Meet Midwest startups ready to bust a move

Photo courtesy of InvestMidwest

Entrepreneurship is a critical piece of the economy for the Midwest. Phyllis Ellison, executive director of InvestMidwest, believes that we have to grow our own companies, rather than rely on existing corporations and small businesses to carry the burden of employment, taxes, and economic prosperity.

That’s why InvestMidwest is collaborating with the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) at the University of Michigan for the Midwest Venture Showcase scheduled for April 27-28, 2021. Fast Future spoke to Ellison for more details.

What are the goals of the Showcase?

Ellison: The goal of InvestMidwest is to highlight the top startups in the Midwest and to give them visibility to venture capitalists drawn from across the country. The virtual event boasts over 40 Tech Transfer spinouts from major research universities across the Midwest that are seeking pre-seed and seed funding.

What can we expect from the Showcase?

Ellison: The Showcase includes a larger selection of about 75 companies in five industry tracks: Life Science, Medical Devices, Tech, Food/Ag and University Technology Transfer. There will be a morning of panel discussions and speakers, followed by the company pitches in the afternoon. The company pitches and profiles will remain accessible to the investors for 30 days, allowing for additional review.

What do you hope comes out of the Showcase?

Ellison: We want to see companies and investors connecting in conversations during and after the Showcase. It takes time for relationships to develop; VCs want to get to know the team before they invest. The goal is to have the relationships that start at the Midwest Venture Showcase translate into more introductions and eventually investments in the companies.

For more information on applying, attending, or sponsoring the Showcase, please visit or email Emily Zaycosky (MGCS) or or email Phyllis Ellison (InvestMidwest).