Venture Accelerator Provides U-M Spin-Offs Place to Grow

August 31, 2011

U-M launched its Venture Accelerator, part of U-M Tech Transfer, at the NCRC with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony in January 2011. Occupying 18,000 square feet at the NCRC, the Venture Accelerator focuses exclusively on enhancing the quality and speed of developing high-potential new ventures based on U-M technology. Accelerator tenants have access to Tech Transfer's Venture Center to help them refine business models, attract investors, acquire gap funding and connect to talent who enhance the company's quality and sustainability. Accelerator tenants can also seek guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs in Tech Transfer's Mentors in Residence program.

"Although we currently are among the top ten in creating new university-based start-ups, we're driven to do even better. Our new Venture Accelerator, located at the NCRC, allows us to expand our capabilities to create jobs and opportunity right here in Michigan," says Kenneth Nisbet, Executive Director of U-M Tech Transfer.

Selected U-M startups sign flexible one-year leases for access to world-class laboratory and office space, along with a suite of business services from the Venture Center. Funding for the project is provided by U-M Tech Transfer, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Provost and the U-M Health System.

The Venture Accelerator has space to accommodate about 15 startup companies. Accelerator companies are a mix of life sciences, clean-tech, software and other technology ventures from the portfolio of emerging U-M start-ups from the Venture Center. Current tenants include:

  • 3D Biomatrix
  • Civionics
  • Edington Associates
  • EngXT
  • Life Magnetics
  • Phrixus Pharmaceuticals
  • Reveal Design Automation
  • Wolverine Energy Solutions and Technology

"There is no doubt that U-M has almost unparalleled strength in creativity and innovation, and the Venture Accelerator provides an essential link in generating successful ventures from our creative concepts, while incentivizing faculty to pursue their ideas to success in the marketplace," says Stephen Forrest, Ph.D., U-M vice president for research. "I am very proud that the Office of Technology Transfer has taken the lead in making the accelerator a reality for U-M."