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Thursday, January 28, 2010
Aimed at retaining Pfizer talent assets in the state
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO Greg Main today announced that two more Michigan companies have been selected to receive loans in the latest round of funding under the state’s Company Formation and Growth (CFG) fund, an initiative aimed at retaining Pfizer talent assets in the state.
“Creating a diversified economy depends on our ability to retain highly skilled talent in Michigan,” Granholm said. “The action taken today will enable former Pfizer employees to lend their skills and expertise to helping Michigan companies grow and create high-technology jobs.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board on this week approved the funding that will be used by two companies to hire former Pfizer scientists. Vestaron Corporation was approved for a loan of $150,000 and eFarms LLC for a loan in the amount of $120,000. Including today’s awards, the CFG to date has approved more than $7.5 million in loans to a total of 36 life-science companies in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Livonia, Portage and Saline.
The following companies were approved today for CFG loans:
“This action will help two innovative biotech start-up companies continue to grow,” Main said. “Supporting entrepreneurs is a major pillar of our strategy to diversify Michigan’s economy.”
The MSF created the $8 million CFGF in June 2007 to accelerate company formation, growth and job creation based on employees, technologies, and high-tech equipment left behind when Pfizer closed facilities in Ann Arbor, Holland, Kalamazoo, Plymouth Township and Portage.
“Vestaron's innovative technology continues to propel the company forward to soon make a significant agriscience market impact,” said Ron Kitchens, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Michigan First and General Partner of the SWMF Life Science Fund. “As a portfolio company of the Southwest Michigan First (SWMF) Life Science Fund, we are extremely pleased with Vestaron's commitment to embrace the Kalamazoo Region's talent in their product development.”
“We’re pleased to be working with eFarms; they’re a good fit for the BioBusiness Accelerator program,” Randy Olinger, of Lakeshore Advantage said. “Their new products, when integrated with standard farming practices, have the potential of adding significant value to existing biomass resources in an environmentally and energy conscious manner. And, this monetary award from the CGF Fund will directly support eFarms’ technology development work here in the laboratories of the Bioeconomy Institute.”
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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