Statewide Pre-Seed Fund Awarded $6.8 Million from 21st Century Jobs Fund

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fund will support technology-based start-up companies

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization board (SEIC) has awarded $6.8 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to capitalize a statewide pre-seed fund. The fund is a collaborative effort between Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley and the West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative.

“Helping high-tech companies plant their roots in Michigan and supporting their growth is the cornerstone of our comprehensive strategy to diversify Michigan’s economy,” Granholm said. “This grant will help companies commercialize groundbreaking research and technology into successful businesses and new jobs.”

Launched in 2007 with funding from the 21st Century Jobs Fund, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration in the competitive-edge sectors of advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, alternative energy, homeland security and defense and life sciences. To date, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund has invested in 30 companies expected to create 600 new jobs over the next three years. Projections show the new funding will enable investment in 65 additional companies expected to create up to 800 new jobs.  

“We are stepping up our efforts to help support companies at various phases of development and this grant will help fill a critical funding gap in early-stage venture capital in Michigan,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, chairman of the SEIC board and principal of Bridge Street Partners LLC in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is administered by Ann Arbor SPARK in partnership with Automation Alley and West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative on behalf of the state’s network of 15 SmartZones.

The SEIC Board is responsible for administering grants and loans to support competitive-edge technology investments under the 21st Century Jobs Fund.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund and, as such, will receive the same returns as the third party investor. The returns that the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will serve as seed money for the Fund’s continuation.

The 21st Century Jobs Fund is a $2 billion, ten-year initiative proposed by Governor Granholm, approved by the Michigan Legislature, and administered by the MEDC to accelerate the diversification of Michigan’s economy. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund and the MEDC, visit

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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