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Experts share investment knowledge at Seidman conference

Posted on December 05, 2011

Beyond the world of stocks and mutual funds are options that can produce both above average returns and community development in West Michigan. Private capital investments will be the focus at an investment conference sponsored by the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

Local investors, fund managers and entrepreneurs will share their investment knowledge at the December 15 conference. Forums, lectures and breakout sessions will provide a solid base of private capital knowledge. Speakers will cover topics on risk and returns, qualifications, investment amounts, accreditation and deal access, among other topics.

Invest Locally – Invest Profitably: The Key to Successful Investing in West Michigan
Thursday, December 15
8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton St.
GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus

The keynote address by Tom Groos will begin at 8:15 a.m. Groos is a partner of City Light Capital and is currently on the Boards of Glacier Bay Technology and Shotspotter.

“Local investing can be profitable and rewarding,” said J. Kevin McCurren, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Grand Valley. “You get to touch your investments as those investments touch their communities through wealth and job creation. It’s not as easy as pressing a key to send a buy order, but the extra work can be rewarding through financial and social returns. This program is designed to share investor experiences, both good and bad, on how to make a difference by investing your dollars locally.”

The event is sponsored by Barnes & Thornburg LLP, BDO, Grand Valley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Michigan Accelerator Fund I (MAF-1), Michigan Angel Fund, Michigan Venture Capital Association, LV2 Equity Partners, LLC and the West Michigan College Fund.

John Kerschen, managing director of MAF-1, said: “West Michigan offers a growing range of high-quality investment opportunities, but many potential investors either aren’t aware of them, or aren’t sure how to participate. This forum will answer questions and provide a clear path for both new and seasoned investors to profitably invest in the future of our community.”

Martin Stein, founder and managing editor of Blackford Capital, is a presenter at the conference. “We have seen a lot of possible private equity transactions locally,” said Stein. “West Michigan has enormous potential to become an even bigger powerhouse in the investment world. This conference will lay the groundwork for what is working, what’s available and how we can all learn from one another.”

For registration information, contact Grand Valley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at (616) 331-7582 or visit


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