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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships


Accelerating the launch of U-M startups.

Our Ventures team supports the launch of startups based on University of Michigan technologies and research discoveries. We provide a full suite of resources, services and funding to help you launch sustainable, impactful world changing startups.

The Ventures team will engage with you from day one to establish clear and executable commercialization, business formation and funding strategies. As your startup project begins to take form we can provide grant funding and investment capital, as well as business know-how, talent resources and connections to a nationwide network of investors. Whether it is helping you find the perfect team member, investment partner or connecting you with service providers, we have you covered.

Let’s Get Started

We look forward to engaging with you and sharing more about the variety of resources and connections we can offer to support you and your startup efforts.


Are you an entrepreneur looking to solve a market challenge that needs a technology solution? Contact us today and we can connect you with researchers, startups and other significant high potential resources to find solutions.

Contact us

Startup Incubator

The Innovation Partnerships Startup Incubator provides emerging U-M startups with state-of-the-art lab and office space and access to a full suite of business services.


Learn more about the Startup Incubator


Interested in learning more about U-M’s startup portfolio? If you represent a venture fund, corporate venture fund, or you are an accredited investor contact us to learn more about our comprehensive list of emerging U-M startups and companies seeking investment capital.

Connect with our Startup Portfolio

Ventures Services and Resources

The Ventures team provides startup services and funding in support of your startup project and new company. This includes translational and commercialization funding as well as access to investment capital including deep ties to a national network of venture funds.

Discover our core staff of venture creation professionals and mentors-in-residence (MIR). Our team has deep domain industry, entrepreneurial and investment experience devoted to supporting commercialization of research into impactful successful U-M startups. If you want to explore the startup commercialization of your research our team can equip you with the resources for success.


Accelerate Blue Fund

The Accelerate Blue Fund (ABF) is an early stage venture fund that exclusively invests in University of Michigan (U-M) licensed IP startups, managed by the Innovation Partnerships Ventures team.

The goal of Accelerate Blue is to bridge the funding gap between initial launch and angel/VC funding for startups based on University of Michigan intellectual property. The Fund is an opportunity to further enhance U-M’s leadership position in research, technology innovation and commercialization by creating a critical new resource to support U-M startups. In addition to risk tolerant early stage capital, ABF provides extensive connections to other investors, business mentoring and IP support through the U-M Innovation Partnerships licensing team.

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Ventures Team and Mentors-in-Residence

Created in 2008, Innovation Partnerships’ nationally recognized MIR program was a direct response to a demonstrated need for experienced business professionals to assist with the multiple startup projects in the U-M pipeline. Innovation Partnerships’ MIRs assist with commercialization planning no matter what area of research you are involved with. This can be from commercially accepted drug approval planning to raising venture capital, identifying and connecting startup founders with business talent including executives, the identification of early customers and partners, general business, commercial, and financing strategies, business structure and planning and other valuable services. The MIR team is composed of experienced business and investment professionals in a variety of industries and are eager to help you.


Meet our team

MTRAC Translational Research and Commercialization Programs

Translational research funding is key early-stage grant money to enable the transition from successful academic research to an innovation that is sufficiently developed, de-risked, and on the path to commercialization. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has provided funding for five MTRAC Translational Hubs across the state. Innovation Partnerships manages two hubs, MTRAC for Life Sciences and MTRAC for Advanced Transportation, and collaborates with hubs run by other institutions for Advanced Applied Materials, Advanced Computing and AgBio.

More on funding resources

The Technology Transfer Talent Network

The Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N) was created in 2012 to enhance the commercialization of university opportunities with talent programs and resources, made possible thanks to funding support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the economic development organization for the state of Michigan, with matches by each participating university. T3N supports a statewide University MIR program, provides funding for fellows work on high potential commercialization research projects and is a conduit to leverage resources between all of Michigan’s public universities.

Learn more

Innovation Partnerships Startup Perks Program

Innovation partnerships offers full-service support to faculty innovators; whether it is IP protection, support with sponsored research projects, business mentorship and venture capital. In recent years the office has reached out to several service providers to negotiate discount programs for U-M licensed startups. These programs offer significant discounts on valuable services that early stage startups can benefit greatly from.

Learn more

Innovation Partnerships Talent Portal

Building a winning startup team is contingent on finding the best talent available. Innovation Partnerships Talent Portal is a service for U-M licensed startup founders looking for team members or for talented professionals looking to join a U-M startup. Members of U-M licensed startups can post open positions or browse the talent database to look for qualified people to join their team.

Open Talent Portal

Innovation Partnerships

“For those of us downstream from discovery, Innovation Partnerships offers invaluable support. In addition to being highly engaged and open-minded, their combination of technical expertise, business acumen, and in-depth knowledge of the commercialization process makes them a tremendous partner. Innovation Partnerships’ consultants have guided our research group to funding options, connected us with key resources, and opened the way to successful collaborations with other U-M faculty. Equally important, they continue to demonstrate a deep trust in our professional ability, and the fact that good scientists will ultimately find good solutions.” 

Lola Eniola-Adefeso, Ph.D.


Meet Our Team

Mike Psarouthakis

Executive Director of Impact Investments & Strategic Alliances

Dave Repp

Director of Ventures and Managing Director of the Accelerate Blue Fund

Sarah Jameson

Associate Director of Ventures, Life Sciences

Don Manfredi

Associate Director of Ventures

Jim Arthurs


Bruce Auerbach


MJ Cartwright


Bruce Markham


David Olson


Robin Rowe


Meera Vijan


Debbie Watkins

Senior Administrative Assistant

Rich Zvosec


Michael Kole


Alisyn Malek


Ayana Richardson

Commercialization Program Coordinator

Kedar Tripathy

Venture Analyst