Michigan eLab is an investment firm launched a little more than two years ago with the idea of bridging the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Michigan and Silicon Valley. It’s well on its way to do that with its first two investments.
The downtown Ann Arbor-based venture capital firm, founded by Silicon Valley investment veterans with Michigan roots, has invested in MobileForce
(a Silicon Valley-based mobile app startup) and Akadeum Life Sciences
(an Ann Arbor-based life sciences startup). Both investments are bringing jobs to Ann Arbor.
The $150,000 investment in Akadeum Life Sciences is helping the University of Michigan spinout develop its tissue testing preparation platform. The startup and its team of three people (it plans to add more later this year) has leveraged a number of local entrepreneurial initiative, such as U-M's I-Corps
program and seed capital from Invest Detroit
"Akadeum Life Sciences is a great example of a startup that has came out of the entrepreneurial ecosystem," says Doug Neal, managing director of Michigan eLab
MobileForce developing enterprise cloud and mobile software. It is working with VisionIT to build out it products and is looking to hire up to four people in Ann Arbor now.
"The goal is to get to 20 people in Ann Arbor," Neal says.
Michigan eLab currently employs five people. It has made two investments so far but plans to ramp up that pace in 2015 with three or four investments before the end of the year.
"We are hopeful we will make another one in the next couple months," Neal says.
Source: Doug Neal, managing director of Michigan eLab
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.