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August 17, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Michigan State announces new initiative named Michigan Rise

The Michigan State University Foundation has announced the launch of Michigan Rise, a wholly owned subsidiary that will administer a new fund designed to grow early stage high tech businesses located in the Wolverine State.

As noted in this April article from, the Foundation was designated in April as administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund III. The non-profit will work closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative to support entrepreneurs and technology start-ups in the state by providing capital, mentorship, assistance with grant funding and other services.

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.

The Foundation’s Executive Director is David Washburn, a former Vice President of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation who moved to East Lansing in 2013. He also serves as President of Michigan Rise. In an email exchange late last week, Washburn said the fund is expected to be receive $3 million a year from the state for five years with the MSU Foundation contributing an addition $2.5 million.

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