Boomerang Ventures sees a tremendous and often missed opportunity when it comes to investing in Midwest companies. The success stories continue to pile up, and our team focus is on continuing to find and support companies like these. Please enjoy the article and as always let us know if you’d like to learn more.
Tom Kilkoyne, General Partner.
Source: Forbes | Re-Post Boomerang Ventures 7/25/19
Michigan’s unicorns demonstrate a fertile startup ecosystem with unlimited opportunities. A couple weeks ago, StockX became the state’s newest in a quickly-growing cohort of unicorns, which includes two other startups that also earned the elite status this year. In February, OneStream Software announced that it had not only become a unicorn but that it is profitable as well, an achievement that few startups can claim — even by the time they exit. In the same month, electric vehicle startup Rivian also earned a billion-dollar valuation when it received a significant investment from Amazon. The startup secured another large round of funding just two months later from Ford.
Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Ann Arbor during a week-long series of tech events curated by economic development engine Ann Arbor SPARK. This event series brought together people from around the world and afforded me the opportunity to connect with many Ann Arbor and Detroit startup entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters who are strengthening the ecosystem. The startup growth in Michigan has given the entire region palpable momentum and energy. What’s so special about Michigan’s startups isn’t merely its energy, though. Heavily fueled by its decades of cybersecurity software expertise and success — and boasting world-class unicorn companies that span consumer marketplaces, enterprise software, and automotive innovation — Michigan’s ecosystem has evolved in a way that bodes extremely well for the region’s economy, community, and entrepreneurs alike.
The first Michigan unicorn in recent history was Ann Arbor-based cybersecurity startup Duo Security, which claimed the status in 2017. Acquired by Cisco last year for $2.35 billion, Duo is the latest in a long line of successful enterprise cybersecurity startups, whose research and development in Ann Arbor dates back to 1966, when the University of Michigan founded Merit Network, the nation’s longest-running computer network. While they weren’t all unicorns, cybersecurity startup success stories in the city also include Arbor Networks (acquired by NETSCOUT), Deepfield Networks (acquired by Nokia), and up-and-comer Censys (which has already received coastal capital).