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Ann Arbor Spark

March 20, 2018

How is Ann Arbor SPARK funded?

The SPARK operating budget is funded through three sources: public (including grants and government and municipal funding); academic (University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College); and private (corporate contributions, foundation grants, and sponsorships).

A portion of the public funding is provided by the State of Michigan through an annual contract with the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LDFA) for support of startups, and general fund allocation for business development activities, specifically, attracting and helping established businesses grow in this region. SPARK also receives funding from the state through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and Michigan Works! Southeast.

Washtenaw County also provides public funding from the general fund to support business development.

Ann Arbor SPARK operates its SPARK Central Innovation Center under contract with the LDFA. The SPARK East Innovation Center is also supported by the LDFA, and by a grant from the MEDC. MEDC funds are to administer the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, additional funding for the SPARK East Innovation Center, support for the Greater Ann Arbor regional marketing efforts, and support of regional talent attraction efforts.