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Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund Reports Investments Totaling $2.5 Million in 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Several Michigan companies recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, pushing the total investments made through the Fund to over $11.6 million.  To date, 52 Michigan companies have received seed funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan's SmartZones.  

"The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund proves that innovation is thriving throughout the state," said Skip Simms, administrator of the fund programs and interim CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.  "Companies that received support from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund are currently employing 285 people throughout the state and have attracted outside investment.  Matching support from other funding sources totaled $16.4 million for these Michigan companies."  

In 2010, Advanced Battery Concepts, Armune BioScience, Inc., Current Motor Company, Downstream, LLC, Intervention Insights, Innovative Surgical Solutions, InfoReady Corporation, InPore Technologies, Inventure Enterprises, NextCAT, Inc. and Tangent Medical Technologies received $2.575 million from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.  These companies will use the funding to support commercialization efforts.  Specific innovations include:

  • Advanced Battery Concepts, LLC, Lansing: Advanced Battery Concepts is driving innovative technology, branded GreenSeal™, into the large-format, battery industry enabling smaller, lighter and longer life batteries.  GreenSeal™ batteries are cost-effective for storage applications and have lower impact on the environment than traditional large-format batteries.
  • Armune BioScience, Inc., Kalamazoo: Armune BioScience was formed to develop and commercialize high value, protein signature-based diagnostic tests for prostate, lung and breast cancers that will allow physicians and patients to make better treatment decisions.
  • Current Motor Company, Ypsilanti: Current Motor has developed a line of electric motorcycles and mopeds designed to provide urban and suburban commuters with practical, affordable, zero-emissions electric vehicles (EVs) that do not use oil. Current Motor's scooters have a range of up to 80 miles and a top speed of 70 mph. 
  • Downstream, LLC, Zeeland: Web application that can help an individual, business, group or community retrieve and backup their digital life, deliver it back to them, share it with others and provide trends to help better understand them.
  • Intervention Insights, Grand Rapids: Diagnostic software that delivers personalized cancer information to physicians with insight into patient specific treatment options
  • Innovative Surgical Solutions, Royal Oak: The medical device startup, founded by Chris Wybo and Stephen Bartol, created a monitoring system for spinal surgeries. NeuralMAS monitors nerve location during invasive spinal procedures, helping surgeons save time and avoid complications. The product is now fully developed and made Innovative Surgical Solutions a semi-finalist at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.
  • InfoReady Corporation, Ann Arbor: InfoReady offers SaaS model software to help companies find and access grants, and collaborate.
  • InPore Technologies, East Lansing: Silapore particles were developed and patented by Michigan State University by Dr. Thomas Pinnavaia. Tom then founded InPore Technologies, Inc. for the purpose of providing Silapore particles to the plastics industry, obtained an exclusive license to the MSU technology, and built a team to take the product to market.
  • Inventure Enterprises, Inc., East Lansing: Its idView product raises the standard for securing and streamlining workforce screening and background checks for states.
  • NextCAT, Inc., Detroit: NextCAT is commercializing a series of heterogenous catalysts developed by the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University, for use in biodiesel production. These new catalysts allow producers to use less expensive raw materials in the production of biodiesel, and simplify the production process. Today, over 80% of the U.S. biodiesel producers sit idle due primarily to very high feedstock costs. NextCAT has a world-class team of catalysis experts, an experienced management team, and strategic partners.
  • Tangent Medical Technologies, Ann Arbor: Tangent Medical Technologies, Inc., is a seed stage medical device development company formed in 2009 as a spinout from the University of Michigan's Medical Innovation Center (MIC) fellowship program. Tangent's patent-pending Novacath™ was created to address health and safety shortcomings of existing catheter stabilization products for peripheral intravenous (PIV) fluid/medication delivery systems.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan's SmartZones, is an equity fund that invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration. Ann Arbor SPARK serves as the Fund's administrator.

To qualify for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, start-up companies must be based on a technology in one of the state's identified competitive technologies and have the sponsorship of a local SmartZone. In addition to SmartZone sponsorship, companies must have received grant, angel or venture capital funding as a match to the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investment.  

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund that receives the same returns as the third party investor.  The returns the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will be redeployed by the Fund to continue its mission of helping start ups with their first round of capital.

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