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Ann Arbor Spark

September 3, 2009

Crain’s identifies SPARK as “scratching the entrepreneurial itch”

From Crain’s cover’s Washtenaw/Livingston

…Goldschmidt is one of the nearly 70 new startups that have begun working with Ann Arbor Spark this year, a roughly 25 percent increase from the same period in 2008, according to Skip Simms, director of business acceleration services at Spark.

Much of the spike is driven by an increased awareness of the resources available to Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial community and an increase in those resources, Simms said.

For example, Spark has about $1.5 million in micro-loan funds available for startups that the agency lacked last year. The funds pay for things like company prototype completion, pre-revenue stage ramp-up costs, market research, marketing efforts and other early stage needs.

Spark’s new cash is available through three separate funds. The state of Michigan allocated about $1 million to Spark from its 21st Century Jobs Fund for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.

Another $275,000 is available from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone through the Local Development Finance Authority and Spark, as well as about $225,000 for startups in Eastern Washtenaw County through the Eastern Washtenaw County micro-loan fund, according to Simms. …

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