Michigan Tech joins six-university consortium, fund to foster new development statewide

What's happening: A new collaboration between six Michigan universities — including Michigan Technological University — has started in the hopes of creating more growth in new businesses in the state. The collaboration was established through the Michigan University Innovation Capital Fund (MUICF) and the Michigan University Innovation Capital Consortium, with both projects supported through a $5 million investment from the Michigan Innovate Capital Fund. 

With a shared objective of bolstering pre-seed startups and early-stage companies throughout Michigan, the MUICF's primary mission is to stimulate economic growth by fostering cutting-edge research and facilitating technology transfer from Michigan's public universities.

Applying research in the real world: With many groundbreaking studies resulting in technological breakthroughs across the state, this new collaboration will help find new ways to solve modern problems in Michigan. The MUICF's primary aim is to provide backing and investment for startup companies rooted in research originating from Michigan's public universities. These startups must be actively operating within the state and exhibit substantial potential to fuel economic growth and innovation. Applicants must showcase the importance of the universities and how their collaborative research projects and commercialization of technological developments can make a real change.  

What they're saying: “I’m pleased to be able to collaborate with the U-M Innovation Partnerships team as they create this new funding mechanism for university startups across our state,” said Jim Baker, associate vice president for research administration at Michigan Technological University. “There is tremendous ingenuity and exciting research taking place at Michigan Tech, and this new fund will open up more doors for our faculty and researchers. By having a dedicated venture fund that understands the unique challenges facing university startups, MUICF will ensure that they are positioned to create high-paying jobs and economic opportunity throughout our state.”

What's next: The new investment at Michigan Tech will continue the work done by the consortium already in Michigan. Over the last six years, Michigan Tech and five downstate universities have collectively initiated an average of 26 startups annually in the technology sector. Michael Psarouthakis, who serves as the executive director for Impact Investments and Strategic Alliances within the Innovation Partnerships division, will assume responsibility for overseeing the MUICF.
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