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On May 30th, Ann Arbor SPARK launched a new program blending the Ann Arbor SPARK departments of Entrepreneurial Services, Talent Enhancement, and Business Development. This dynamic new program helps to fund internships for 10 start-up companies in Ann Arbor through a monetary match program.

In addition to financial assistance, the interns of these start-up companies are participating in a social program administered by Ann Arbor SPARK.  The social activities range from group canoe trips to a Top of the Park Tent mixer. However, the greatest activity of all is a two month long scavenger hunt around Ann Arbor.  The winner of the 2-month long scavenger hunt is rewarded not only by having gained expert knowledge on the ins and outs of the city, but also with an iPad that has been graciously donated by the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The social activities have been extended to additional college interns besides the 10 from Ann Arbor SPARK’s matching program.  30 interns from Google, 30 interns from U of M and 50 interns from Toyota are also participating in an effort to create a community of Ann Arbor interns experiencing the city.

While some interns are from Ann Arbor, many others are from across the state and county. This provides a rare opportunity to introduce these summer visitors to the wonderful working community of Ann Arbor, with the hopes that they will consider Ann Arbor as a new home after graduation.

Five interns participating in the Intern Program pose for a picture at the Top of the Park Tent Mixer on Sunday, June 17th 2012.