Tech Entrepreneurs in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Tech entrepreneurs are on the rise in Michigan and playing an increasingly prominent role in Michigan’s economy, with the number of tech start-up companies in Michigan more than tripling over the past four years, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

According to the 2014 Metrics Report released by MEDC’s Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Venture Capital (EIVC), 248 new tech companies were created in Michigan last year. An average of 240 new tech companies have been created each of the last three years with an average of 1,100 new tech jobs each year.

Also in 2014, private investment in new tech companies in Michigan last year was $710 million. This means that for every dollar the Michigan Strategic Fund spent on tech entrepreneurship last year, small tech companies raised $35 from the private sector and federal contracts.

In addition, Michigan’s venture capital community has shown significant growth during the last five years. The number of venture capital firms in Michigan increased to 35 firms during that time. There has been nearly a doubling in the number of venture capital professionals in Michigan, compared to a net 13 percent decrease nationally.

MEDC’s Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Venture Capital team works to leverage private funds into early stage tech companies like ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc., based at the Michigan Life Science Innovation Center in Plymouth. ProNAi is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing DNA (DNAi) interference technologies for cancer treatments. The company received funds from MEDC through the 21st Century Jobs Fund and support through many other programs run by EIVC.

The company recently announced the closing of $59.5 million in Series D financing that will allow ProNAi to advance its PNT2258 drug candidate in several Phase II clinical studies in patients with various forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“ProNAi is developing a new class of DANi therapeutics that has demonstrated promising results in lymphoma patients,” said ProNAi board member Albert Cha, MD, PhD. “We are excited about the opportunity to move PNT2258 forward and further develop the company’s pipeline.”

 


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