The Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund (MBVF) invests in biomedical startup companies with U-M licensed IP in the domain of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, or health IT. The MBVF 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 MBVF 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.
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.
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 case at the Series A stage. We 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?
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.
Hirak Parikh, PhD
DEAL FLOW COUNCIL MEMBERS
The Deal Flow Council (DFC) is comprised of 4-7 members that review applications, as well as recommend U-M 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), U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, and the Coulter Program. DFC members are:
Drew Bennett, M.B.A., Licensing, U-M Technology Transfer
Charles Cole, M.B.A., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
Jonathan Fay, Ph.D., I-Corps, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship
Tom Marten, M.B.A., Coulter Program, U-M Biomedical Engineering
Brad Martin, Ph.D., U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Mike Psarouthakis, M.B.A., M.S., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
Dave Repp, M.B.A., M.S., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
INVESTMENT ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
The Investment Advisory Board (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. IAB Board Members are:
Keith Brophy, M.S.I.S., Director of Business Lab, Blue Cross Blue Shield Emerging Markets
Rafael Castilla, J.D., Director of Investments and Structuring, U-M Investment Office
Robin Damschroder, Interim CFO, Henry Ford Hospital
Brian Gallagher, M.S., Ph.D., Partner, SR One
David Gregorka, M.S., M.B.A., Venture Partner, Baird Capital
Rekha Hemrajani, M.S., COO FLXBio
Dan Kidle, B.B.A., M.B.A., Principal, Arboretum Ventures
Jason Lettman, M.B.A., Partner, Lightstone Ventures
Julia Owens, Ph.D., President & CEO, Millendo Therapeutics
Ann Arbor, MI
Stephen Benoit, President & CEO
Leveraging the world-renown 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. | More info: mditherapeutics.com
Ann Arbor, MI
Mehrzad Samadi, 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 a faster throughputs. | More info: parabricks.com