Several cell-based therapies are under pre-clinical and clinical evaluation for the treatment of ischemic diseases. Poor survival and vascular engraftment rates of transplanted cells force them to work mainly via time-limited paracrine actions. Although several approaches, including the use of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor (sVEGF) - VEGF165, have been developed in the last 10 years to enhance cell survival, they showed limited efficacy. Here, we report a pro-survival approach based on VEGF-immobilized microparticles (VEGF-MPs). VEGF-MPs prolong VEGFR-2 and Akt phosphorylation in cord blood-derived late outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells (OEPCs). In vivo, OEPC aggregates containing VEGF-MPs show higher survival than those treated with sVEGF. Additionally, VEGF-MPs decrease miR-17 expression in OEPCs, thus increasing the expression of its target genes CDKN1A and ZNF652. The therapeutic effect of OEPCs is improved in vivo by inhibiting miR-17. Overall, our data show an experimental approach to improve therapeutic efficacy of proangiogenic cells for the treatment of ischemic diseases.