- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan State University Foundation has launched a $5 million venture investing subsidiary to help university startups that are on the brink of market launch.

Red Cedar Ventures would invest a minimum of $250,000 in businesses created by faculty and students to help get their services or products onto the market, the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/2gnlBD9 ) reported.

The foundation’s executive director, David Washburn, said the firm wants to show the investment community that it’s willing to commit resources to make sure technologies that come from the university are successful.

Red Cedar Ventures is the first venture capital firm based in the Lansing region. Andrew McColm, managing director of Venture Creation for Spartan Innovations, the foundation’s commercialization arm, said Red Cedar Ventures helps fill a gap in business funding.

There are many incubators in Greater Lansing that will help entrepreneurs prepare to launch a business. There are also a few accelerators, with some that invest up to $20,000, to develop prototypes for full market production. However, when it comes to startups that require at least $100,000 there aren’t many options locally.

Andrew McColm, managing director of Venture Creation for Spartan Innovations, said Red Cedar Ventures will help fill a gap in business funding.

“There is a dearth of early stage capital in the area,” said McColm. “This will help attract some of the outside venture capital in the area because they will have someone to invest with.”

Red Cedar will fund businesses that have obtained funding from other firms as well and take equity in those companies it invests in.

Washburn said he anticipates the $5 million to last up to five years and thinks return from the companies will be seen in seven to 10 years.

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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