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The Right Place

Funding You Can Grow On

From companies marking their next century, to companies of the new century, Michigan has the funding programs to support your growth.

State Programs

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund supports high-tech start-up companies as they near commercial viability by providing access to early-stage capital investment or micro loans to accelerate company development. Supported by a consortium of Michigan SmartZones, these funds will extend the personal investment of entrepreneurs during the critical stage when they are developing their businesses to the point of readiness for outside investment. The fund targets companies throughout the state that are creating the newest technologies in the following competitive areas:

  • Advanced automotive, manufacturing, and materials
  • Alternative energy
  • Homeland security and defense
  • Life sciences

Contact the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation to review and help prepare your company for funding. Contact the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation by calling 616.331.7582 or by sending an e-mail to mccurrke@gvsu.edu.


Michigan Accelerator Fund 1 (MAF-1)

The MAF-1 invests in early stage companies that fall into the following categories: life sciences technology; advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials technology; homeland security and defense technology; and alternative energy technology. Companies must be based in Michigan. MAF-1 provides seed and early stage venture capital investments and is sponsored and supported by leading West Michigan investors, research organizations and socio-economic stakeholders.

Venture Michigan Fund (VMF)

The VMF is a $95 million venture capital investment program designed to support new invesment. This fund-of-funds invests in private equity managers that invest primarily in Michigan-based early stage companies. A unique component of VMF is that the capital for the fund is limited to outside investors, with the Michigan Department of Treasury offering to provide investors with up to $200 million in tax vouchers to offset any shortfall.

Michigan 21st Century Investment Fund

The Michigan 21st Century Investment Fund invests in private equity, venture capital and mezzanine funds, as well as potential co-investments. This initiative is capitalized with $120 million in commitments, and is focused on four main sectors of the economy including:

  • life sciences,
  • alternative energy,
  • homeland security,
  • defense, and
  • advanced manufacturing.

InvestMichigan!

InvestMichigan! represents a groundbreaking partnership of public and private interests in the deployment of private equity capital. InvestMichigan! is a $300 million fund focused on generating strong returns for investors and growing the next generation of Michigan companies. InvestMichigan! has two main components in order to support companies in both early and later stages of development. Under the Growth Capital Fund, InvestMichigan! targets lead and co-investment opportunities in venture capital and small buyout stage companies. The Michigan Opportunities Fund targets lead investment opportunities in buyouts and growth equity investments in well established companies.

Privately Supported Funds in West Michigan

Grand Angels

Grand Angels invests in businesses located in Michigan, with a preference for those located in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties. It is the only regional investment group that offers mentoring paired with a relatively patient exit strategy, meaning invested funds may not need to be returned as quickly as would be expected by commercial or other investors. Grand Angels typically invests from $250,000 to $1,000,000 in early-stage companies.

Hopen Life Sciences

Hopen Life Sciences is interested in promising early- to mid-stage life science innovation including pharmaceuticals, devices, diagnostics, and enabling technologies. Its portfolio investments have ranged from $150,000 to over $5,000,000. Hopen’s team of life-science professionals with more than 200 years of combined experience provides guidance in joint ventures, patent filings, clinical trials, drug discovery, licensing, public and secondary offerings, and mergers and acquisitions.

Start Garden

Start Garden was created as a platform for a lot of ideas to start moving forward. From those, some turn into projects. From those projects, some turn into a startup businesses. From those small businesses, some grow into big businesses. It's about focusing on the next step, and not despising the small ones. Each investment Start Garden makes includes not only financial capital, but intellectual and social capital as well. By funding startups and new businesses, Start Garden helps turn ideas into actions.