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Frankel Fund Signs Term Sheet to Provide Seed Financing to Tech-based Startup Ambiq Micro

7/8/2010 --

Company lands financing after winning business plan competitions sponsored by DFJ, Cisco, and Zell Lurie Institute.

Ann Arbor, Mich. — The Ross School’s Frankel Commercialization Fund has signed a term sheet to provide the initial investment for Ann Arbor-based tech startup Ambiq Micro. The firm is developing next-generation, energy-efficient microprocessors with the potential to substantially extend the battery life of wireless devices. The technology could be used in smart credit cards, computers, sensors that control temperature or detect motion, and a variety of medical and mobile devices.

The Ambiq Micro management team includes Phil O'Niel, MBA '10, and Scott Hanson, a post-doctoral fellow at U-M's College of Engineering. "This is a great example of different schools of the University working together to create a culture of innovation," says Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Ross, which oversees the Frankel Commercialization Fund.

Frankel is the country’s first student-led, pre-seed investment fund, designed to immerse Ross students in the business assessment and investment process. Its proposed investment in Ambiq Micro is likely to close in the next quarter. Terms of the deal and financing amounts were not disclosed.

In addition to the pre-seed funding from the Frankel Commercialization Fund, Ambiq Micro recently won a $250,000 first-place investment prize from Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco as part of their co-sponsored Global Business Plan Competition for university and business school students. Ambiq Micro led the group of 16 finalist teams, which were judged by a San Jose-based panel that included venture capitalists and executives from DFJ and Cisco. Ambiq Micro also won cash and investment prizes at the 2010 Rice University Business Plan Competition and the 2010 Global MOOT Corporation Competition at the University of Texas, Austin.

In competitions closer to home, the startup won the Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business as part of ZLI’s Michigan Business Challenge at Ross. And finally, validating its unique technology and growth potential, Ambiq Micro was selected to present at the ZLI-hosted Michigan Growth Capital Symposium in May -- slots usually reserved for more mature venture-backed startups.

"The hands-on experience delivered by the Zell Lurie Institute and the School’s Frankel Commercialization Fund was one of the most important factors in my decision to attend Ross," says O’Niel. “Participating in the Michigan Business Challenge has been instrumental in helping me achieve both my entrepreneurial and broader business goals. Through the many courses, programs, and mentoring offered by the Zell Lurie Institute, my team and I have been able to take our entrepreneurial passions and transform them into a winning business idea."



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu