Copyright 2024 SPARK

The Ann Arbor region is a beacon for state-of-the-art research and development with the University of Michigan giving Ann Arbor a strategic advantage compared to other business communities.

Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan’s leading economic development organization, has assembled a panel from ground-breaking startups, pioneering businesses, and a world-class academic institution to explore the role of public-private funding initiatives in supporting innovation, research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities for diverse technology companies.

The discussion will delve into the importance of partnerships with academic institutions, private corporations, and economic development hubs in creating an environment where startups, venture capitalists, and a range of talent can thrive. The panelists will also address key resources currently in place to support R&D developments and discuss challenges in creating a sustainable innovation ecosystem.


  • Kim Brown, Senior Director of Marketing, Blumira
  • Tom Duensing, Bioanalytics Development, LPS Division, Sartorius
  • Roger Peene, Vice President of Product and Development, MemryX
  • Mike Psarouthakis, Director of Ventures and Accelerate Blue Managing Director, University of Michigan


SXSW 2023 will be held March 10 – 19 in Austin, Texas. Registration is now open. To learn more and register to attend this session along with film and tv screenings, music showcases and more, visit