Paul Brown

Paul Brown

Semi-Finalist Judge

paul-brownPaul Brown has 16 years of experience as a lawyer, entrepreneurial educator, technology founder and operator, and venture capital investor. Paul is passionate about and recognized as a leader in early stage financing, having testified before Congress and credited with creating many innovative investment programs, including the U.S Treasury’s, $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Most recently Paul Co-founded and invested in Front Door Insights, a mobile technology company, in 2009. Paul helped raise two rounds of angel investment and executed the sale of the company in May 2013 to Mobivity, a publicly traded OTC mobile marketing and advertising company. This transaction returned up to 10x to investors. At the same time Paul founded a related company, TEL Media, which is now cash flow positive. Crains’s Business recognized Paul as one of the leading entrepreneurs in Michigan naming him to their “ 40 under 40” list in 2010.

As Vice President of MEDC’s Capital Markets group from 2008 to 2013, Paul managed the bulk of the State of Michigan’s $1.2 billion, 21st Century Jobs Fund. These programs had direct investments in more than 80 early stage technology companies and a dozen venture funds. The MEDC programs included (i) the $150 million 21st Century Commercialization Competition, which invests directly in 72 early stage companies, (ii) the $109 million 21st Century Investment Fund, which invested in 12 venture capital and private equity firms, (iii) the $130 million Loan Enhancement programs, which participated and supported hundreds of senior debt instruments to Michigan companies,, (iv) the $21 million Michigan Accelerator and Venture Development Fund programs, which invested in venture funds, and (v) the Michigan Pre-Seed fund which invested directly into dozens of Michigan early stage start-ups.

Paul is on the board of directors of Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company and Akadeum Life Science inc. He is a past board member of Strata Oncology and Michigan’s First Step Fund investment review Board, which invests in early stage investments in Michigan. He also sat on the board of the Michigan Treasury’s $216 million Venture Michigan Fund, which invests in venture capital funds and directly into Michigan startups. Paul spent three years as an official board observer on the board of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. He is currently teaching a class on entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan School of Engineering and has been a guest lecturer at both the University of Michigan and Wayne State Law schools and is a frequent speaker on early stage financing around the United States and abroad. Paul began his career practicing law as a law clerk in Federal District Court then in the Manhattan office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He has degrees from the University of Michigan in History (BA 1996) and Business (MBA 2008) and received his law degree from Wayne State University (2000).