When University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor David Brophy launched the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium 29 years ago, most people didn’t understand why he would want to encourage the development of startup companies in Michigan. “I was the crazy guy who kept preaching this gospel of diversifying the economy and getting more knowledge-based, fast-growing industries,” said Brophy, director of U-M’s Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance.

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