Top 10 Angel Investors in Detroit

Last updated: August 30, 2023

Living in Detriot, you must've seen the rising culture of startups, which may raise the question, "How are so many individuals gaining the funding to start their own startup?"

Well, to your surprise, the rapid 58% growth of startups since the last decade is mainly because of different Angel Investors. A survey states that just in the past 2 years, the angel investors in Detroit have provided funding of $41M to different startups.

Thinking about who these angel investors are and how you can become a part of this funding?

Well, let's wait no longer and start discussing the list of the Top 10 Angel Investors in Detroit.

Table of content[ hide ]

    Top 10 Angel Investors in Detroit

    Following is the list of the Top 10 Angel Investors in Detroit, which features top-ranking VC Firms, individual investors, and online accelerators.

    Chris Thomas

    Chris Thomas, who used to be an entrepreneur, is now an Angel Investor who likes to invest in different startups with a wide investing interest. Usually, Thomas likes to fund early-stage companies in the automotive, healthcare, and transportation sector.

    Chris Thomas, since the very start of his investing career, has always been very careful with the startups he funds. That is why the screening tests of Chris Thomas are quite tough, ensuring the best startups make it through.

    Among many of his successful fundings, some notable portfolio startups include Elio Motors, AutoConnect, and Light-Speed Manufacturing. The investing Range of Chris Thomas spans from $100,000 up to $4M.

    Great Lakes Angels Fund

    Starting in 2008, Great Lakes Angels Fund is a venture capital firm with its headquarters in Rochester, Michigan. The fund was founded by five members and has since grown to more than 30 active members.

    The team of Great Lakes Angels hopes to provide startups with not just funding but also mentorship and connections for their business growth. Throughout their journey, Growth Lakes Angels Fund has always funded different startups as they have diverse investing interests.

    Some of their portfolio companies include Pepper, Play Nicely, and Blaze Pod. The fund usually invests anywhere between $200,000 and $500,000 in startups.

    Ka-Zoo Angels

    Ka-Zoo Angels, located in Kalamazoo, is a VC firm that looks to invest in early-stage startups from all different sectors. The fund was founded by 3 members and now has around 15 active members dedicated to helping new entrepreneurs with their startups.

    The Ka-Zoo Angels team consists of experienced investors who have been in this field for a long time. This helps them guide their portfolio startups by conducting different mentorship programs.

    Some of their successful investments include startups like XRHealth, AirCleanse, and Clesco Products. As for the investment range, Ka-Zoo Angels usually invests from $100,000 to $800,000 in startups. 

    Ann-Arbor Angel

    After investing in over 50 companies, Ann-Arbor Angels is considered one of Michigan's most successful Angel Investment groups. Founded in 2006, this venture capital firm has invested in startups from different sectors. It offers a wide range of services to help entrepreneurs with their business ideas.

    The members of Ann-Arbor Angels are experienced professionals who have worked closely with some of the best startups in the USA. Their investment range is $100,000 to $750,000, and some of their portfolio companies include The Apprenuer, MedNow Pharmacy, and VirtualMate.

    Ken Barnett

    Kenn Barnett is an individual angel investor who invests in health, communication, and technology startups. Usually, Barnett prefers to fund early-stage startups that have the potential to stand out in the market.

    Due to his background and experience in technology, Barnett is always mindful when it comes to making his decisions about which startup he funds. That is also one of the main reasons he likes to conduct difficult screening tests, ensuring only the most unique ideas can secure funding.

    Among many successful investments, some notable portfolio companies of Ken Barnett include Ziptopia, Kalido, and Work It Detroit. His investing range usually spans from $50,000 up to $1M.

    Grand Angels

    Started in 2006, Grand Angels is a venture capital firm located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It currently has around 40 members who share the same vision of helping startups by providing them with not just funding but also mentorship and guidance.

    The team consists of investors from different backgrounds, allowing them to have an open mind when investing in different startups.

    However, Grand Angels, like many other startups, also wants to ensure that they invest in the most profitable startup with the potential to erupt the markets. Their screening tests consist of different stages, including technical review, financial analysis, and legal review.

    Some of the startups that have been funded by Grand Angels include Start Garden, Motor City Match, and Gravity Payments. The range of investment of Grand Angels is usually $500,000 up to $2M. 

    Jonathon Triest

    With a background in investments and working as an Angel Investor, Jonathon Triest is one of the most experienced investors in Detroit. He started his first startup when he was still a student in college, and since then, his entrepreneurial journey has been an inspirational one.

    Triest usually invests in startups focusing on technology, media, and gaming. Even though these fields involve risk, Jonathon carefully evaluates the startup's idea and its growth potential.

    The startups Triest has funded include some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Instacart and ShoeDazzle. His investments usually range from $100,000 to $1M. 

    Wood Ward Angels

    Operating as one of the biggest investment networks in Detroit, Wood Ward Angels is a great platform where new entrepreneurs can easily find investors. During the early years of its inception, Wood Ward Angles only consisted of 3 main investors. However, as of the present, the network has more than 20 active investors who are searching for amazing startups with market-erupting ideas.

    The investors at WWA also specialize in providing expert mentorship to their portfolio companies. This is evident from the success of their portfolio companies, which include GigaFiber, Jiffy, and Zeekbits.

    The network usually invests between $50,000 to $2M in startups. 

    Blue Water Angels

    Started by the all-time famous Bill Windsor, Blue Water Angels is a VC firm that looks to invest in early-stage startups spread across the country. Founded in 2009, the firm has funded many startups related to various sectors, such as healthcare, automotive, and energy.

    The network aims to help entrepreneurs with funding and mentorship for their startup growth. They specialize in providing resources and guidance on how to make the best decisions for their business.

    Blue Water Angels have funded some of the most successful startups in Detroit, such as ShowCast, Nutshellz, and Red Box+. The firm usually invests anywhere between $50,000 and $2M in startups. 

    Dan Gilbert

    Dan Gilbert, who is also the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., is a well-known Angel Investor in Detroit. Having invested in many startups from different sectors, Dan Gilbert now has one of the most impressive portfolios with successful investments in companies such as SeamlessDocs, StockX, and Waymark Health.

    Gilbert's investment range starts from $100,000 and can go up to millions of dollars. He even has funded companies outside the United States. The team at Gilbert usually looks for startups with high potential and conducts strict screening tests ensuring the most deserving ideas can make it through.

    Wrap Up

    There you have it; a list of the top Angel Investors in Detroit that can provide you with startup funding for your business idea.

    However, before ending, allow me to share some insights on how you can connect with angel investors.

    To begin with, try to join a networking event or startup accelerator nearby. This will allow you to meet and connect with potential angel investors who can help finance your venture.

    Moreover, you should look for funds like Detroit-based Venture Capital Firms or Angel Groups such as Blue Water Angels, which provide funding for startups within the city.

    By looking for such funds and events, you can get the chance to present your business idea in front of several investors and potentially secure funding.

    Good luck!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How to get a warm introduction to angel investors?

    A: To secure a warm introduction to angel investors, actively network within your industry circles, attend relevant entrepreneurial events, and seek referrals from mutual contacts. This approach establishes credibility and trust, enhancing your chances of a successful introduction.

    Q: Is it important to know your startup stages when pitching angel investors?

    A: Yes, properly understanding your startup stages is really important when pitching angel investors. Tailoring your presentation to align with their expectations showcases your progress, growth potential, and specific resource requirements. This personalized approach increases the resonance of your pitch.

    Q: Do all angel investors conduct strict screening tests?

    A: While not all angel investors implement strict screening tests, a significant number do. Expect varying degrees of due diligence. Presenting a well-defined business plan, tangible traction, and a compelling value proposition boosts your appeal and elevates the likelihood of attracting investment.

    angel match