Helping startups become fundable ventures
Formed in 2004 by David Brophy, Ph.D, Professor of Finance, Ross School of Business (Ross), University of Michigan (UM), the Financing Research Commercialization Venture Capital Practicum has helped 115 early stage companies, 25 of which have succeeded in raising the funds they sought. In the past 5 years, over half of the early stage companies served by the Practicum have been featured in subsequent national venture capital conferences. The Practicum now has over 600 UM graduates who have been through the Financing Research Commercialization program and are now part of the UM-Ross Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance (CVP) “Next Mile to Funding” Venture Capital Network.
The goal of the Practicum is to help emerging, fast-growth companies progress “the next mile” to successfully raise external equity capital and to engage graduate and undergraduate students, from all units of the University of Michigan as hands-and-brains-on helpers in that process. By focusing on growing the company’s enterprise value, enrolled students receive an action-based learning experience that will help prepare them to at some point become “fundable founder/CEOs” of their own entrepreneurial fast-growth companies.
Open to all University of Michigan Students
The Practicum is open to students from all units of the University of Michigan and from all academic levels (faculty, post-doctoral students, PhD’, Masters Students and undergraduates). They are assembled (with selection help from participating early stage company teams) according to the skill sets and experience relevant to the company with which they work during the practicum. The aim in student team selection is to “mimic” a startup team and operate as working partners with the founders’ team. Students and startup teams are free to (but not forced to) enter into employment, incentive or investment contractual arrangements, as appropriate, with due notification to the Practicum Director Professor David Brophy.