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Venture capital gains traction in Metro Detroit

Venture capital is starting to gain some momentum in Metro Detroit. A couple of stories, both local and national, are talking about how local VC funds are gaining more and more investors. Could the VC ground hog finally overcome the fear of its shadow and help thaw the financial markets for local start-ups? Some prominent people are starting to think so.


"Leading the cleantech revolution," or "Leveraging the intellectual property of our major research universities" -- such hopeful and visionary statements are just a sampling of various mantras that have echoed the chambers of Midwestern capitals and filled the pages of local newspapers for the past several years. In the face of the recent economic despair that has besieged the regional economy, numerous Midwestern politicians, economic developers and regional venture capitalists have been, somewhat counter-intuitively, touting the notion that Midwest states like Michigan actually present excellent, yet overlooked, venture capital investment opportunities (including yours truly, as I did in "America's Midwest: Cashless Chasm or The Valley of Opportunity?").

Skeptics (which predominantly include frustrated Midwesterners, some business journalists and dismissive coastal venture capitalists) have generally disregarded such optimistic economic proclamations as desperate political hand-waving and hopeful, yet hollow hype to win votes, mollify the economically depressed and justify their own existence. I can understand why one would be doubtful -- it is easy to be negative these days. But today, I write to tell you that the skeptics and defeatists look to be wrong, and we have some early evidence to prove it.

Read the rest of the story here and a Crain's Detroit Business story about how investing in local venture capital firms is trending upward here.
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