DETROIT – Detroit billionaire and real estate mogul Dan Gilbert has been nominated by the Michigan Venture Capital Association for its Entrepreneur of the Year award, while the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is one of the finalist for the Community Impact Award. Winners will be announced Nov. 15 at the Little Caesars Arena as the private equity finance organization celebrates its 15th anniversary.
“MVCA had the honor of being part of this exciting journey of stimulating growth, innovation, and economic vitality in our home state – and we are thrilled to celebrate with those who’ve helped Michigan soar,” said Maureen Miller Brosnan, Executive Director of MVCA. “Michigan is positioned as a leader in driving innovation and cultivating an attractive environment for high-growth, high-potential companies. In recognition of 15 years of success, MVCA is celebrating research, talent, capital, and community – the strengths that have built this community into what it is today.”
Miller Brosnan will be on M2 TechCast today (www.podcastdetroit.com) to discuss the nominees and the MVCA. The show airs live from 3 to 4 pm.
This year’s awards ceremony recognizes entrepreneurs who are taking risks and driving innovation in high-tech industries, capital events that are fueling the growth of Michigan’s companies, and the lifetime achievements of notable investors from the state. The organization added a new award – Community Impact Award – to recognize organizations, events, or individuals that create the meaningful, effective connections necessary to build Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy.
The nominees are:
Entrepreneur of the Year
- Dan Gilbert – Dan Gilbert is the chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans Inc., the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Monsters, Cleveland Gladiators and the NBA Development League’s Canton Charge.
- Kaylan Handique – Kaylan Handique founded Celsee Diagnostics along with a team of biologists-entrepreneur Priya Gogoi, Saedeh Sepehri and Chris Siemer in 2011, a life sciences startup that recently received follow-on investment to speed up commercialization of its cancer-detection technology.
- Dug Song & Jon Oberheide – Dug Song and Jon Oberheide are the founders of Duo Security, one of the fastest growing cloud-based cybersecurity and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers in the world.
Capital Event of the Year
- Cirius Therapeutics – Cirius Therapeutics is a life science startup with research and development operations in Kalamazoo that raised $40.5 million in venture capital last year.
- Deepfield – Deepfield is an information technology startup that had one of the most impactful exits in the Southeast Michigan community in the past decade.
- LLamasoft – LLamasoft, an information technology startup and global leader in supply chain modeling and design software, announced investment and partnership with TPG Capital in 2017, the global private equity fund of leading alternative asset firm TPG.
Community Impact Award
- Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition – Accelerate Michigan, a program of Invest Detroit, is the largest gathering of high-growth, high-tech startups and venture investors in the state, and awards $1,000,000 in cash and in-kind prizes through its pitch competition.
- Michigan Growth Capital Symposium – Michigan Growth Capital Symposium has been at the core Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community since 1980, connecting early-stage companies with venture capitalists and strategic investors from Michigan, the Midwest and across the USA.
- Techstars Mobility – Techstars Mobility is a mentorship-driven accelerator program part of the global Techstars network. Techstars Mobility invests globally in startups transforming the future of mobility and transportation.
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Ian Bund – Ian Bund is senior advisor and founding partner of Plymouth Growth Partners. He has played an instrumental role in growing and shaping Michigan’s venture capital community and was critical to the success of multiple venture capital firms in the state, including the first institutionally backed firm in Michigan.
- Mike Jandernoa – Mike Jandernoa is an investor, board member, entrepreneur, and mentor who is committed to Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community, the vitality of the state, and building connections to grow Michigan’s economy.
- Jody Vanderwel – Jody Vanderwel is an investor that has partnered with a variety of organizations and startup companies across Michigan by providing financial, intellectual and networking resources.
MVCA members will vote to select the winners for each category. The four winners will be announced live at the event on November 15. To register for the MVCA Annual Awards Dinner and find out further information, please click here.
For more information, visit www.MichiganVCA.org.