Three Metro Detroit firms have landed a couple of pieces in the latest round of financing disbursed by the Michigan Microloan Fund Program.
Ann Arbor SPARK
manages the Michigan Microloan Fund Program
, which makes loans in the low five figures (organizers often decline to specify the size of each loan) to young start-ups looking for seed capital that are based in Michigan. That money is often used for things like prototype development or marketing. Eligible firms are often so new they are unlikely candidates for bank loans or angel investment or even steady revenues.
"These funds are reserved for pre-seed organizations," says Joe Licavoli, manager of capital programs for Ann Arbor SPARK.
The Michigan Microloan Fund Program recently made nine microloans worth $397,000. Most of those loans went to Ann Arbor-based firms because the program also has sub categories that are funded by the city of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to invest in local firms in their municipalities. The three Metro Detroit start-ups to receive microloans include:
- Berylline, a Rochester Hills-based company, that is commercializing a specialized, three-wheeled hybrid scooter
- ENT Biotech Solutions, based in Grosse Pointe, is developing a handheld device used to simultaneously clean cut, cauterize and remove larger adenoid tissue portions
- EcoFuel Technologies
, of Troy, which is working on technology that turns garbage plastic into diesel fuel
"We'll need a lot more money but (the microloan) did give us some help," says Swaminathan Ramesh, founder & president of EcoFuel Technologies.
Source: Joe Licavoli, manager of capital programs for Ann Arbor SPARK and Swaminathan Ramesh, founder & president of EcoFuel Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.