The Venture Michigan Fund (“VMF”) is a venture capital fund investment program that has been formed under the Michigan Early Stage Venture Investment Act of 2003 (or the “Act of 2003”). VMF seeks to promote Michigan’s economic health by assisting in the creation of new jobs, new businesses and new industries in Michigan through the creation of funds of funds. The funds of funds invest in venture capital managers that invest primarily in Michigan-based early stage companies. As per the Act of 2003, the capital for the program has not been provided by the State but raised from outside investors. To encourage investment in VMF, the Michigan Department of Treasury agreed to provide investors with up to $450 million of tax voucher certificates that could be used as a form of “currency” to offset any shortfall in debt servicing by fulfilling an equivalent amount of Michigan Business Tax and/or withholding tax obligations of the investors. GCM Grosvenor Private Markets (formerly the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group [“CFIG”]) was chosen as manager for the program through an RFP process and was engaged in January 2006.
VMF currently consists of two funds of funds. The Venture Michigan Fund I, Limited Partnership (“VMF I”) is a $95 million fund launched in 2006. VMF I is fully committed and has invested in 11 funds. The Venture Michigan Fund II, Limited Partnership (“VMF II”) is a $120 million fund established in December 2010. VMF II began to accept information from interested fund managers in February 2011 and is invested in 10 funds.
The Program seeks to:
- Achieve a superior internal rate of return on venture capital investments while contributing to the economic development of the State of Michigan
- Enhance and diversify the economic base of Michigan by fostering the creation and growth of new jobs, new businesses and new industries within the State, and through investment in certain businesses that focus on areas including, but not limited to, alternative energy technology, high-technology and healthcare
- Promote the retention of business and jobs through investments in Michigan-based businesses
- Encourage the development and growth of a vibrant Michigan-based venture capital community
- Help facilitate the transfer of technologies from the State’s various universities and research institutions to the private sector
- Help facilitate public and private partnerships within the State