Posted on 3/29/2017

Tech startups gain access to early-stage capital with launch of statewide First Capital Fund

Technology startups across the state now have access to a new multi-million-dollar fund, backed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), supported by the New Economy Initiative (NEI), and managed by Invest Detroit Ventures, the startup arm of Invest Detroit. With a goal of raising $4.2 million over the next two years, the First Capital Fund will offer early-stage capital to eligible tech companies throughout the state of Michigan.

“Our goal is to distribute money as efficiently as possible to get companies through the most challenging early stages of funding,” said Fred Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at MEDC. “Invest Detroit Ventures is aiming to more than double our initial $2 million investment by bringing private capital to the Fund. We’re confident this fund will play a significant role in developing and attracting high-growth tech companies and stimulating deal flow in Michigan.”

Invest Detroit Ventures is committed to ensuring the First Capital Fund is distributed to startups throughout the state. To apply for funding, companies simply need to start by submitting their information, referring partner and pitch deck via an online portal.

“This is a truly statewide initiative,” said Patricia Glaza, vice president of Invest Detroit and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures. “We’ll be meeting regularly with various partners across Michigan and throughout the Upper Peninsula, including universities, SmartZones and business incubators, to identify eligible startups. We’ve designed the process to be as simple as possible so companies can have access to funding quickly, while still giving us enough information to make smart investments.” 

NEI, an initiative committed to creating a more diverse economy, is another key contributor to the First Capital Fund, bringing an $800,000 investment to the table. 

"Despite the recent progress that Michigan has made in helping startups scale and grow, accessible capital remains elusive to many of our entrepreneurs,” says Pam Lewis, director of NEI. “That’s why we support initiatives like the First Capital Fund, which is committed to helping early-stage companies, particularly those led by women and minority entrepreneurs, reach the next level and create jobs. Making capital more accessible to these groups is critical to creating an inclusive economy that works for everyone in our region.”

Through the First Capital Fund, startups are eligible to receive up to $150,000 in investment. As a unique element of this program, companies are not required to bring any additional financiers alongside this investment, which accelerates the process. 
Invest Detroit Ventures is now accepting applications and referrals through the portal on their website at


| Michigan Economic Development Corporation


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