Invest Detroit's First Step Fund invests in 9 more start-ups

The First Step Fund has invested more than $400,000 in nine start-ups since October, bringing its total investment to about $1 million in 26 companies in its first year.

"It will continue to invest in opportunities as it finds them," Matthew Neagle, an associate with the First Step Fund, wrote in an email. "It is a $5 million fund with just over $1 million at work, so it has room to invest in more companies."

The Invest Detroit-based microloan fund makes small loans worth about five figures to start-ups across southeast Michigan. Some of those companies include custom shoe designer Jimmy Kicks and Ann Arbor-based grant writing software firm InfoReady. Invest Detroit, TechTown and Ann Arbor SPARK created the First Step Fund earlier this year as another funding source for local start-ups starving for seed capital in the wake of the current credit crisis.

Among the latest recipients of these microloans are: HeartGraffiti, Family Mint, Unitask, Local Orbit, Accio Energy, Wedit, OWN POS, Reveal Design Automation and Fusion Coolant.

Source: Matthew Neagle, an associate with the First Step Fund
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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