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Venture Fund Unveiled for Michigan Life Science Startups

A new venture capital fund in Grand Rapids, Michigan will support early-stage life science companies in the western part of that state. The Michigan Accelerator Fund 1 (MAF1) will also allocate some of its portfolio to technology startups in other fields including advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, and homeland security.

MAF1 received a a $6 million award from Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund, a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The fund expects to raise another $4 million in investments from regional partners by early 2011. Investments from the fund are expected to begin in early 2011.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation started its accelerator funds specifically to address the region’s early stage funding gap. MAF1 expects to offer universities and research institutions in Western Michigan a new channel for technology transfer funding.

Earlier this month, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm outlined the state’s experience with support for clean-energy technologies. At the meeting, she specifically underscored the need for high-tech companies to get more access to capital.

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