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., Director of Business Lab, Blue Cross Blue Shield Emerging Markets
  • Rafael Castilla, J.D., Director of Investments and Structuring, U-M Investment Office
  • Robin Damschroder, Interim CFO, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Brian Gallagher, M.S., Ph.D., Partner, SR One
  • David Gregorka, M.S., M.B.A., Venture Partner, Baird Capital
  • Rekha Hemrajani, M.S., COO FLXBio
  • 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


Ann Arbor, MI
Mike Klein, CEO

Genomenon’s software simplifies genome interpretation to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical practice and speed genetic discoveries in research laboratories.

Ann Arbor, MI
Hannah Hensel, Co-Founder & CEO

Brio’s insertion stylets minimize reliance on clinician skill for success and are designed to assist users in locating the trachea and maneuvering the endotracheal tube through the mouth, throat, and airway.

Ann Arbor, MI
Dale Royal, CEO

Mountain Pass Solutions (MPS) offers a fully configurable workflow management system as a SaaS product.

ONL Therapeutics
Ann Arbor, MI
John Freshley, President & CEO

ONL offers a first-in-class therapy to protect the vision of patients with retinal disease, using a Fas inhibitor designed to protect against retinal cell death.

EVOQ Therapeutics
Ann Arbor, MI
William Brinkerhoff, Co-Founder & CEO

EVOQ offers nano-vaccine technology that is able to evoke potent anti-tumor T-cell responses that can eradicate tumors and establish long-term immunity against tumor recurrence.

Ann Arbor, MI
Jacom Bonenburger, Co-Founder & CEO

Ripple Science offers program management software for recruiting subjects for academic or industry studies.

Ann Arbor, MI
Mehrzad Samedi, CEO and Co-founder

Parabricks helps companies and researchers sequence whole human genomes 48x faster than conventional next-generation sequencing pipelines saving on computation costs with faster throughputs.

MDI Therapeutics
Ann Arbor, MI
Stephen Benoit, President & CEO

Leveraging the world-renowned research of founder Dan Lawrence in serpin biology. MDI Therapeutics has discovered a new class of small molecule inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor-type 1 (PAI-1) for the treatment of fibrosis.


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