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.
Connect with Ann Arbor SPARK for more information about the organization’s entrepreneurial services and resources.
What are the differences between incubators and accelerators and how can they help you achieve your goals?
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 to gain all the benefits of having a dedicated business address and more. We’ve got affordable rates, reservable conference rooms, and more.
Companies that join SPARK East are eligible to apply for grants funded by the Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) for marketing, recruiting, legal, and other professional services.
Use of shared office environment
Use of shared desk space
Key Card Access (Business Hours)
($200 month per additional seat/desk)
Assigned Private Seat/Desk Space
Key Card Access (Extended Hours)
Personal Security Access Code (Weekends)
Location: 215 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
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.
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
- 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
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