Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Venture Capital Investment in Michigan Plunges in First Half of 2011

Important story that probably won't get more than a passing mention in the news, but it raises a very interesting question. If Michigan's business climate is supposedly "fixed" now, why are the big money investors playing elsewhere? Surely they had to know about the impeding changes to our tax code...

Venture capital investment in Michigan companies during the first six months of 2011 plunged to its lowest level in 16 years, according to new data released today by the National Venture Capital Association.

Michigan-based companies attracted only $17.2 million from venture capital firms in this year's first half, down 80% from the $86.6 million raised in the year-ago period, according to the MoneyTree Report from the NVCA and Price-waterhouseCoopers. The last time venture capital investment levels were this low was in 1995, when $10.4 million was invested in four companies.

The sharp drop comes even as venture capital investment nationwide increased in the first half of this year, rising 12.2% to $13.8 billion from $12.3 billion during the first six months of 2010. In the second quarter alone, $7.5 billion was invested, the highest quarterly amount since the second quarter of 2008.

The 2nd quarter is traditionally the high-water mark for the year. We only attracted $13 million total, as opposed to $72 million last year. Curious.

If Crain's or someone else takes a stab at an explanation, I'll update this post...