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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ANN ARBOR, MICH. – JULY 9, 2012 – Three Michigan companies recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, totaling $600,000.  To date, the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan’s SmartZones to support start-ups’ product commercialization, has awarded 75 Michigan companies with seed funding totaling more than $16.5 million.

The three companies recently awarded Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund awards are FlockTAG, FreeStride Therapeutics, and Larky.  FlockTAG is developing a mobile loyalty system for quick service restaurants which creates a cross promotional platform with customized deals.  FreeStride Therapeutics is developing therapies for treatment of bone-related conditions.  Larky’s application helps consumers manage discounts from retailers, membership organizations increase loyalty, and merchants generate business.

“Receiving investment from the Pre-Seed Capital Fund has helped Larky accelerate our growth in several meaningful ways,” said Gregg Hammerman, co-founder of Larky.  “The funds are helping us build our team with the recruitment of technical and business development hires.  This funding is also helping us include more perks from associations like AAA, Blue Cross, Costco and hundreds more in Larky so our users can have a fun and free way to make sure they get every discount and benefit they deserve.”

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund companies have attracted more than $22 million in matching grant and equity funds.  Combined, Michigan Pre-Seed Fund investments have helped to create more than 120 jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity fund that invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration.  Ann Arbor SPARK serves as the Fund’s administrator.

To qualify for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, start-up technology-based companies must have the sponsorship of a local SmartZone.  In addition to SmartZone sponsorship, companies must have received grant, angel or venture capital funding as a match with the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fundinvestment.

The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund that receives the same returns as the third party investor.  The returns that the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will be redeployed by the Fund as first round capital to Michigan-based start-ups.

Funds for this initiative were provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a Michigan Strategic Fund program designed to accelerate the growth and diversification of Michigan’s economy.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”), a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, provides administrative support for the 21st Century Jobs Fund.  The MEDC markets Michigan and provides the tools and environment to drive job creation and investment. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative, visit