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
, Local Orbit
, Accio Energy
, 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