The Michigan Venture Center is the central hub for U-M to access technology, expertise, resources and connections to create new startup ventures based on U-M technology.The University of Michigan actively promotes the creation of start-up ventures as a valuable tech transfer option to speed our technology and its benefits to market. U-M Tech Transfer has assisted in the creation of 83 new start-up venture since 2001, well within the Top 10 of all universities. (See Tech Transfer’s full portfolio of launched start-up ventures). To further enhance our capabilities and capacity to create new ventures, U-M Tech Transfer has created the Michigan Venture Center. The Michigan Venture Center (MVC) provides the “front door” into the University for entrepreneurs and venture partners interested in start-up venture opportunities with U-M technology.
What does MVC do?
The MVC’s staff of experienced business formation professionals works with U-M inventors, entrepreneurs, market experts and investors to create and develop new high growth venture concepts. With access to talent, gap funding and partnered resources, the MVC is generating a pipeline of start-up venture opportunities based on U-M technology.
The MVC contains the following components.
- Business Formation Team
At the core of the MVC is U-M Tech Transfer’s experienced venture creation specialists, the Business Formation team, who assist inventors, entrepreneurs and investors in forming companies based on University of Michigan technology.
- Gap Funding Programs
New venture opportunities often require additional development to address technical and commercialization issues vital to attract a successful market partner. U-M Tech Transfer uses internal “gap” funding with matching and complementary funding resources (such as MUCI or MIIE funds) to address these issues, speeding our technology to market.
- Other Funding Resources
The MVC connects and partners with several outside resources to assist with SBIR/STTR, pre-seed and other funds to ensure a robust development program for new venture concepts.
- Catalyst Resources Network
The Catalyst Resource Network administered by U-M Tech Transfer provides a worldwide network of advisors, volunteers, consultants, management candidates and students for the talent needs of our technologies and start-up ventures. Catalyst takes advantage of our U-M alumni network, over 450,000 strong. The MVC uses Catalyst, augmented with personal and partnered networks, to resource the talent needs of our ventures.
The Mentors-in-Residence program consists of experienced entrepreneurs “embedded” within U-M Tech Transfer as part-time employees. These individuals expand our venture creation capabilities by providing technology and marketing assessments, and functioning as business formation staff to both mentor faculty and develop promising venture concepts.
- Licensing and IP Protection
The MVC collaborates with licensing and legal professionals within U-M Tech Transfer to plan and implement effective strategies for commercialization. This team approach ensures a comprehensive set of resources are available to help create an attractive venture opportunity for our entrepreneurial and venture partners
- Venture Capital and Angel Network Funding
The MVC has created a network of over 200 regional and national venture capital and angel partners. Acting as a hub for our venture partners, we analyze their funding objectives, funding objectives, capacities and preferences to match up attractive venture opportunities for their needs. Our demonstrated track record of achievement and personal relationships with this network of venture partners has enhanced our ability to secure private funding for our start-up ventures.
- TechStart Student Internships
The MVC leverages the student resources of the TechStart intern program, administered by U-M Tech Transfer. TechStart employs an interdisciplinary team of U-M graduate students to work on projects, often start-up venture opportunities, for a focused 13 week summer program. This program, partnered with the Zell-Lurie Institute and the Center for Entrepreneurship, provides a great educational experience, valuable business development resources for our projects, and an increased opportunity for regional employment for our students after graduation.
- Facilities, Equipment and Operational Support
Leveraging the Catalyst Resource Network, community partners and other programs, the MVC can help locate and make connections to the operational resources, such as facilities and equipment, that startup ventures require.
- Access to Partnered Experts and Resources
The MVC can provide access to the expertise and capabilities of many University and community partners. These complementary resources can help provide prototypes, business assistance, and pre-seed funding to U-M technology ventures.
- U-M Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
U-M Tech Transfer places U-M technology in classes, provides guidance for student-initiated ventures and works with a wide variety of entrepreneurial partners throughout the University to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurial concepts for our students, faculty and staff.
- Networking Events
U-M Tech Transfer is dedicated to fostering an entrepreneurial environment and culture of innovation. We take an active role in participating and sponsoring networking events, speakers, and business outreach initiatives within our region to increase access to the talent, funding and other resources necessary to grow great business ventures
For further information and to learn how you can connect with a venture opportunity, contact a member of the Business Formation team or call the Michigan Venture Center through the main U-M Tech Transfer phone number at 734.763.0614.