty financing solutions to companies operating in Michigan,” said Jonathan Tower, managing partner of AMP. “We seek to invest in additional opportunities like AFCO in Michigan with an eye toward growth, impact investment, and job creation.”

Arctaris Michigan Partners launched the Michigan Income and Principal-Protected Growth Fund LP to provide growth capital to underserved Michigan businesses. With capital from the U.S. Treasury Department, the State of Michigan, U.S. commercial banks, foundations and other private investors, the Fund provides loans to small- and mid-sized businesses seeking to expand their Michigan operations or move to the State.

Arctaris Michigan Partners, based in Detroit, is an affiliate of Boston-based Arctaris Royalty Partners LLC, a leader in economic development and impact investment for inner cities and underbanked communities throughout the U.S.

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MSU Foundation Launches $5M Tech Transfer Fund

EAST LANSING — A new $5 million venture investing subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation called Red Cedar Ventures will help MSU-based business startups and technologies overcome early funding gaps, accelerate growth and provide growth-stage capital.

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M2 TechCast Tackles Cyber Security, Angel Investing, Women In Tech, And More

SOUTHFIELD — Cyber security, women in technology, angel investing and a new opportunity to get your company’s news out via web video.

All are on the agenda for the Monday, Nov. 7 edition of the M2 TechCast.

The show kicks off at 3 p.m. Eastern time at

The first guest will be Justin Coffee from the Troy IT provider Red Level, discussing what business can do to modernize and protect from cyber attack.

Next up is longtime Michigan technology executive Kathleen Norton Schock, who will give us a report on the recent Michigan Council of Women in Technology Signature Gala event, and interview Julie Christ, founder and CEO of Tech Smart Solutions.

Then, Melih Oztalay of Birmingham’s SmartFinds Internet Marketing will discuss the technology behind MITechNews.Com’s video news and ReelCast projects.

The show wraps up with David Weaver of Great Lakes Angels, and details on the three companies pitching at the angels’ next meeting Nov. 15.

The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time each Monday at And you can listen to past episodes by clicking on

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Mike Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News,, and Matt Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Both have covered high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 50 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 500,000 listeners a week. IT in the D airs live Monday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Accelerate Michigan New Business Competition Coming Nov. 3

DETROIT — The seventh annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition will be held Thursday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Cobo Center in Detroit.

As one of the largest business plan competitions in the nation, this premier event showcases the best and brightest startups in Michigan and highlights the state as a powerhouse for business opportunity and next generation technology.

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New Email Management Technology From Ann Arbor Startup

ANN ARBOR — A new company called Notion AI Inc. has launched with $9.5 million in capital, promising a better way to manage the deluge of email faced by many office workers today.

The company’s funding was led by the Columbus, Ohio-based venture firm Drive Capital and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Accel Partners, with participation from Chicago-based Hyde Park Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.

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GR Software Firm Gets $8.6M In Capital

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids-based data center management software developer Blue Medora announced the close of an $8.6 million Series B funding round led by St. Louis-based Lewis & Clark Ventures.

Blue Medora’s existing investors — Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware Inc., Ann Arbor-based eLab Ventures, and Grand Rapids-based Start Garden and Grand Angels, also supported the round, bringing Blue Medora’s total capital raised since its inception to $14.5 million.

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