MSU Foundation and MEDC announce Michigan Rise Pre-Seed Fund III

This article has been reposted from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

As the newly named administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund III (MPSF III) by the Michigan Strategic Fund, Michigan State University Foundation (MSU Foundation) announced Michigan Rise.

MSU Foundation was awarded the MPSF III on April 14, 2020 and will work closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative to support entrepreneurs and technology startups in Michigan by providing capital, mentorship, assistance with grant funding and more. Applications for investment through the fund will be available at beginning August 10.

“We are so excited to get started with Michigan Rise. Our logo is a reflection of our belief that each day is a new opportunity to bring innovation to success”, said Jeff Wesley, Executive Director of Michigan Rise. “Our team is dedicated to assisting early-stage Michigan startups with capital and leveraging our relationships across the state of Michigan. Part of this effort will include working closely with our partners in Michigan SmartZones, other regional and national seed stage investment groups, and working strategically with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation team at the MEDC.”

The fund will align with the MEDC’s key investment areas including advanced automotive and mobility, advanced manufacturing and materials, alternative energy, agricultural processing technology, information technology, homeland security and defense technology, agriculture, life sciences and other innovative technologies Investments will be tranched ranging between $50,000 to $150,000 each – up to $250,000 total – for Michigan-based startup companies. Michigan Rise will invest in high growth and high impact technology startups that have a majority of their employees living in Michigan, with an emphasis on startups aligned with MEDC’s core focus areas.”

“I believe there is a tremendous opportunity in Michigan for innovation to thrive with our incredible universities and a high density of STEM talent,” explained Prem Bodagala, Director of Michigan Rise. “We are excited to leverage our infrastructure and personnel and add value to Michigan startups.”

“As the entrepreneurial ecosystem rebounds from the ongoing pandemic, this funding will be vital in ensuring Michigan’s early-stage startups have the tools necessary to scale and succeed,” said Nataliya Stasiw, Portfolio Manager with the MEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation team. “We are grateful to partner with Michigan State University Foundation to provide this support, and further demonstrate the innovation and resilience of Michigan’s workforce and economy.”

MEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech startup companies access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more information on MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation, please visit

About the Michigan State University Foundation

Established in 1973 as an independent non-profit, the Michigan State University Foundation is committed to the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies invented by MSU faculty, staff, and students. The MSU Foundation’s overarching goal is to support research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development at the university and beyond. Additionally, the MSU Foundation operates Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, and the University Corporate Research Park. More information on the organization’s notable achievements, services, leadership, and history are available at

About Michigan Rise

Michigan Rise is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation. Founded in 2020, Michigan Rise invests in early-stage high tech businesses located in Michigan. For more information on Michigan Rise visit

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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