Michigan is a flyover state no longer. Even in the midst of a pandemic that shut down swaths of business, venture capital was still at work. Why should the average person or even tech worker care about money that doesn’t end up in their pocket? Venture capital doesn’t just enable new businesses to get up and running instead of having to move to other states where funding is easier to find. It also attracts investment dollars to the state. The Michigan Venture Capital Association says that for every $1 invested by venture capital in the state, $42.87 is attracted from investment outside of Michigan. That’s big news.
Ford Cuts Jobs To Fund EV Investment
In an unusual move, Ford Motor Co. is planning to cut up to 8,000 jobs in the next few weeks in order to boost profits to fund the push into electric vehicles. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the job cuts come in the newly formed Ford Blue unit that produces internal combustion engine vehicles and other salaried jobs throughout Ford. This is according to insiders, and plans have not been finalized and could still change.
Columbus’s Branch Achieves Unicorn Status
Columbus insurtech startup Branch has achieved unicorn status with a total valuation of $1.05 billion with its Series C raise of $147 million this month. The round was led by Weatherford Capital, and brings Branch into the growing ranks of Midwest tech unicorns. Branch is a full-stack insurance company that uses data, technology and automation to make home and auto insurance more efficient. Participating new and existing investors included Acrew, AmFam Ventures, Anthemis, Gaingels, Greycroft, HSCM Ventures, Narya, SignalFire, and Tower IV.
Wind Turbine Drone Inspection Startup SkySpecs Raises Record-Breaking $80M Round Led by Goldman Sachs
Ann Arbor-based renewable energy O&M solutions startup SkySpecs has just announced an $80 million strategic capital raise led by the Sustainable Investing business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management with additional participation from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources and other existing SkySpecs investors including Statkraft Ventures, Equinor Ventures, Evergy Ventures, UL Ventures and Huron River Ventures. This is one of the biggest startup raises in Michigan history.
Midwest Climate Tech Startups Find Funding through Evergreen
Evergreen Climate Innovation’s 501vc Investment Fund now invests $200k – $300k in early-stage climate tech startups in the Greater Midwest. This climate tech-focused investment fund is looking to support climate startups specifically in the tech space that are headquartered in places like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and the surrounding states, a location that is historically under-funded for climate tech.
Pitch Your Startup at 2022 Pitch @ WCC
The Washtenaw Community College Entrepreneurship Center’s premier event of the year, Pitch @ WCC, is taking place this year in hybrid format, with virtual sessions leading to private in-person pitches on WCC’s Ypsilanti campus in May 2022. If you have a new business you’d like to pitch, check out the info below to get involved. Hurry, the deadline is approaching!
Find Funding For Your Business with SPARK’s Funding Stage Guide & Programs
Did you know that Michigan business incubator and support organization SPARK helps with guiding regional entrepreneurs through the startup process as well as helping them secure funding? Ann Arbor SPARK focuses mostly on tech businesses, but even if you’re not in the tech space (and even if you’re not in Michigan), you can find information about how to navigate the startup funding process on their website where they lay out the process of finding funding by growth stage. This handy and short guide can help you find local programs where you might find funding to tide you over until your business reaches growth stage.
Find Climate Business Funding with the CleanTech Funding Database
The Clean Energy Business Network has created a database of funding opportunities for cleantech businesses. This helps pair eligible businesses with funding for climate technologies based on stage of the company or technology and by industry. As businesses become more aware of their climate impact and look for ways to green their business processes or technology, we wanted to highlight some ways to connect with people who can provide technology or help cleantech entrepreneurs grow their business anywhere in the U.S.
Genomics AI startup Genomenon rapidly expands genomics data userbase, raises $20 million
Genomenon, Ann Arbor’s AI-driven genomics company, recently announced closing a $20 million Series B financing round. The funds will help expand the company’s commercial operations and the development of its genomic data hub. The Genomenon data hub works with genetic testing labs, hospitals, and biopharma companies by using artificial intelligence to organize genomic data and make it available to clinicians to diagnose patients with rare genetic diseases and cancer. The goal is to use genomics data to create precision medicine that target molecular drivers of disease.
MedTech Startup MediView XR Raises $9.9M
MediView XR, a Midwest-based medtech startup out of Cleveland, just announced they have raised a $9.9 million round of funding. This round of SAFE financing was syndicated by Inside View Investments, LLC, a private investment firm.