CONTACT: Merrill Guerra, Executive Director, MVCA 734-929-9970

Two new MVCA Executive-In-Residence awardees chosen

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—Two MVCA member firms were recently awarded a loan from the organization’s Executive in Residence (EIR)/CEO Placement Program, marking the first distributions from the program’s new Venture Upstart II allocation from the MEDC. Plymouth Ventures and RPM Ventures will welcome executives Kevin Terrasi and Kurt Skifstad respectively into their firms for a period of deal sourcing and advisement, with an ultimate goal of placing that executive in a leadership role at a portfolio company. “We’re excited to relaunch the EIR/CEO Placement Program, which has been one of our most popular programs for members,” said Merrill Guerra, Executive Director of the MVCA. “We’ve chosen two firms who are committed to keeping our entrepreneurial talent in the state. This program continues to make a difference to the many executives in our market who might otherwise have had to leave the state to find compelling leadership opportunities in their entrepreneurial niches.”

Terrasi and Skifstad both bring operational experience to their venture firm sponsors. Terrasi joins Plymouth following his tenure as Vice President of Engineering and a Director of Pump Engineering, Inc./LLC (PEI), a Plymouth Ventures Fund I portfolio company which was sold in 2009 to Energy Recovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERII). Skifstad, Executive-In-Residence at RPM Ventures, has founded and played a key role in the launch, growth and ultimate success of several venture-backed businesses, including Kabongo (aka Quantum Learning Technology), an RPM Ventures portfolio company. In addition to the early-stage companies, Skifstad mentored entrepreneurs in his position at University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer while teaching a senior-level class on entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and attended the Executive Education Program at U-M’s Ross School of Business.

About the MVCA EIR/CEO Placement Program

Billed as a talent attraction and retention program, the EIR/CEO Placement program was developed in 2007 to help Michigan venture firms support the eventual placement of an EIR into a portfolio company’s operations post-investment or find and hire a qualified CEO candidate for a portfolio company. In 2011, the MVCA received a second 21st Century Jobs Fund award from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to renew its EIR and CEO Placement programs. This grant award allows the MVCA and the MEDC to work together to foster an environment to help entrepreneurs and Michigan-based venture-backed companies succeed. Under the EIR program, Michigan venture capital firms may apply for a loan award to assist with the first year salary of an EIR. Under the CEO Placement program, the loan award may be used to pay the one year salary of a newly recruited CEO in one of their Michigan-based portfolio companies. The CEO Placement loan award may also be applied toward the recruiting fees incurred in finding an entrepreneurial CEO.

For information about the MVCA EIR or CEO Placement programs, visit or contact Merrill Guerra at 734.929.9970.

About the MVCA

The MVCA is a non-profit trade organization designed to bring together venture capital industry participants in the state of Michigan. The organization’s goal is to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan. Membership includes private venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds, private equity firms, angel investors, and entrepreneurial infrastructure participants. The MVCA is a vehicle to bring together industry participants and to provide a concerted voice for Michigan’s venture capital industry.

About Plymouth Ventures Fund II

Plymouth Ventures Fund I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Ventures II is actively looking to invest in strong early expansion-stage companies in the Great Lakes region. Plymouth has four partners: Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Bob Savage, and Jeff Barry, with offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. Visit for more information.

About RPM Ventures

RPM Ventures is a leading seed and early stage IT and physical sciences venture fund. Founded in 2000 and based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the firm has a unique strategy as a national specialist and regional generalist, leveraging the strengths of the Midwest. As a regional generalist, RPM helps to create and invest in companies based on novel technologies developed within Midwest universities and research centers. As a national specialist, the firm invests in companies across the U.S. whose primary customer is the Midwest industrial base. With more than $75 million under management, RPM has invested in over 20 companies since inception. For more information, visit