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renvcf.com

201 S Main St
10th Floor
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Renaissance Venture Capital Fund

Founder

Chris Rizik

Chris Rizik is the CEO of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, which has offices in both downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.

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The downtown Ann Arbor-based Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, which also has an office in downtown Detroit, is a "fund of funds," which means it will primarily invest in other venture capital funds that will in turn invest in individual companies. Most states with these funds primarily supply them with public money. In contrast, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is made up of private money from local big-business institutions and led by the Business Leaders For Michigan.

 

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Inc. gives 5 reasons to start a biz in Detroit

Inc. magazine comes through with a thorough piece on starting a business in Detroit and all of the opportunities that come with it. The story highlights newer entrepreneurs and taps the wisdom of those that have been here a while.Excerpt:There's no hiding the fact that the past decade hasn't been easy on the Motor City. Once a paragon of stability and the nation's fourth largest city, Detroit has seemed to fade alongside the auto industry on which it so vitally depends now sitting at 11th place on that very same list.In spite of the decline, those who stay refuse to see this as an anything other than an opportunity. With tons of open space, inexpensive rent, and legions of talented workers, the city was and is ripe for the kind of fresh and innovative thinking that drives new business. "Detroit needed to decrease its reliance on manufacturing," says Ross Sanders, CEO of Bizdom U, a local business accelerator formed in 2007. It needed to transform into a "brain economy," he adds, rooted in innovation and entrepreneurship.Read the rest of the story here. read on…

Ann Arbor's Renaissance Venture Capital Fund raises $50 million

Downtown Ann Arbor is home to one of the more unique and promising venture capital funds in the U.S., now that the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund has closed out a $50 million fundraising round and is ready to start spreading around some seed capital.The 2-year-old VC fund, which also has an office in downtown Detroit, is a "fund of funds," which means it will primarily invest in other venture capital funds that will in turn invest in individual companies. Most states with these funds primarily supply them with public money. In contrast, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is made up of private money from local big-business institutions and led by the Business Leaders For Michigan."These investors stepped up to the plate and that isn't happening anywhere else in the country," says Chris Rizik, CEO of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. "DTE Energy, AAA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Huntington Bank. Those are Fortune 500 examples. They are stepping up and helping this state grow."The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund will invest in venture capital firms that are either based in Michigan or plan to invest in Michigan companies. It has already invested close to $6 million (for a total commitment of $20 million for future investments) into the likes of Ann Arbor's Arboretum Ventures and RPM Ventures and Kalamazoo-based T-Gap Ventures. Out-of-state VC firms that received funds include San Francisco-based 5AM Ventures, Houston's DFJ Mercury Ventures, Illinois-based MK Capital, and Florida's Arsenal Venture Partners. The last two are opening Michigan offices following the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund's investment. These firms have invested more than $23 million in 12 Michigan companies, creating about 200 new jobs. Those companies have leveraged that investment to receive over $146 million in further venture funding. The ensuing activity has also allowed the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund to disburse its first profits to investors.Rizik expects the fund will commit the rest of its $50 million over the next year or two. Those are deals that are expected to touch 100-150 companies in the state, thereby creating hundreds of new jobs, mainly rooted in the new economy. The 3-person fund, which is looking at adding interns next summer, expects to start fundraising for its next investment vehicle in 2012.  Source: Chris Rizik, CEO of Renaissance Venture Capital FundWriter: Jon Zemke read on…
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