New Fund Has $100 Million to Invest in Second-Stage Firms

Posted on May 23, 2011

An investment fund co-founded by former Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda and an anonymous investor will offer $100 million in new funding for second-stage business development.

Stage 2 Innovations LLC, investment manager of The Stage 2 Innovations Fund, plans to invest in second-stage companies that have developed innovative technologies with the potential for larger-scale commercialization.

The fund plans to collaborate with Troy-based Automation Alley on placing investments and said in a statement today that a “successful, experienced investor has anonymously provided” the fund capital and co-founded the company with LaSorda.

The CEO of the new fund is Simon Boag, former senior vice president of global service and parts at Chrysler Group until 2008 and a former president of Cami Automotive Inc., a joint venture between General Motors and Suzuki Motor Corp.

“I am extremely excited to be working alongside our investor, who has years of successful startup experience,” LaSorda said in a statement today. “Together, we are devoting our time to help commercialize anything new and big.”

LaSorda and Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers expect to make a joint announcement on the fund Tuesday in Troy.

Stage 2 Innovations will invest in second-stage companies — or businesses led by growth-focused entrepreneurs with market-ready products or services, revenue of $1 million to $50 million and 10 to 100 employees.

Such companies provided 35.7 percent of Michigan jobs in 2007, according to the nonprofit Edward Lowe Foundation.

“The State of Michigan has a strong tradition of rich talent and innovative ideas, and this fund brings the final piece to that puzzle,” Rogers said in a statement. “Tom LaSorda and his team represent a wealth of knowledge and business savvy that, when combined with such incredible financial resources, will give second-stage companies the entrepreneurial support needed to elevate business growth in Michigan.”