U-M Monroe-Brown Seed Fund

The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund, a collaboration between FFMI and the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, is a funding vehicle designed to advance the process of transitioning commercially viable biomedical and healthcare projects to market.


With a $3 million gift from the Monroe-Brown Foundation, the Monroe-Brown Seed Fund awards seed money to biomedical startup companies with U-M licensed technology in the domain of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, or health IT. Such seed grants are designed to accelerate the commercialization of biomedical research, to provide unique educational opportunities for researchers and students, and, ultimately, to positively impact patient care. CLICK HERE for additional fund information.

Deal Flow Council Members

The Deal Flow Council (DFC) is comprised of 4-7 members that review applications, as well as recommend U-M start-ups to consider for funding. DFC members include individuals that are closely connected to U-M research and innovation, and U-M translational programs, eg: Office of Tech Transfer Licensing and the Venture Center, I-Corps, Med and CoE units (including the department chairs), U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, and the Coulter Program. DFC members are:

  • Drew Bennett, M.B.A., Licensing, U-M Technology Transfer
  • Charles Cole, M.B.A., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
  • Jonathan Fay, Ph.D., I-Corps, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Tom Marten, M.B.A., Coulter Program, U-M Biomedical Engineering
  • Brad Martin, Ph.D., U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, Fast Forward Medical Innovation
  • Mike Psarouthakis, M.B.A., M.S., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer
  • Dave Repp, M.B.A., M.S., Venture Center, U-M Technology Transfer

Investment Advisory Board Members

The Investment Advisory Board (IAB) is comprised of 7-10 members and advises on all investment decisions. IAB members include individuals with domain expertise, successful venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and other investors in healthcare and biotech. Members do not have an official U-M appointment or specific ties to existing U-M funding programs (one representative is appointed to the IAB by the U-M Investment Office). The IAB is operationally independent from the Deal Flow Council. IAB Board Members are:

  • Keith Brophy, M.S.I.S., State Executive Director, State of Michigan SBDC
  • Rafael Castilla, J.D., Director of Investments and Structuring, U-M Investment Office
  • Brian Gallagher, M.S., Ph.D., Partner, SR One
  • David Gregorka, M.S., M.B.A., Venture Partner, Baird Capital
  • Marcia Hatch, J.D., Corporate and Securities Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
  • Dan Kidle, B.B.A., M.B.A., Principal, Arboretum Ventures
  • Jason Lettman, M.B.A., Partner, Lightstone Ventures
  • Julia Owens, Ph.D., President & CEO, Millendo Therapeutics
  • Dan Rhodes, Ph.D., President & CEO, Co-founder, Strata Oncology


Have questions about the U-M Monroe-Brown Seed Fund? Contact Hirak Parikh, Program Manager, at hparikh@umich.edu or 734-647-7459.