Investment Team

The investment team mentors entrepreneurs and provides early stage support and funding to startups emanating from Michigan State University as well as the wider Michigan ecosystem. Each member of the team brings a unique set of skills, which allows them to make decisions to best help entrepreneurs.

“We accentuate the talents of each other and our startup ecosystem while doing our best to achieve wholistic goals,” said Jeff Wesley, the Executive Director of Spartan Innovations, Michigan Rise and Red Cedar Ventures.

The team is proud to provide the support entrepreneurs need in order to become successful in their field. To date, over $6.5 M has been invested into promising MSU and Michigan startups, which they have used leverage to raise over $275 million from other investors as well as grant funds.

“The knowledge that the work we do helps further innovation that has potential to make a disruptively positive impact on individual and societal levels is the best part of my job,” said Prem Bodagala, the Director at Michigan Rise and Red Cedar Ventures.

The team is constantly seeing the fruits of their labor. They currently support over 70 active companies, which have gone on to create hundreds of high-paying jobs in the Michigan ecosystem. They were recently awarded the Pre-Seed Fund 111 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which will allow them to support MSU and Michigan high-tech high growth companies with funding, coaching and other types of value accretive support for 5 years or more. The new fund is Michigan Rise and you can learn more at

“We are blessed to work with so many passionate entrepreneurs and each day we get a chance to make a difference,” Wesley said.

David Washburn

David Washburn

Executive Director, MSU Foundation; President of Spartan Innovations; President, Red Cedar Ventures

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