A progressive city with an unapologetic passion for its community.

Ypsilanti is known for its heritage of automotive leadership and era-defining advancements in aviation production. Continuing this ethos of innovation is the Ann Arbor SPARK East Innovation Center, dedicated to supporting early-stage startups and helping growing businesses excel.

Contact Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneurial Services

Connect with Ann Arbor SPARK for more information about the organization’s entrepreneurial services and resources.

Contact SPARK
The Difference Between Startup Incubators and Business Accelerators

What are the differences between incubators and accelerators and how can they help you achieve your goals?

Learn More

SPARK East Innovation Center

Since its launch in 2008, the SPARK East Innovation Center has become a magnet for innovation-based businesses of every size and description – from entrepreneurs and startups to mid-sized companies. Located in downtown Ypsilanti, SPARK East clients have access to an amazing array of business development centers, consulting expertise, and educational programs.

Entrepreneurial Marketing Services

Ann Arbor SPARK’s marketing team provides direct services to its Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti clients. These services — which would normally be cost-prohibitive to early-stage companies — include branding, content marketing, product positioning, social media strategy, public relations, and other promotional materials. In 2021, the dedicated entrepreneurial marketing team delivered more than 275 individual services for 57 of the startup companies working with SPARK.

Join the SPARK East Innovation Center

Gain all the benefits of having a dedicated business address and more. We’ve got affordable rates, reservable conference rooms, and more.

SPARK East Innovation Center Price Table

Financial Programs and Incentives for Ypsilanti Companies

Ann Arbor SPARK and the Washtenaw Office of Community and Economic Development have created incentive options for businesses in eastern Washtenaw County. SPARK can help businesses identify loans, grants, and incentives that fuel continued business growth.

Innovate Ypsi

The Innovate Ypsi incentive program is designed to provide funding to businesses that create jobs and investment in the 48197/48198 zip codes. Projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a review committee, with consideration given to the type of project, number of new employees, capital investment, financial support, and impact on the community.

Funds can be used for a variety of expenses, including:

  • Marketing and business development assistance
  • Product development and scaling manufacturing
  • Talent relocation and recruitment assistance
  • Direct lease assistance
  • Rehabilitation grants
  • Purchase and leaseback of machinery and equipment
  • Payroll/Salaries
  • Real Estate

Washtenaw Gap Manufacturing Fund

The loan fund is a partnership between the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (CEED), Washtenaw County, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The gap manufacturing fund was established to assist existing and startup small businesses that cannot obtain conventional financing due to lack of capital, no credit, and insufficient collateral.

The loans are up to $50,000. Many small businesses know the difficulty of obtaining financing from conventional sources, due to lack of capital, no credit, and insufficient collateral.

Contact Jennifer Olmstead to learn more about the Innovate Ypsi and Washtenaw County Gap Manufacturing Fund or additional opportunities in Ypsilanti.

Join Our Incubator

Entrepreneurs with a new business idea ready for development should check out SPARK East, a business accelerator with all the advantages of a dynamic business environment without costly overhead expenses.

Startup Funding

Looking for more information about the stages of funding for tech startups? Explore the world of angel investing, raising seed money, and attracting venture capital.

Eastern Michigan University

Based near downtown Ypsilanti, EMU is a major learning and research institution serving 22,000 students and offering more than 200 undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates, plus more than 150 graduate programs.


American Center for Mobility

A unique, purpose-built facility focused on testing, validation, and self-certification of connected and automated vehicles and other mobility technologies at the more than 500-acre historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township.



Back Office Studio fosters a dynamic community of passionate and hardworking leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and talented people collaborating to build positive futures. #coworkypsi