Venture Capital Investment in Grand Rapids Hits a Record High

By Staff Reporter

Feb 17, 2016 08:36 AM EST

Grand Rapids, Michigan hits the record high in venture capital investment in 2015. A venture capital based in the city by the Grand River invested $3.5 million in 2015.

Grand Angels, a West Michigan-based angel investment reported a dozen deals in its venture capital investment within 2015, a 20% increase from previous year. In the near future, the investment firm expected to reach a miletone of $20 million in total investment.

The firm mainly invest in the early stage companies, mostly in the fields of life sciences, advanced manufacturing, advanced agriculture and B2B technology. President of Grand Angels Jody Vanderwel told MLive Michigan about the companies the firm invested in. "Sometimes they have revenue, sometimes not. They almost never are cash flow positive."

"We will continue to invest in companies that are in the early stage development," Vanderwel said about the next plan. "I think we will look at a bigger variety of deals because we will have more funds." Grand Angels is in the process to finish two more funds.

Vanderwel was recruited in 2005 to be the president of Grand Angels. He suits the firm  vision to make "investments with a difference." The firm was founded in 2004 by former Grand Bank founder and CEO Charles C. Stoddard and serial entrepreneur, Craig T. Hall.

Grand Angels has a strong commitment to enhance the economic development of West Michigan, utilizing its financial, intellectual and networking capital. Its focus is to foster the success of growing companies in the West Michigan area. That will produce a positive effect on the region through business growth, job creation, and attraction and retention of local talent.

In September 2015, the firm provided a $1 million seed funding to Tetra Discovery, the biotech company that focus on drug discovery and development. It also provides $3.5 million in debt financing to Ann Arbor-based HistoSonics, that developed ultrasound therapy system for treatment of deep vein thrombosis and other vascular diseases.

Michigan and the city of Grand Rapids has been quite active in the venture capital invesment and tech startup companies lately. One of them is SalesPad software developer. Last week Grand Rapids Business Journal reported the software company will expand its business and hire more people to keep up with demand.

Meanwhile in May, there will be the 35th event of Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS), the premier venture capital event in Midwest. As reported by PR Newswire, the organizers invited early to mid-stage companies to present their pitches before an audience of potential investors consist of 100 investment firms.

Grand Angels reported an increase in venture capital investment by 20% in 2015 and expecting to reach the milestone of $20 million in total investment. Meanwhile, other tech startup companies in Michigan has also prepare to attend the annual big event of venture fair in May.

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