Fund Facts: Monica Wheat, Venture Catalysts

Courtney Overbey

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

On this episode of Fund Facts—a video series focused on venture capitalists, angel investors and other funders critical to Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—we connect with Monica Wheat, founder and partner of Venture Catalysts.

Detroit-based Venture Catalysts supports large-scale ecosystem endeavors from ideation to commercialization. The organization aids in building relationships and inclusive management, and offers strategic support for ecosystem partnerships, entrepreneurship events, funding and growth programs. Through its efforts, Venture Catalysts is working to create an ecosystem-as-a-service to help founders gain acceleration, investment or revenue growth.

In this video, Monica sits down with the MEDC to discuss how Venture Catalysts chooses what companies to invest in and what makes Detroit special for entrepreneurs. Additional key takeaways Monica shared include:

  • The venture and investment world are made on relationship building. As virtual events become the new norm, networking strategy has changed. Virtual participants should come prepared with research and questions for the presenters because face-time is limited and the opportunity to make an impression is reduced.
  • In Detroit, people want you to win. Part of what makes Michigan great for entrepreneurship is the community built between businesses, which is also a vital part of belonging to an effective ecosystem.
  • Detroit has one of the largest populations of tech and engineering talent outside of Silicon Valley. Working with tech-adjacent individuals is part of the perfect recipe for building a business.
  • International market expansion plays a factor in an effective ecosystem as companies are looking for high-tech and high-scale organizations to scale beyond borders.

If you have a high-tech startup idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit

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