Michigan Ross Student-Led Venture Funds Seek Startups

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business announced that its three student-led venture funds are actively seeking business plans to consider in their respective 2014-2015 investment rounds.

The Wolverine Venture Fund, Zell Commercialization Fund and Social Venture Fund, which have more than $7m under management, invest in early-stage companies seeking seed or Series A investments and typically serve as a syndicate partner with other established venture capital funds or angel investors.

The Social Venture Fund makes early-stage investments of up to $100k in sustainable and innovative, for-profit organizations in investment areas including: education, food systems and environment, health, and urban revitalization. It currently has five companies in its portfolio, including Loveland Technologies and Powerhouse Dynamics. Interested companies should submit a 3-4 page business plan by Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, which currently has seven active investments, is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area with a focus on healthcare, technology, consumer and cleantech. The typical investment is approximately $25k to $50k in the form of convertible notes with warrants and equity. Interested companies can apply at https://gust.com/organizations/zlcfund/apply

The flagship Wolverine Venture Fund invests in early-stage companies raising priced venture capital rounds. The typical investment in a single round is between $50k to $150k with the option to be able to participate in later financing rounds. The Wolverine Venture Fund has invested in more than three dozen companies in a wide range of sectors, with a focus on organizations in technology, healthcare, digital, mobile, new marketing, big data analytics and software.  Between 2000 and 2005, the fund invested in six rounds of financing in HandyLab, Inc., leading up to the company’s 2009 acquisition by Becton Dickinson and Co., which returned $2 million to the Fund. In 2010, portfolio company Mobius Microsystems was acquired by Integrated Device Technologies, Inc. Most recently, IBM acquired Silverpop Systems, Inc..



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