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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Mike Psarouthakis to lead Venture Center


After a national search, Mike Psarouthakis has been selected as the new director of the U-M Innovation Partnerships Venture Center.  The Venture Center is responsible for helping to identify, develop and launch new startups based on U-M technologies, and works alongside licensing, legal and marketing specialists within U-M Innovation Partnerships.

Psarouthakis, who has served within the Venture Center since 2014 first as a senior venture specialist and then as assistant director, is replacing Jack Miner who left in September to become Managing Director of Cleveland Clinic Ventures.

U-M Associate Vice President for Innovation Partnerships, Ken Nisbet, said that Psarouthakis was chosen for the position with the help of a team including members of tech transfer’s leadership team along with partners from the University and the venture community.  “We reached out to find the most qualified person for this important role within U-M Innovation Partnerships, and we found that Mike was just that.  It’s important to reach out broadly to attract the best talent to serve our faculty and the University, and it’s gratifying to be able to promote someone from our current team who fits that requirement.”

Before joining the U-M Innovation Partnerships team, Psarouthakis worked for 20 years in economic development and venture fund management. Most recently before joining U-M, Psarouthakis was Vice President of Business Acceleration at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) where he oversaw a portfolio of over 150 early stage technology company investments. Prior to the MEDC, he was an Assistant Vice President at Forest Health Services, where he managed a corporate venture fund focusing on life science, IT and manufacturing opportunities.

Psarouthakis has also has significant entrepreneurial experience, having founded three internet focused companies, and directed several successful company exits. He currently serves on the advisory board for eBay, and is active in the Michigan startup community, working closely with Invest Michigan, Ann Arbor SPARK, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, TechArb, DTE Energy Business Plan Competition and others.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the Venture Center team in support of the expanding entrepreneurial efforts at the University of Michigan,” Psarouthakis said. “I look forward to working with the entire Innovation Partnerships team, U of M’s incredible faculty and staff, our entrepreneurial partners inside and outside of the University to help U of M startups with their formation, funding, and go to market efforts.”

Mike earned his MBA with concentrations in corporate strategy and marketing and an MS in natural resource management from the University of Michigan. He also holds a BS in history and political science from Eastern Michigan University.