The Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund (M-B Seed Fund) invests in biomedical startup companies with U-M licensed IP in the domain of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, or health IT. The M-B Seed Fund is a collaborative effort between the U-M College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and U-M Medical School’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation program (FFMI) program.
With a $3 million gift from the Monroe-Brown Foundation, the M-B Seed Fund awards $50,000-300,000 to biomedical startup companies. The Fund serves to drive the university’s world-class leadership by creating a critical pipeline between research and the biomedical innovation life cycle. The goal is to continue in our efforts to attract world-class research talent to U-M and the broader Ann Arbor entrepreneurial ecosystem, securing the university’s position as the leader in translational research.
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, the Fund proudly announced the first companies to earn investment: Genomenon, Inc. and Brio, LLC.
Read more about our company profiles here.
This fund is exclusively for biomedical startups or companies with U-M IP or license. Most applicants need to successfully complete an existing U-M translational program such as Coulter, MTRAC, NSF I-Corps and, or be recommended by the Deal Flow Council (DFC). Companies can also directly apply after consulting with the Program Manager. Applicants are required to complete the 3-4 page proposal and submit any relevant material.
Q: Do you fund student startups that come out of the university?
A: Sorry, at this moment we are not considering student-IP owned startups from U-M.
Q: What financial instrument do you use to invest?
A: Since most companies are very early-stage, we aim to keep the terms as simple and easy as possible. We use a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) agreement.
Q: Are you open to other types of investment?
A: Yes, while we prefer doing a SAFE, we are open to considering other types or funding, especially when other investors are involved.
Q: We have obtained some seed-funding, can we still apply?
A: If you have not had a Series round, but have received angel or seed-funding, you may still apply
Q: We have received venture capital funding in a Series A round and want some bridge-funding. Are we still eligible?
A: No. Any venture-backed company that has had a Series round is not eligible. We do not do bridge-funding.
Hirak Parikh, PhD
Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund Program Manager
Deal Flow Council (DFC) Members
The Deal Flow Council (DFC) comprised of 4-7 members that review applications as well as recommends UM start-ups to consider for funding. DFC members include individuals that are closely connected to U-M research and innovation, and U-M translational programs, eg: Office of Tech Transfer Licensing and the Venture Center, I-Corps, Med and CoE units, including the department chairs, and MTRAC for Life Sciences and the Coulter Program.
Jonathan Fay, I-Corps
Drew Bennett, Licensing, U-M Technology Transfer
Tom Marten, Coulter Program, U-M Biomedical Engineering
Brad Martin, U-M MTRAC Life Sciences, Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Mike Psarouthakis, Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
Dave Repp, Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
Investment Advisory Board (IAB) Members
The IAB is comprised of 7-10 members and advises on all investment decisions. IAB members include individuals with domain expertise, successful venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and other investors in healthcare and biotech. Members do not have an official U-M appointment or specific ties to existing U-M funding programs (One representative is appointed to the IAB by the U-M Investment Office). The IAB is operationally independent from the Deal Flow Council.
Rafael Castilla, U-M Investment Office
Dan Kidle, Arboretum Ventures
David Gregorka, Baird Capital
Dan Rhodes, Strata Oncology
Marcia Hatch, Gunderson Dettmer
Jason Lettman, Lightstone Ventures
Julia Owens, Millendo Therapeutics
Keith Brophy, State of Michigan SBDC
Brian Gallagher, SR One