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9 Finance Articles | Page:

Crowdfunding = More opportunities to invest locally

The Senate's recent passage of crowdfunding legislation opens up a whole new pool of potential funding for entrepreneurs, a vital component to the expansion of Michigan's economy.

Excerpt:

"HB 4996, a creative approach to economic development, will allow the sales of securities to an unlimited number of non-accredited investors, provided the issuer registers with the State of Michigan.   Any Michiganders who do not fit the federal definition of an accredited investor are given the opportunity to support their local entrepreneurs, existing small businesses, and real estate investments."

More here.

How a company purchased for $25K yields $20M in sales

After the great housing collapse, Marketplace Homes put some liquidity into a weak housing market.

Excerpt:

"Around 2006 Kalis noticed a lot of potential clients telling him that they wanted to buy a home, but they couldn’t get rid of their other home.   At Pulte, Kalis put together a program that helped people get out of their other homes using a method known as “solution-based selling.”   This meant that if you helped solve someone’s problem, they would likely become a customer.    The company sold around 20 homes with this solution.

Dick Chelten founded Marketplace Homes in 2002.   Chelten become one of Kalis’ biggest investors and is a mentor to him.   Kalis felt like this solution-based program could be much bigger so he bought the business from Chelten for $25,000.   The company grew to 100 homes sold in Metro Detroit shortly after that, which is around the same time that the housing market fell 90%.   Marketplace Homes is expected to do around $20 million in revenues this year.

...While many banks were telling people to foreclose on their properties, Marketplace Homes said that people should keep their homes and try to save their credit.   Marketplace Homes allows people to buy a new construction home, while listing their old home for 1%.   You can lease your home for up to 6 years."

More here.


Renaissance Venture Capital Fund thrives on Michigan investments

The Detroit-based Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is getting landmark returns through investing in Michigan companies.

Excerpt: 

"The  Renaissance Venture Capital Fund(RVCF) is a Michigan based venture capital fund.   The company has announced today that their initial investment of $16.7 million has led to a total of nearly $300 million in 20 new Michigan companies.   This means that they are seeing a ratio of $17 venture capital investment coming into Michigan for every dollar invested by the RVCF.   This led to the creation of hundreds of high-wage jobs that pay an average of $80,000 per year."

More here.

Xconomy looks at Quicken's move to WEBward Ave

Downtown Detroit is becoming more and more of a tech-based place. It doesn't hurt that Quicken Loans is moving there and rebranding the city center's main drag WEBward Avenue.

Excerpt:

Dan Gilbert, the chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, is hoping that if he declares Woodward Avenue, Detroit's main drag, to be a new, tech-centered "WEBward Avenue" often enough, it just might come true. It also doesn't hurt that he has the money and clout to perhaps make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That's why the businessman, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, is screaming to the rafters today about something completely unrelated to LeBron James's move to Miami. Gilbert announced yesterday that Quicken's sister company, Quizzle, will join Quicken when it moves into the Compuware building in Detroit later this month. Quizzle is a financial website with more than 500,000 registered users, according to the company, that helps consumers manage their personal finances.

Read the rest of the story here.

Cross-border angel investors looking to raise $20M fund

It's about time Michigan took advantage of Canada being close at hand (pun intended). In a first-of-its-kind setup, Canadian and Michiganian angel investors are forming a publicly traded company to fund promising local start-ups.


Excerpt:

Detroit-based Great Lakes Angels has joined forces with angel groups in Toronto and London, Ontario, and with the University of Windsor to form Nouveau Angel Capital Corp., which hopes to raise $20 million to invest in early-stage companies in Southeast Michigan and southwestern Ontario…

Nouveau's founders think it is the first public company in the U.S. or Canada to facilitate angel investing, and so does Jim Jaffe, president and CEO of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds.

“There are some angel groups that have formed private funds that operate like mutual funds, but I'm not aware of any public companies doing this,” he said. “The concept is exciting and unusual. My guess is that even in these difficult economic times, it may well find a group of interested investors.”…

Rick Galdi, president of Great Lakes Angels, said Nouveau will target companies affiliated with TechTown, the University of Windsor and University of Western Ontario in London. The investment range will be $250,000 to $750,000 per company, well above what a company would generally expect to get in a typical angel deal.

Read the full story here.


State looking into small business lending practices

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has issued a request for proposals to conduct a study of small business lending practices in Michigan.

The study would help assess whether small businesses in Michigan find it more difficult to obtain financing compared to other states. The RFP is available online at www.michigan.org/sblrfp  along with specifics of the application process.  

Freakonomics author to speak at WSU on Apr. 26

Steven Levitt, author of the best-selling economics book Freakonomics, will speak at Wayne State University on April 26 at 9 a.m.


The event will kick-off WSU's strategic action plan and is intended to demonstrate the university's commitment to being a hub for bold ideas and intellectual discourse.

Register on-line here.

Oakland County's 8th community bank in 2 years scheduled to open in September

Level One community bank is scheduled to open in Farmington Hills in September. The bank is one of a growing number of community banks in Oakland County filling niche markets.

Excerpt:

The investment group, which has retained the Grosse Pointe investment banking firm of Donnelly Penman & Partners Inc., plans to open Level One at Northwestern Highway and 14 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.

The site has some 7,700 businesses within a three-mile radius and 14,000 within five miles.

"We're certainly not focused on a niche," [investor Patrick] Fehring said. "We're going to be a full-service bank for growth throughout the region."

Level One could lend up to $2 million-$3 million to small- and medium-sized businesses, Fehring said, though a lending limit has not been established.

Read the entire article here.

Find out if your company is venture capital-worthy at upcoming Crain's event

Crain's will host "Following the Money: Where Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists See Opportunity" on Mar. 19 with panelists Ian Bund of Plymouth Venture Partners and
David Weaver of Great Lakes Angels.

Excerpt:

Is your Company venture-worthy? Find out what panelists Ian Bund, chairman of Plymouth Venture Partners and David Weaver, president of Great Lakes Angels, look for in a company- and which sectors they think show the greatest opportunity in metro Detroit.

Find out more and register here.
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