Copyright 2024 SPARK

Do You Already Lead a Business or Are You Considering a Start Up?

Starting your own business is a big step, but one you don’t have to take alone. Utilize the power of our community for your best chance at success.

If you currently own a business or are considering the possibility, here are some resources to consider:



Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE), January 31

ACE is the place where Great Lakes region entrepreneurs gather to learn and connect. Register for ACE 2013 to join an exciting, forward-thinking community of business leaders who have the vision and drive to build successful ventures.

Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest (GLEQ), registration for Spring 2013 business plan competition opens late February.

A year-round educational program offering classes, training, coaching, and mentoring to help entrepreneurs start, develop, or accelerate a high-growth business while competing for monetary prizes.

New Enterprise Forum (NEF), January 17 (third Thursday of each month)

The January panel will offer a crash-course in the art of building alliances that bring valuable new leads, sales, and the next opportunity from simple but effective networking — a critical skill for entrepreneurs. NEF offers monthly meetings with new and experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors.

Shifting Gears, registration still open for a short time for Cohort 13 starting on January 22

A career-transition program for seasoned mid- and late-career professional talent going through, or preparing to go through, a transition to a small organization (among other options).

Small Business Financing Expo, MI-SBTDC program at Washtenaw Community College, January 17

Through a combination of workshops, information tables and individual conversations, small business owners at all stages of development can better understand their financing options.

Starting Your Own Business, January 18 (third Friday of each month)

Learn about creating a marketing plan, finance, legal, accounting, and risk considerations.  Offered each month with training by area experts.



Ann Arbor SCORE

Typically retired and always experienced executives who provide free and confidential business advice and mentoring tailored to meet the needs of your small business.

Ann Arbor SPARK

Building a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment to further economic development in the Ann Arbor region is all about working together and sharing a vision. Whether you need business introductions, incubator space, site selection assistance, start-up grants and other funding, start-up consulting, deep training in our Boot Camp, or just the basics of how to start a business, SPARK has resources … and the best list of jobs for the area’s knowledge workers.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) (resources)

Entrepreneurial support to budding high-growth companies. Our governor is a former CEO, venture capitalist, and co-founder of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC in Washtenaw Region) (resources)

A nonprofit organization which boosts small businesses through one-on-one counseling, group training, and market research.

Michigan Works! (Livingston and Washtenaw County offices)

Information on business start-up, retention, and expansion services.

Small Business Administration (SBA in Michigan)

Services to secure loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses. SBA provides assistance primarily through its four programmatic functions, helping you navigate the issues from initial applications to resources after you open a business.

University of Michigan Venture Center and Office of Tech Transfer

Access technology, expertise, resources, and connections to create new start-up ventures based on U of M technology.



The Art of the Start

Blue Ocean Strategy

The Founder’s Dilemmas

Hungry Start-Up Strategy

The Lean Startup




Cleary University

Associate’s in Entrepreneurship

Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Micro Business Incubator in Livingston County

Eastern Michigan University

Certificate Program

Bachelor’s and MBA links:

University of Michigan

Program in Entrepreneurship

Certificate of Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) in Entrepreneurship

Master of Entrepreneurship

Non-degree networks for students

Center for Entrepreneurship

Law School Entrepreneurship Clinic

MPowered Entrepreneurship

TechArb Student Start-Up Incubator

Zell Lurie Institute

Other Events and Programs

Washtenaw Community College

Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Please send any regional additions, updates or corrections to