No, SPARK is not a venture capital firm. In 2007, SPARK was selected by the State of Michigan to administer the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund which was established using 21st Century Jobs Fund dollars. In 2014, the state established a new fund, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund II (MPSF 2.0), which is administered by Invest Michigan. SPARK still serves as the administrator of the original Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund portfolio companies.
SPARK does not engage in the decision-making process or perform any of the due diligence or valuation assessment that a venture firm would do. The fund does not hold board seats or seek exit opportunities for the companies in the portfolio as a venture firm would do. SPARK’s involvement purely is as the fiduciary and administrator of the program. This program is an economic development tool to help retain talent and great startup businesses in the state.