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Michigan Angel Fund Leads $1.7 million Investment in Arborlight

March 26th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 26, 2015 – ANN ARBOR, MICH. —  The Michigan Angel Fund (MAF) led a $1.7 million round of funding for Arborlight that recently closed. The company will use the funding to further commercialization efforts for its award-winning LightWell product.

“The Michigan Angel Fund is focused on companies like Arborlight that need early investment to make the leap, and bring a product to market,” explained Skip Simms, MAF managing director. “Arborlight’s potential is impressive, and the company is an exciting example of how technology can be incubated in a university setting, and progress forward and have real economic impact.”

LightWell, which can be seen in a video from Arborlight available at http://bit.ly/1NdcgF5, offers the benefits of a skylight, with the convenience of a light fixture. It emulates daylight conditions by tracking the position of the sun, and matching color, intensity and directionality throughout the day, in real-time.

“The evidence supporting the positive health and cognitive effects of dynamic daylight conditions in work, school, medical and retail environments is overwhelming. The demand for daylight in spaces deprived of traditional windows and skylights is a multi-billion dollar opportunity,” said Michael Forbis, Arborlight chief executive officer. “With the support of our investment community, Arborlight is meeting this substantial demand with its much acclaimed Daylight Emulation technology for commercial and home applications. These additional resources will enable the company to expand the marketing, sales, operations and engineering teams immediately.”

In addition to MAF support, Arborlight, a spin-out from University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer, has received funding through the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and a Local Development Finance Authority microloan administered by Ann Arbor SPARK. The company, which participated in Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2010, also received business accelerator grants from Ann Arbor SPARK.

MAF is a $2 million fund that, with more than 70 members, is the largest angel organization in Michigan. MAF funds companies that are seeking early investments from $200,000 to $2,000,000.

MAF’s managing member is Ann Arbor SPARK, which coordinates screenings of fund applicants, conducts due diligence, and works with the New Enterprise Forum to prepare companies for their investor presentations. Ann Arbor SPARK also works with business accelerator organizations around the state to identify quality companies for potential MAF investment. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provides administrative support to MAF.

About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.