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Red Cedar Ventures

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.

Funds

Pre-Seed Fund

  • 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.

Supported Programs

  • 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

RCV Portfolio

RCV Team

Jeff Wesley

Executive Director, RCV

Jeff Wesley supports entrepreneurs at all stages as the Executive Director of Red Cedar Ventures.

Before joining Red Cedar Ventures in 2018, Wesley was the CEO of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK – the nation's largest local moving company. Wesley received national recognition as a top franchise executive at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. Wesley also served as the President of Accu Bite Dental Supply, an Inc. 100 company that was acquired by a Fortune 500 company.

Wesley began his career as an Audit Manager at Deloitte. He gained significant experience in leading and scaling private companies to record success. Additionally, Wesley has been an Angel Investor for over 15 years and is presently a member of the Capital Community Angels and the Michigan Angel Fund. Wesley served on various economic and community boards including, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). He holds his bachelor's degree in accounting from Central Michigan University.

Hunter Kettering

Venture Analyst, RCV

Hunter is a recent first-generation graduate and Venture For America (VFA) Fellow, who is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, developing economies, and advancing technology through investment.

Hunter has worked across the world as an investment or operational analyst for startups and investment funds including CrowdStrike, Pago Rural, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Kata Capital Partners, and Tuesday Capital. Hunter hopes to use his broad skillset to support Michigan’s entrepreneurs from the ideation to growth stages.

Hunter obtained a B.A. in History and a minor in Economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Prem Bodagala

Director, RCV

Prem Bodagala's expertise is in startups, entrepreneurship, business development, and venture capital.

Prior to his position as Red Cedar Ventures Director, Bodagala was the Director at Invest Michigan Pre-Seed Fund. There, Bodagala closed 22 investments in Michigan early-stage companies raising over $70MM in funding.

In 2011, Bodagala supported the Michigan Accelerator Fund–I as the Venture Capital Associate. He developed and monitored investment processes and back-office infrastructure to support and streamline deal flow for $15 MM venture capital fund.

Bodagala holds a BBA from Western Michigan University, MBA from Grand Valley State University, and MS in Health Informatics and Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan.

Manasa Gummalla

Venture Analyst, RCV

Manasa Gummalla is a Metro-Detroit native who is passionate about building people and ideas through investment opportunities.

Prior to this, she has worked at the Dalio Institute, NewYork-Presbyterian, and SteelSky Ventures. Throughout her career, Manasa has assisted in mergers and acquisitions and collaborated with and aligned daily expectations of key stakeholders at several healthcare start-ups. Manasa aims to influence female entrepreneurship by working alongside venture executives, entrepreneurs, and investment leaders.

Manasa obtained a B.S. from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Healthcare Policy and Economics from Weill Cornell Medicine.