2019 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner Celebrates Achievements of Michigan Investors and their Portfolio Companies

EntryPoint was excited to partner with Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) to host the 2019 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner! For the second year in a row, we worked with MVCA Executive Director, Ara Topouzian and the MVCA Board of Directors to showcase the accomplishments of Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The 2019 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner had record-breaking attendance with 290 attendees and attracted 31 percent more out-of-state attendees than two years ago – the highest out-of-state attendance to date.

One of the event’s primary goals was to ensure the speakers, 12 nominees and awardees were able to share their stories to MVCA members leading up to and the day of the event. We collaborated with community engagement leader, Molly Theis to drive strategy and planning, event management, branding and promotion. EntryPoint selected the Henry Ford Museum as the venue to coincide with the “celebrate innovation” theme, which was incorporated into the nominee announcement, invitations, videos, speeches and the press release.

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Capital availability fuels the growth of startups by enabling them to hit critical milestones – without having to relocate to more capital-dense areas for support. Based on the findings from the 2019 MVCA Research Report, $385 million of venture capital from Michigan-based investors was invested in 61 Michigan startups in 2018. Therefore, we emphasized the importance of investors and how they help provide a strong network, funding and mentorship to entrepreneurs who are launching their businesses in Michigan. Additionally, the report found that 533 venture firms from outside of Michigan have invested in Michigan-based startups. By having a significant number of out-of-state attendees, investors, entrepreneurs and members of the community were able to build stronger connections and grow their networks throughout the evening.

We strategically selected presenters who are representatives of the key elements of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem: capital, talent, research and community. EntryPoint helped MVCA connect with members of the community to participate in the event including: Kelly Sexton of University of Michigan – Office of Tech Transfer, Adrian Ohmer of UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Lauren Hoffman of Rock Ventures, Jared Stasik of Detroit Venture Partners, Martin Dober of ID Ventures, Kim Pasquino of Wakestream Ventures, Chris Rizik of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, and Mike Finney of The Miami-Dade Beacon Council.

The event was formatted as an “awards show” style program, which has proven to be high energy and entertaining. The awards ceremony recognized the capital events that are fueling the growth of Michigan’s companies, the significant investment milestones enabling companies to grow and excel in Michigan, the companies that are producing groundbreaking solutions in their sectors, and the organizations working to engage with their communities and enrich their local economies. The award categories included:

  • Capital Event of the Year: The Capital Event of the Year Award recognizes the significant fundraising milestones of venture capital firms enabling further investment in companies across Michigan and the nation overall. (check out the nominees!)
  • Financing of the Year: The Financing of the Year Award recognizes the significant investment milestones enabling companies to grow and excel in Michigan. (check out the nominees!)
  • Up-and-Coming Company of the Year: The Up-and-Coming Company of the Year Award recognizes Michigan companies across all stages of growth that are producing groundbreaking solutions in their sectors. (check out the nominees!)
  • Community Impact Award: The Community Impact Award recognizes organizations, events or individuals that create the meaningful, effective connections necessary to build Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy. (check out the nominees!)

We are excited to continue our partnership with the amazing team at MVCA to celebrate the accomplishments in Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and recognize the dedication of members of the community. Congratulations to the awardees, Arboretum Ventures (Capital Event of the Year), StockX (Financing of the Year), Orbion Space Technology (Up-and-Coming Company of the Year) and Ferris Wheel (Community Impact)! Also, we want to give a huge shout out to all the nominees, Grand VenturesVenture Investors, Clinc, HistoSonics, Bloomscape, Censys, Ann Arbor Community Foundation and Start Garden. which highlight an amazing array of talent and accomplishments.

Here’s what the entrepreneurial ecosystem had to say about the event!

“EntryPoint seamless behind the scenes event work allows you to do what is important at any event – talk to your attendees! Their strong attention to detail shows and the program was executed perfectly. We heard from numerous attendees that the 2019 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner was the best to date.”
Ara Topouzian, Michigan Venture Capital Association, client
“The future is bright for Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and we were honored to be recognized by our peers as the Capital Event of the Year awardee. The celebratory atmosphere, high-energy awards ceremony, notable attendees and ability to connect with fellow investors, entrepreneurs and community members made it a memorable evening. Great job, EntryPoint!”
Jan Garfinkle, Arboretum Ventures, investor and awardee
“As a community hub for the Flint Community, The Ferris Wheel is always excited to build relationships with companies in Michigan with similar visions and ethos. We were nominated and won the MVCA  2019 Community Impact Award and worked with EntryPoint throughout the whole process. Communication and execution of the event were second to none. I have been a part of many award programs, in planning and as an attendee, and was extremely impressed with their team’s talent, focus and customer service. Cheers EntryPoint team! Keep up the good work!”
Heather Kale, Ferris Wheel, awardee
“The 2019 Michigan Venture Capital Association annual meeting was again one of the key events for the entrepreneurial community in Michigan. It attracted a nice cross-section of entrepreneurs, investors, economic developers and service providers, with high levels of interaction among them. There are so many moving parts to an event like this. Still, they were invisible to the attendees, who experienced a smoothly run evening and a great opportunity to network with others. The EntryPoint team did a great job as always, putting the experience of the attendees as their highest priority.”
Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, speaker

EntryPoint partners with organizations to strategically host events around emerging trends, successes, or gaps in the market related to findings from our research. Interested in partnering with us?
Contact us at info@entrypointmi.com

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