U-M student-run venture fund invests in medical diagnostics company

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ANN ARBOR—The Wolverine Venture Fund, managed by University of Michigan students, announced that it has invested in NeuMoDx Molecular Inc.

The privately held diagnostics company is developing a new platform for high volume, low-cost molecular testing. The $21 million Series B round of financing was led by Pfizer Ventures and also included investments from Baird Capital, Venture Investors and existing investor Arboretum Ventures.

The Wolverine Venture Fund also participated in NeuMoDx's $5 million Series A financing round in 2012. This financing will be used to fund development of NeuMoDx's platform and to help the company to pursue clinical trials and regulatory approvals.

Erik Gordon, U-M business and law professor and the fund's faculty managing director, said the students performed professional-level due diligence on the technical and market adoption aspects of the investment. They concluded that it fit the fund's criteria for growth and return on investment.

"The students, as a group, bring to the table a broad array of expertise including scientific, engineering, marketing, clinical and financial experience," Gordon said.

The $5.5 million Wolverine Venture Fund was the country's first student-led venture fund and is an example of the Zell Lurie Institute's action-based approach to entrepreneurial education. Since its inception, the fund has invested in more than three dozen companies in industries such as information technology, life sciences and alternative energy.

"Students from the Wolverine Venture Fund have been a valuable addition to the strategic investment team for NeuMoDx Molecular, and we are delighted they are part of our Series B," said Jeff Williams, founder and CEO of NeuMoDx. "My experience working with the University of Michigan and the Wolverine Venture Fund goes beyond NeuMoDX.

"Like the student teams who participated in funding my prior company, HandyLab, our current Wolverine Venture Fund team represents a broad cross-section of business expertise providing valuable perspective as we continue with development, clinical trials and approvals."

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