MARQUETTE, MI (December 19, 2022 ) – InvestUP is pleased to announce that U.P. native Vince Nystrom has joined its team as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Fund Development. He will support business development across the Upper Peninsula with a focus on business retention, expansion, and attraction, and the development of strategic initiatives to accelerate economic growth throughout the region.
“I can’t imagine anyone better positioned to take on this role,” said InvestUP CEO Marty Fittante. “Vince has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that spans economic development, manufacturing, advanced technology, and more. He has partnered with the private sector, municipalities, universities, start-ups, business leaders, and government officials to retain and attract businesses and talent and to strengthen Michigan’s business sector. Vince’s return to the U.P. is a huge win for InvestUP and for the region as a whole.”
Nystrom plans to go beyond delivering the traditional economic development toolbox and services to focus on the company demand side. “My goal is to listen to the CEO and learn what the company’s problems and pain points are — what’s keeping the CEO up at night?” Then we will work to help them solve individual challenges and build programs around common denominator issues.” One example Nystrom provided was making connections across the supply chain to help Upper Peninsula companies resolve gaps while creating opportunities for other regional businesses.
Another goal that Nystrom and InvestUP share is to help companies identify and address opportunities for sustainability or growth. “We want to learn what their opportunities are and try to get creative about how InvestUP can support them,” Fittante explains. “The structure of InvestUP’s team, board, local partnerships, and statewide connections enables one or two degrees of separation to potential solutions for a lot of issues. Vince is an important piece of that puzzle.”
Nystrom’s work in the economic development sector traces back to 2002 at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where he worked on the launch of the 21st Century Jobs Fund, SmartZones, university initiatives, Technology Tri-Corridor Fund, and other start-up investment initiatives. After leaving the MEDC, he moved to Ann Arbor SPARK, where he led retention, expansion, and attraction efforts and then to the University Research Corridor, an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University to transform, strengthen and diversify Michigan’s economy.
He returned to the MEDC in 2012 to lead the statewide business retention and expansion team. He also managed and helped create Michigan’s Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative, matching buyers and sellers for future partnerships and contracts. In 2016, Nystrom joined Renaissance Venture Capital Fund as a partner. While there, he connected Michigan start-up companies with national venture capital funds, helping to generate over $2.3 billion in venture investment in Michigan.
After twenty years in East Lansing, Nystrom is delighted to return home to the Upper Peninsula. “I look forward to building new relationships and supporting the region’s continued growth. InvestUP has done very impressive work in a relatively short amount of time. I’m very excited to work alongside Marty and this dedicated team.”
InvestUP is a private sector-led economic development organization keenly focused on driving economic growth across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Founded by the region’s leading private sector businesses and the region’s universities, its mission is to deliver business and job growth across the peninsula.