About MBVF

Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund, where innovation and investment converge to shape the future of healthcare. We are a dynamic fund supporting pioneering life science startups with U-M-licensed intellectual property, ranging from therapeutics and medical devices to health IT solutions. The program is powered by the collaborative efforts of the U-M Medical School’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) program and Michigan Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE). Our evergreen fund, established through an initial gift from the Monroe-Brown Foundation, fuels these ventures with initial seed-stage equity investments typically ranging from $100,000 to $300,000, with capacity for additional follow-on investment.

About MBVF

Advancing biomedical breakthroughs through investment and expertise

The MBVF bridges the gap between cutting-edge research and startups.

The MBVF bridges the gap between cutting-edge research and startups which can drive biomedical innovations into clinical care. Our exclusive focus on biomedical startups integrated with U-M IP sets us apart. To qualify, entrepreneurs typically must have completed an esteemed translational program such as Coulter, MTRAC, or I-Corps. Our mission is to create a transformative pipeline, fostering clinical breakthroughs and economic impact through startups. For visionary companies ready to redefine healthcare, please reach out to our fund team. Join us in revolutionizing the industry, one innovation at a time.


Akadeum Life Sciences

Akadeum Life Sciences

Ann Arbor, MI
Brandon McNaughton, CEO

Akadeum Life Sciences developed a microbubble-based platform for live cell isolation with applications including cell and gene therapy manufacturing.




Ann Arbor, MI
Girish Kulkarni, President & Co-Founder

Arborsense makes wearable devices for continuous monitoring of blood alcohol content and other analytes directly from the skin.




Ann Arbor, MI
Olivia Walch, CEO

Arcascope developed a platform for sleep and alertness optimization based on circadian rhythm model, for shift workers and chronotherapy applications.


brio device


Ann Arbor, MI
Hannah Hensel, Co-Founder & CEO

Brio’s insertion stylets minimize reliance on clinician skill for success and are designed to assist users in locating the trachea and maneuvering the endotracheal tube through the mouth, throat, and airway.


Courage Therapeutics

Courage Therapeutics

Newton, MA
Dan Houseman, CEO

Courage Therapeutics is developing new medicines for eating disorders.


Endovascular Engineering

Endovascular Engineering

Menlo Park, CA
Mike Rosenthal, CEO

Endovascular Engineering developed a thrombectomy device to treat pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.



EVOQ Therapeutics

Ann Arbor, MI
William Brinkerhoff, Co-Founder & CEO

EVOQ offers nano-vaccine technology that is able to evoke potent anti-tumor T-cell responses that can eradicate tumors and establish long-term immunity against tumor recurrence.


FlexDex Surgical

FlexDex Surgical

Brighton, MI
James Geiger, CEO

FlexDex Surgical is an innovative medical device company bringing the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to more patients around the world by providing surgeons with tools that have the functionality of robots at the cost of traditional hand-held instruments.




Ann Arbor, MI
Mike Klein, CEO

Genomenon’s software simplifies genome interpretation to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical practice and speed genetic discoveries in research laboratories.




Santa Clara, CA
Jay Trautmann, President & CEO

Invenio’s NIO imaging system enables intraoperative histology, reducing downtime in the OR and allowing examination of specimens from multiple sites in the surgical cavity.


iRenix Medical

iRenix Medical

Palo Alto, CA
Stephen Smith, CEO

iRenix offers a novel antiseptic for intravitreal injections/ophthalmic procedures.


MDI Therapeutics

MDI Therapeutics

Ann Arbor, MI
Stephen Benoit, President & CEO

Leveraging the world-renowned research of founder Dan Lawrence in serpin biology. MDI Therapeutics has discovered a new class of small molecule inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor-type 1 (PAI-1) for the treatment of fibrosis.


Mountain Pass

Mountain Pass

Ann Arbor, MI
Tom Simon, CEO

Mountain Pass Solutions (MPS) offers a fully configurable workflow management system as a SaaS product.


ONL Therapeutics

ONL Therapeutics

Ann Arbor, MI
John Freshley, President & CEO

ONL offers a first-in-class therapy to protect the vision of patients with retinal disease, using a Fas inhibitor designed to protect against retinal cell death.




Exited – acquired by Nvidia

Ann Arbor, MI
Mehrzad Samedi, CEO and Co-founder

Parabricks helps companies and researchers sequence whole human genomes 48x faster than conventional next-generation sequencing pipelines saving on computation costs with faster throughputs.




Ann Arbor, MI
Peter Falzon, Co-Founder & CEO

Ripple Science offers program management software for recruiting subjects for academic or industry studies.


MBVF Partner Chart


Critical to MBVF’s powerhouse team is the Investment Advisory Board (IAB), composed of industry experts, top-tier bio/med/heathcare venture capitalists, and successful entrepreneurs. The IAB helps shape investment decisions and provides a supportive network for our portfolio startups. With a wealth of domain expertise in healthcare and biotech, our IAB members bring unmatched insight and experience. Our members are not tied to U-M funding programs, ensuring unbiased, independent counsel. Introducing the powerhouse behind our achievements: our esteemed IAB members:

Amit Aysola, M.S.E., M.B.A.,
Managing Partner, Create Health Ventures

Sundaresh Brahmasandra, Ph.D.,
Serial Biotech Entrepreneur, VP Luminex

Rafael Castilla, J.D.,
Director MINTS, U-M Investment Office

Dan Estes, Ph.D.,
General Partner, Frazier Life Sciences

Brian Gallagher, M.S., Ph.D.,
Biotech Investor & Entrepreneur

Rekha Hemrajani, M.S.,
Life Science CEO & Board Member

Dan Kidle, B.B.A., M.B.A.,
Managing Partner, Arboretum Ventures

Jason Lettman, M.B.A.,
Partner, Lightstone Ventures

Julia Owens, Ph.D.,
Biotech CEO, Advisor & Board Member

Ellen Sheets, M.D., M.B.A.,
Healthcare Exec, CEO SeQure Dx

C.R. Sincock,
Investor & Entrepreneur, AvFuel, Transhuman Capital



Monroe-Brown Foundation


Carol and Dixon Doll Family Foundation

Leinweber Foundation

Reach out to learn more about leveraging philanthropy in an evergreen, self-sustaining manner, to bring more treatments and technologies to clinical care and build Michigan’s life science entrepreneurial ecosystem!


John Seamans, M.S.E.

MBVF Fund Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria?

Any U-M startup that has a U-M license/option and has a biomedical or healthcare focus is eligible to receive funding. Since this is an early-stage venture fund we fund at the angel or seed level, and in some cases at the Series A stage. We typically do not make our first investment in rounds later than the Series A stage.

We don’t have an option or a license yet, but are in the process; can we still apply?

Yes, you can still apply while the licensing is still in progress. The final funding is contingent on obtaining the license/option.

We are not a company yet, but are in the process; can we still apply?

Yes, you can still apply while the company formation is in progress. The final funding is contingent on company formation, and proof of business entity registration is required.

What is the timeline and process?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. It is highly recommended that you contact the program manager before applying. Once we receive a company’s application, we’ll begin the initial due-diligence process (about 4-6 weeks). Select teams will be recommended to present to the external Investment Advisory Board (IAB). During this time, companies have to address issues raised by the Board and the Program Manager as they perform further due diligence (4-8 weeks). In most cases, companies are funded after addressing feedback from the introductory meeting with the Board. Typically, the entire process takes 2 to 4 months.

Do you fund student startups that come out of the university?

Sorry, at this moment we are not considering student-IP owned startups from U-M.

What financial instrument do you use to invest?

Since most companies are very early-stage, we want to keep the terms as simple and easy as possible. We are open to using a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) agreement or a convertible note. In cases where syndicates are being formed, we are happy to follow the lead investor’s term sheet subject to certain provisions.

Get COnnected

U-M Startups:

Interested in learning more or getting involved?

VC & angel investors, fund advisors, philanthropic supporters and more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Follow MBVF on LinkedIN