©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Entrepreneurs Seek Capital from Michigan's Angels

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Jennifer Kopp

Three Companies Pitch Ideas to Investors

Three Companies Pitch Ideas to Investors

The newly formed Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Angel Network hosted its third meeting in southeast Michigan on Monday, October 1, in partnership with Digital Detroit. Three technology companies presented and discussed their ideas to about 20 private investors or “angels” at the Community House in Birmingham.

“This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and gain outside exposure,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Getting to the angels is the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs, this forum provides that critical introduction.”

Angel investors work to assist high-tech entrepreneurs with capital and increased networking opportunities. They are individuals who invest their personal funds and tend to prefer anonymity and privacy. Tireless networking is often the only way to reach them. The MEDC created the network to match angel investors with promising Michigan start-ups.

“Michigan has a great deal of potential angel funding available, but to this point, there has been no formal network or efficient way to access this type of funding,” said Jeff Sloan, chairman of Digital Detroit. “The MEDC and Digital Detroit are collaborating to inspire and facilitate the investment of angel capital into early stage companies.”

The companies presented were Kinderstreet (Ann Arbor), iCan, Inc. (Birmingham) and Eximware (Ann Arbor).

Kinderstreet specializes in delivering an integrated suite of Internet applications for use in the childcare, eldercare and private school markets. The key functions performed by the applications include, automating back-office processing for care providers, providing a tool for communicating with the families and streamlining interaction with the state agencies that regulate and pay care providers.

iCan, Inc., provides online information and community resources for disabled persons. Heidi Van Arem, an entrepreneur who has been a quadriplegic since the age of 16, founded the company in 1999.iCan serves customers like Ford, GM, Kmart, and Microsoft. The company recently won the prestigious da Vinci accessibility award.

Eximware is a software company specializing in Trade Life Cycle management solutions for the global agriculture commodity business. This software aids in collaborative solutions by connecting people within a company and across the industry value chain in order to streamline trade management, regardless of data format, protocol or back-office systems.

Currently, the Angel’s Network consists of 25 angels from throughout the state. The network is growing and always looking for new investors. Attendance for investors and entrepreneurs was by invitation only.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.