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Michigan startups to pitch at UM investment event

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

More than 30 startups from the Detroit area and around the Midwest will present pitches Tuesday and Wednesday at the 34th annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium.

The companies are seeking funds from some of the nearly 450 attendees that include angel investors, venture capital investors and service providers who have been brought in for the event from around the country.

The companies, which are in their early or growth stages, include representatives from healthcare IT, business IT, medical devices and technology. They will be seeking anywhere from $1 million to $20 million in equity funding, according to a statement from organizers.

The symposium is hosted by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business’ Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance. The event will be held at the Eagle Crest Marriott in Ypsilanti.

“The sense of enthusiasm and devotion coming out of this year’s presenting companies is palpable, and serves as a true testament to the talent and increased entrepreneurial spirit continuing to heat up throughout the Midwest,” David Brophy, founder of the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and professor of finance at the Ross School of Business, said in the statement. “This type of synergy and collaboration is what the region needs to keep the wheels of the entrepreneurial economy turning.”

The annual symposium is known for attracting high-quality investors since its inception in 1980. More than 800 companies have secured more than $1 billion in funding since then through the program.

Among the companies pitching are Stratos, an Ann Arbor-based startup that consolidates all magnetic strip cards into one physical card; Varsity News Network, a Grand Rapids-based startup that offers a suite of products for school athletic teams, and Delphinus Medical Technologies Inc., a Plymouth Township-based medical device manufacturer that has created a device to detect breast cancer via ultrasound.

Brad Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies, and Brad Keywell, CEO and co-founder of Uptake and Groupon, will give keynote addresses.

There will also be panel discussions throughout the two days tackling topics like cybersecurity, venture capital investment trends and women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

For a full list of presenters, visit

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