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Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund continues investment spree in '13

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund has struck again, investing $1 million into four local start-ups.

The four start-ups include Fusion Coolant Systems, Local Orbit, New Eagle Products, and Seelio. Seelio, New Eagle Products and Local Orbit are based in Ann Arbor. Fusion Coolant Systems was launched in Ypsilanti and is now based in Detroit on the campus of Focus: HOPE.

"The seeds that were planted several years ago are starting to bear fruit," says Skip Simms, senior vice president at Ann Arbor SPARK who oversees the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. "The ecosystem the state has created has really improved the quality of entrepreneur who is coming to us with better thought-out ideas and products that are further along."

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is a collaborative effort of Michigan's SmartZones to support product commercialization at local start-ups. It has awarded more than $19 million in seed funding to 83 Michigan companies. One of the early recipients was Compendia Bioscience, which was acquired by Life Technologies last fall.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund had its most aggressive year yet in 2012, making deals with 23 companies. Simms says he doesn't expect the fund to surpass that number again this year but there is more than enough demand from a plethora of quality companies.

"It has been growing," Simms says. "It has been evolving. The good news is it has been evolving and snowballing in a good way."

Source: Skip Simms, senior vice president at Ann Arbor SPARK
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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