U-M Ross School co-hosts first VC University Live program

April 19, 2019
Written By:
Greta Guest

ANN ARBOR—The Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business will co-host the inaugural VC University Live program in conjunction with this year’s Midwest Growth Capital Symposium in Ann Arbor.

VC University, which launched in January, includes both an online certification program in venture finance and two live events at emerging venture ecosystems across the nation—the first of which kicks off May 15 at the 39th annual Midwest Growth Capital Symposium.

The Center for Venture Capital partnered with the University of California, Berkeley, through its Startup@Berkeley Law and the National Venture Capital Association.

“This joint event reflects the realization that the entire venture capital business—in tandem with the technological-innovation and business-model innovation process—has spread across the country and is no longer limited to just the East and West coasts,” said David Brophy, U-M professor of finance, director of the CVP and founder of the MGCS. The CVP is part of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at U-M.

“We have the technology, talent and institutional-investment potential here in the Midwest states, so entrepreneurial companies don’t have to migrate to the coasts to develop their businesses and procure venture funding,” Brophy said. “This joint event will bring attention to the MGCS and the University of Michigan, and enable people from both coasts to see what kind of technology and innovation pump we have here in our state and region.”

Mary Nickson, associate director of the CVP, said the VC University program begins with a joint MGCS-VCU keynote talk by Jan Garfinkle, managing partner and founder of Arboretum Ventures in Ann Arbor, and Scott Kupor, managing partner and CEO of Andreessen Horowitz in San Francisco.

Their fireside chat will be followed by an in-depth panel discussion on current trends in the venture capital industry, moderated by Brophy and featuring four leading venture capital investors. The four panelists are:

  • Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures in Detroit
  • Kate Mitchell, partner at Scale Venture Partners in Foster City, Calif.
  • Sam Valenti III, chairman and CEO of Valenti Capital in Bloomfield Hills
  • Ashley Yesayan, vice president of Revolution in Washington, D.C.

After the MGCS concludes on Wednesday, May 15, the VC University Live program will continue May 16-17 at the Ross School of Business.

The agenda will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions and case studies designed to help entrepreneurs, angel investors, VCs, fund managers, attorneys and industry professionals hone their finance skills and knowledge. Participants will include U-M investment officials, local, regional and nationwide VC investors, prominent Midwest entrepreneurs and representatives from the host organizations who will serve as guest speakers and panelists.

“This is a great opportunity to share best practices in venture with the venture community at large,” said Garfinkle of Arboretum Ventures. “It is an excellent program with lots of learning and networking.”


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