EAST LANSING – The Michigan State University Foundation has launched Red Cedar Ventures, a $5 million venture investing subsidiary to help MSU start-ups that are on the cusp of market launch.
“We want to signal to the investment community that we are willing to commit resources to make sure the technologies that come from MSU are successful,” said David Washburn, executive director of the foundation.
Red Cedar Ventures would invest a minimum of $250,000 in businesses created by students and faculty to help get their products or services onto the market.
It is among the first venture capital firms in the Lansing region. The Michigan State Medical Society set up a $1.5 million healthcare-based venture fund, Quantum Medical Concepts, in 2014 in Lansing. Most venture capital firms in the state, however, are based in Detroit or Grand Rapids.
Greater Lansing has a slew of incubators that will help entrepreneurs prepare to launch a business. It also has a few accelerators, some of which invest up to $20,000 to develop prototypes for full market production. But, for start-ups that require at least $100,000 to get to market, there aren’t many options locally.