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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Insider View, Twists & Turns in International Venture Capital

Here's a recent publication by Thomas Nastas, one of Marchmont's Advisory Board members. 

In January I delivered a lecture to MBA students, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. David Brophy, Director of the Office for the Study of Private Equity Finance & Associate Professor of Finance invited me to speak at his private equity class about my experiences in doing VC since 1986, with what he calls “Tom is 3 feet deep into VC, with mud on his boots.”

If you don’t know David you should, as he was the instrumental force in developing the venture capital and private equity industry in the State of Michigan. He was the creative force behind business plan competitions in the Midwest of the USA, in 1980, way before anyone in the world was thinking of bringing companies and investors together to mix, interact and network around this asset class we know as venture capital.  His event, called the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is one of the longest running programs in the USA, in operation since 1980.

I quote from the Symposium’s web site, “Celebrating its 31st anniversary, the 2012 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is the Midwest’s leading event for attracting the best investors from across the U.S. and showcasing high-quality investable companies. In the past decade alone, more than 300 companies have presented. About 70% of these have raised capital totaling more than $1.7 billion in investments and nearly 20% have realized successful exits.

Year after year, the MGCS has brought greater awareness and opportunity to startups emerging from research departments of leading universities across the country. Over the past 10 years nearly a quarter of the presenting companies have been university-based spin-outs, raising capital totaling some $430 million in investments. About 70 percent (a total of 49 companies) have come from Michigan’s University Research Corridor institutions—U-M, Michigan State and Wayne State and one-fifth of these companies have realized successful exits.

MGCS is presented by the University of Michigan Zell Lurie Institute’s Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business in partnership with the Michigan Venture Capital Association.“

As always, comments are welcome here, or write me directly at

You may visit to read more of Tom Nastas' publications.


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