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MVCA Honors VCs, Deals at Annual Meeting

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) -- At its annual meeting, the Michigan Venture Capital Association awarded its Best Financing award to Esperion Therapeutics, the MVCA 100 to FutureNet, Best Exit to Pioneer Surgical Technology and Lifetime Achievement to Tom Kinnear.

It also announced its 2014 executive committee and board of directors.

"The last year affirmed Michigan's reputation as a destination for innovation-based businesses and the VCs that back them," said Carrie Jones, MVCA's executive director. "Even as venture capital declined nationally, access to capital increased in Michigan. There are amazing companies accomplishing amazing things here, and MVCA's annual meeting is a chance to celebrate those individuals and organizations that are part of that success story."

Esperion, a Plymouth-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cholesterol-lowering drugs, was honored with MVCA's Financing of the Year award. In June, Esperion issued an initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market.

MVCA honored FutureNet with its 100 Award for achieving $100 million in revenue this year. FutureNetGroup is a Detroit-based energy and environmental, construction, technology, and security company that provides infrastructure improvement and protection through innovative technologies.

Pioneer Surgical Technology was awarded by MVCA as the Best Exit. In 2013, the Marquette-based company was successfully acquired by RTI Biologics. The acquisition created a global surgical implant company positioned for growth in orthopedics and biologics.

Tom Kinnear was honored by MVCA for his lifetime achievement. Kinnear is the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He previously served as executive director of UM's Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition to his teaching, Kinnear supports the UM Office of Tech Transfer and is chairman of the state-backed Venture Michigan Fund. He also is active in the entrepreneurial community as a co-founder, advisor, angel investor, and Board member of startup companies, including: Network Express, BlueGill Technologies, Accuri Instruments, Avail Networks, Avidimer Therapeutics, Mobius Microsystems, Janeeva, nanoCerox, and NanoBio. He is also a limited partner in Apjohn Ventures, Arbor Partner Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, EDF Ventures, and RPM Ventures. He is a member of the investment committee for EDF Ventures and for Arboretum Ventures.

At its annual meeting and awards dinner, MVCA also announced its 2014 board of directors. Jim Adox of Venture Investors will serve as the organization's board chair. Other board members serving 2014-2015 are Josh Beebe, MK Capital; Hugo Braun, North Coast Technology Investors; Pete Farner, TGap Ventures; Patricia Glaza, Arsenal Ventures; Tony Grover, RPM Ventures; Mark Horne, Plymouth Venture Partners; Tom Kinnear, University of Michigan Ross School of Business; Jon Lauckner, GM Ventures; Mark Olesnavage, Hopen Life Sciences Ventures; Tim Petersen, Arboretum Ventures; Jeff Rinvelt, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund; Ted Serbinski, Detroit Venture Partners; Skip Simms, Ann Arbor Spark; and Jody Vanderwel, Grand Angels,

The MVCA is a non-profit trade organization designed to bring together venture capital industry participants in Michigan. The organization's goal is to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan. Membership includes private venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds, private equity firms, angel investors, and entrepreneurial infrastructure participants.

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