Red Cedar Ventures (RCV) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation (MSUF). Founded in 2014, RCV is proud to be the first venture fund in Mid-Michigan. RCV’s objective is to help accelerate commercialization of startups creating opportunities for MSU technologies, ecosystem partners and Pure Michigan. Our vision is to be the leading Mid-Michigan Venture Fund providing economic impact for the region and the state with new jobs, new companies and value-added partnerships.
RCV has two funds
- The Pre-Seed Fund is established to assist with early and mid-stage funding. Through investment tranches, funds are provided for start-ups to support formation of the company, the team, seek additional non-dilutive funding, and to provide the early needed capital to help to establish the company and position it for Angel and Venture participation.
Opportunity Fund I
- The Opportunity Fund is our late stage fund that provides for additional strategic support and funding as companies de risk and seek venture funding. This funding by RCV is in place to help with scale and provide late stage capital as companies are commercialized.
RCV has significant partnerships and collaborations to assist in its vision. Its close relationships with Michigan State University Technologies and Spartan Innovations (SI) provides a robust pipeline of exciting early stage technologies for cultivation and assessment. RCV also partners with SI in the facilitation of the highly successful Conquer Accelerator program (Conquer). Conquer provides selected teams with ten weeks of intensive programming, focusing on completing tailored, goal-driven benchmarks. Teams work with instructors and mentors on topics like fundraising, technology, and customer validation. When possible working with SI, RCV assist in bridging Industry and Statewide Commercial entities in innovations and partnerships around startups with the vast and talented resources surrounding Michigan State University.
The Burgess Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is another pipeline for student-based start-ups. This Institute is a hub for entrepreneurship activities within the Broad College of Business and, as part of the MSU campus wide entrepreneurship programs. This program has been recognized in the Top 20 by Princeton Review.
The robust entrepreneurial ecosystem RCV supports includes the University Research Park (UCRP). UCRP manages over 200,000 square feet and support new startups throughout campus and the Mid-Michigan region.
RCV is proud contributor to Pure Michigan. As a member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, we work in concert to support startups in Michigan in coordination with Invest Detroit, Invest Michigan, Renaissance Ventures and all the important ecosystem partners looking to impact this state and move it forward.
RCV provides many resources to help launch entrepreneurial ventures including ongoing coaching, Board participation, commercial/market assessment, start-up advising, business documentation and support services, mentoring programs, funding, connections to relationships to support commercialization and funding, consulting on overall strategy and execution and partnership opportunities related to MSU.
- Venture Capital Investment Competition
- Student Venture Investment Fund
- Michigan State Blockchain Association
- Conquer Accelerator
- Burgess New Venture Challenge
- Venture for America
- Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
- Michigan Venture Capital Association
- Michigan Celebrates Angels
Mr. Jeff Wesley serves as the Executive Director of Red Cedar Ventures. Prior to joining Red Cedar Ventures, in 2018, Mr. Wesley was the CEO of Two Men and Truck International, the largest international franchise moving company. During his tenure he and the company received an A plus ranking by Franchisegrade, 93 CEO Glassdoor rating, “Crain's Detroit Business Coolest Places to Work”, Inc. 5000 award winner, recognized nationally as a leading franchise system, a leading innovation franchise system, Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise System and Mr. Wesley received national recognition as a top franchise executive. Mr. Wesley also has served as the President of Accu Bite Dental Supply, an Inc. 100 company, that was acquired by a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Wesley began his career as an Audit Manager at Deloitte. Mr. Wesley has had significant experience in leading and scaling private companies to record success. Mr. Wesley has also been an Angel Investor for over 15 years and currently is a member of the Capital Community Angels and the Michigan Angel Fund. Mr. Wesley is a prior Vice Chairman for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and has served on various economic and community boards. Contact: (517) 884-1819 or jwesley AT redecedarventures DOT com