2012 marks a year growth and change for MRUN. In the parlance of so many of our friends engaged in startups – 2012 was a year that MRUN pivoted. We have expanded our network to include 14 Midwest States and two provinces in Canada. To match our expanded geography, we have broadened our membership focus beyond the university sector to include those who create, fund and grow new ventures in the Midwest. These “pivots” are the right ones for MRUN and have been received well by everyone we have engaged. The changes are very attractively showcased in our new logo and this updated website. Many have expressed interest in more active engagement in MRUN through our events as well as through participation in specific initiatives and committees. One committee that has been established is the Venture Investment Committee headed by Jeff Carter, Hyde Park Angels and Steven Burrill, Burrill & Co. That committee will begin its work in bringing together early stage investors seeking to capitalize on opportunities with high tech startups in the Midwest.
Also in 2012 we have strengthened our partnerships the Midwest Heathcare Investment Network (MHIN), the Global Midwest Alliance, and we have established a partnership with ACCT Canada. As well, we have established Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with International Business Forum (IBF) and Burrill & Co. for cross marketing.
This year also saw special representation by MRUN at the Midwest Governor’s Association’s 50th Anniversary meeting on the topic of innovation as an economic driver and participation in a other meetings to include BIO2012, the Mid-America Healthcare investor Forum while also serving on the steering committee of the University Startups Showcase organized by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer. Currently MRUN is working with AUTM and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition to foster academic participation and partnering at the BIOInternational Convention set for Chicago April 22-25, 2013. Also related to BIO2013 MRUN’s President is a local co-host for the 2013BIOBootcamp.
On October 11th and 12th we held CATTEC V, our fifth investor conference at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skoke, IL. This was the first conference with an expanded two day format featuring a second day dedicated to international collaborations, soft landings, and investment. As well, the conference served as the forum for the creation of our Investor Committee. We received the benefit of support from students in Illinois Institute of Technolgy’s graduate IP Management Program to make this event a success.
We are pleased to announce that our linup of events for 2013 will include CATTEC VI set for Wednesday and Thursday, October 9th and 10th, 2013. Once again we are pleased that we will be hosted by Forest City and the Illinois Science andTechnologyPark in Skokie, IL. We are seeking committee members for the 2013 event as we plan for another program that brings together investors, accelerators and university tech transfer.
Watch this site for developments and updates. We look forward to an exciting 2013 as we continue to build the Midwest startup ecosystem.