Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III completes its 50th seed investment

Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III has made its 50th seed investment since its inception in August 2020. // Stock Photo

Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III, an affiliate of Michigan State University Foundation in East Lansing, in partnership with Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), made its 50th seed investment since its inception in August 2020.

To date, the fund has invested $5.8 million in 50 investments in 38 startups across the Great Lakes State, including 12 follow-on investments in 11 portfolio companies.

“It has been incredibly satisfying for our team to work with Michigan’s innovative startup community and complete our 50th investment in less than two years,” said Jeff Wesley, executive director of Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III. “This is not only a great achievement for Michigan Rise and the MSU Foundation, but more importantly, it is a demonstration of the continued growth of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III invests in Michigan tech startups to help bring innovative technologies to market and supports Michigan entrepreneurs through capital support, coaching, assistance with funding strategies , etc. With an average investment of approximately $120,000 to date and a cap of $250,000 per company, Michigan Rise touches a variety of industries critical to Michigan’s economy, such as life sciences, agricultural technologies , energy, mobility, etc.

Michigan Rise’s first investment was in Genomenon, a pharma-focused startup, a data analysis and visualization tool that leverages millions of medical publications to provide a list of elaborate disease-gene-variant relationships to from the primary medical literature. The investment round served as a springboard for Genomenon’s Mastermind core technology and Michigan Rise’s entry into the health technology industry.

The 50th investment was made in a human resources-focused company called Wedge, which helps recruiting teams better connect with the right talent and accelerate it through video resumes. Founded in 2015, Wedge empowers employers to attract, present and accelerate the most passionate candidates. They enable recruiting teams to perform better in job postings, meet the right candidates faster, and fight bias, all while hiring easier, faster, and at a lower cost.

“At Michigan Economic Development Corp., we prioritize economic growth and development by partnering with organizations such as the MSU Foundation and Michigan Rise,” said Fred Molnar, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and development. innovation at the MEDC. “Michigan Rise’s work with emerging technology companies strengthens the state’s economic reputation and increases entrepreneurial opportunities across all sectors. We congratulate Michigan Rise on this remarkable milestone as they continue to foster growth in vibrant communities across the state.

In 2021, the State of Michigan saw a 682% increase in seed funding over the past two quarters. Not only is that number expected to increase in 2022, but the communities where startups come together are thriving. Wherever startups and established businesses grow, Michigan’s economic development continues to grow and soar.

“We launched our fund at the height of the COVID pandemic when there was a sudden capital crunch, even for companies that had done well up to that point,” says Prem Bodagala, director of Michigan Rise Pre-Seed. Fund III. “It has been a privilege to invest and work with brilliant Michigan entrepreneurs who have not only withstood the challenges presented by COVID, but have thrived during this time. It’s also been gratifying to see founders who are Michigan home run alumni, such as Duo and StockX, launch their own startups and we’re excited to support them in their new innings.

Learn more about Michigan Rise here.

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