The MAF’s day-to-day management is under the direction Skip Simms. An Executive Committee of Members is responsible for strategic and long-term matters of the fund.
Joseph (Skip) Simms
Joseph (Skip) Simms has been the administrator of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund since its inception in January 2007. Prior to his role as the Fund administrator, Skip was Director of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone Business Accelerator program, a program which assists start-ups through access to business resources including consulting, funding and business plan development. Before joining SPARK, Simms was President and Partner with the Ralph Wilson Equity Fund, a venture capital fund-of-funds that deployed more than $33 million of investment in five venture capital firms. Investments included both direct funding in five companies and venture funding in three Michigan-based funds. Simms’ responsibilities included making recommendations regarding return projections and exit strategies and negotiation of observation rights to the boards of all the direct investments. Prior to his career in venture investing in 1999, Simms had served in management positions in the television industry where he managed mature television stations and started one from concept. He is a charter member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association and is on the board of the New Enterprise Forum, a volunteer group of executives who coach and mentor start-up companies on their investor presentations.
Mike joined Ann Arbor SPARK as Director of Capital Programs, which includes associate of the Michigan Angel Fund, in 2015. Prior t0 that he was the Director of Equity Capital Programs for seven years at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. His duties there included oversight of more than $300 million across several programs. He developed the Venture Development Fund to expand the Venture Capital (VC) industry in Michigan. Overall, he sourced, evaluated and invested in venture funds, and sourced, performed due diligence and referred early stage tech companies to VCs and angel groups. Prior to joining the MEDC, he was a Relationship Banker with JPMorgan Chase for five years.
Investment decisions are made by an investment committee of four Members and the Managing Member. All members of the fund can participate in due diligence and can co-invest in any deal.
Michigan Angel Fund Staff and Support
MAF is supported by Ann Arbor SPARK’s administrative staff, interns and economic development professionals and ecosystem partners.
The fund draws heavily from Michigan’s business community for investment, management and business advice.