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Leading Technology and Healthcare IT Investors to Headline Annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

3/17/2010 --

Panel discussions, keynote addresses, and company presentations on May 11-12 will shine spotlight on extraordinary innovation and investment opportunities in the Midwest.

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Underscoring enthusiasm the investment community has for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Midwest, organizers of the 29th annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will host two venture capital luminaries as the event's featured presenters. Opening the event on May 11 will be Kate Mitchell, co-founder and managing director of west coast-based Scale Venture Partners, followed on May 12 by by David J. Brailer, MD/PhD, chairman of Health Evolution Partners.

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is the premier equity event for leaders in the venture capital investment world to connect with entrepreneurs, startups, and emerging growth companies actively searching for partners and funding. The symposium will be held at the Marriott Resort in Ypsilanti, Mich. The robust agenda features six panel discussions as well as presentations from 32 top Midwestern companies actively seeking funding.

Chairman-elect of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and a member of its executive committee, Mitchell will offer symposium attendees a unique perspective on the current climate for venture capital and private equity. She is actively involved with regulatory and economic policy impacting the venture industry and the companies that are funded by venture capital in the areas of technology, clean tech, and healthcare.

Mitchell, a seasoned investor, has been instrumental in building Scale Venture Partners' team and providing strategic direction. She leads investments in software and business services, and brings more than 25 years of experience in technology, finance, and management to her portfolio teams.

Brailer, meanwhile, will offer symposium attendees a unique perspective on the current regulatory environment and dynamic market for healthcare innovation. He has sought to drive positive change in healthcare in his work as a physician, researcher, teacher, entrepreneur, and policymaker. He is committed to improving healthcare by discovering and funding health technologies and health service companies. In 2004 he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. In this role, Brailer developed and led the nation's strategy for ushering healthcare into the digital era.

Michigan Growth Capital Symposium Founder David J. Brophy, professor of finance at Ross, notes that attracting and retaining entrepreneurial and business talent is critical to the state's economy.

"HandyLab, Health Media, and other recent start-up success stories prove that Michigan has the talent and the investment resources to produce winning businesses," says Brophy. "As small tech-based startups spring up throughout the state, we have the investment infrastructure, research capabilities, and a growing stable of young, talented business professionals to lead and grow these new companies that will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in our region."

One example of a regional company that has struck the right balance of talented leadership, innovation, and investment support is 2008 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium presenter Advanced Battery Concepts of Midland, Mich. Founding partner and technology inventor Ed Shaffer has created a game-changing development for the energy storage industry with Advanced Battery's GreenSeal technology.

Working with Midland's BlueWater Angels Group, Advanced Battery Concepts recently closed a $250,000 round of financing, which it will use to set up a pilot production facility and start field testing pilot-scale prototypes.

Michigan holds great opportunities for technology startups that can play the game, Schaeffer said. "You've got to be smart with what you're going to do with the money, but if you work hard and you have a good story, there is money available in Michigan."

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is hosted by the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Ross in partnership with the Michigan Venture Capital Association, with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please visit For sponsorship information or questions regarding presenting company details, please contact Mary Nickson, the symposium manager, at 734‐615‐4424 or

About the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is the original university-based venture fair, which was first held in 1979. This two-day event provides an opportunity for financiers to connect with up-and-coming Midwest businesses and learn about emerging technologies. The symposium offers the opportunity to build relationships with an unparalleled business network of distinguished private equity industry leaders, leading university research faculty, and entrepreneurial business professionals. Entering its 29th year, the symposium continues to draw top investors from coast to coast. The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is presented by the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with support from the Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847,