In Michigan, we have a terrific natural advantage in the production of startups … great universities, smart people, a strong “need to achieve”. And our startups share a common problem with startups everywhere… the ”Death Valley financing gap.” In that early stage of development/growth the amount of money needed usually exceeds the capacity of the “Friends, Families and Fools ” who may have provided “kickoff funding” for the startup. The deal may not yet be considered ready for angel finance or “A-Round” venture capital. How do we build our pre-money value at this stage when support from “orthodox” sources is so scarce and expensive? How can we overcome this huge problem to launch our startup on its growth trajectory?
Our Panel and Open Discussion This is an open forum discussion, anchored by a panel of experienced veterans of entrepreneurial finance. Panel members will present practical information on non-dilutive sources of support for companies in this stage of growth (for example, grants, internships, asset-sharing plans, barter, inter-company cooperation on non-competing aspects of development). Company-builders who have successfully navigated Death Valley will share with you the techniques that worked for them and provided a base for the successful funding of their company’s growth. Our networking facilities will enable you to make collaborative arrangements with other participants.
- Gary Glick, CEO, Lycera
- Howard Cash, CEO, Gene Codes
- Tom Porter, Frankel Fund
- Andy Jakimcius, BioConsultants, Inc.
- Skip Simms, SPARK
- Phil Teply, Michigan SBTDC
- Anik Ganguly, The GAIN Group, LLC