Covaron Advanced Materials Completes Seed-Stage Funding with Investment from Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund

Covaron Advanced Materials has announced the completion of its seed-stage funding round with an investment of $250,000 from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund administered by Ann Arbor SPARK. Covaron now has a total of $550,000 in funding, having previously secured $300,000 in investments from Mercury Fund, Houston, Texas; Huron River Ventures, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Two Seven Ventures, Aspen, Colo.; and First Step Fund, Detroit, Mich. as announced on April 30, 2013.

“We are pleased to conclude our seed-stage funding with a significant addition that provides the resources needed while we pursue Series A backing, which we are targeting to have in place by the end of the year,” said David Hatfield, Covaron CEO. “We also appreciated the rigorous application and vetting process required for the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund investment, which helped validate and demonstrate support for our business concept.”

“From a technology perspective, we are excited that the assessment process reaffirmed the potential marketplace value of the unique chemistry behind PETRAFORGE™ thermosetting ceramics,” said Vince Alessi, Covaron founder and chief science officer. “We look forward to continuing technical advancement of products for our target applications.”

“Companies like Covaron are vital to Michigan’s economic prosperity,” said Joe Licavoli, manager of capital programs at Ann Arbor SPARK. “The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an important tool in supporting the growth of high potential businesses, and is an effective way to attract these businesses to the state. As with Covaron, the companies that receive Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investments attract additional investments, too, helping to put our state on the radar of the broader capital community.”

About Covaron and PETRAFORGE™ Thermosetting Ceramics
Covaron is a startup advanced materials company based in Ann Arbor, Mich., with a patent-pending platform technology that enables a new category of high value materials recently introduced as PETRAFORGE™ thermosetting ceramics. These materials exhibit high-performance physical properties comparable to traditional advanced ceramics but without their associated processing disadvantages. Covaron is initially pursuing products and methodologies for metal casting and thermoplastics molding—industries that have a strong presence in Michigan and the Midwest. Longer term, opportunities of significant value have also been identified in advanced oil and gas recovery, where Covaron technology addresses temperature, pressure, and fabrication needs created by deeper wells.

Anticipated benefits of PETRAFORGEthermosetting ceramics include lower overall cost and much faster lead time to produce patterns and molds for cast metal and plastic parts. For more information, go to www.covaron.com.

About the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund
The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity fund that invests in technology-based companies to support business formation and acceleration.  Ann Arbor SPARK serves as the Fund’s administrator.

To qualify for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, start-up technology-based companies must have the sponsorship of a local SmartZone. In addition to SmartZone sponsorship, companies must have received grant, angel or venture capital funding as a match for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund investment.  The Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund is an equity investment fund that receives the same returns as the third party investor.  The returns that the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund receives from its investments will be redeployed by the Fund as first round capital to more Michigan-based start-ups.

Funds for this initiative were provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a Michigan Strategic Fund program designed to accelerate the growth and diversification of Michigan’s economy.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”), a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, provides administrative support for the 21st Century Jobs Fund. The MEDC markets Michigan and provides the tools and environment to drive job creation and investment. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative, visit www.MichiganAdvantage.org.