Each week, the SPARK team compiles a summary email featuring news, successes, happenings, and upcoming events. We call it Five Bullet Friday — a name we stole from Tim Ferris (sorry, Tim!) except ours almost always has more than five bullets. We’re excited to start sharing it here on our a blog with you!
- Upcoming Events to know about (also, be sure to check out SPARK’s Events Calendar for more stuff happening):
- Strategies for hiring recent graduates, happening on February 8 at SPARK Central. Recruiters from U-M, EMU, WCC will be on hand to discuss best practices for hiring students.
- Restaurant Depot Grand Opening Celebration happening on February 6 in Ypsilanti Township. This is a project that we were able to support through SPARK’s Innovate Ypsi funding efforts.
- SPARK’s Business Development team has been working on a few things:
- The Economic Development Council of Livingston County identifies $13 million in new community investment last year, according to its final report for 2018.
- Chemical R&D center could bring 300 jobs, but residents wary in Pittsfield Township – this has been in our pipeline for some time and is a major investment opportunity. We continue to work through next steps with the company and township and will work to ensure that this locates successfully in our region.
- 5 Things You Should Take Away from Swisher’s 2018 Year-End Vacancy Report – here’s one: downtown vacancy rose to 6.8% last year (and that’s OK).
- SPARK Staff News:
- Congrats to Julia Upfal on finalizing (and formalizing) her certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners. Julia is part of SPARK’s Livingston County team and also managed our municipal services efforts. Great to have her renewal of this effort – definitely not a small task!
- News from around the Region:
- Google’s self-driving car division Waymo announced a Michigan location this week, which adds to the “new mobility” ecosystem we have here. Sounds like they will co-locate with Magna and will retrofit Chrysler Pacifica vehicles (i.e. adding LIDARs and other sensors to build their self-driving capabilities).
- Jessica Robinson, previously with Ford Smart Mobility, joins the Michigan Mobility Institute with Chris Thomas (previously of Fontinalis Partners, one of the more active mobility VCs in Michigan)
- MEDC’s PlanetM Mobility Report
- Other News to Know:
- Relocating from Chicago to Ann Arbor for a job in tech? Nick Zoflo, an enterprise account development representative at Duo Security made the move. Read his story and learn how he thinks the two Midwest cities compare. (from our blog)
- LLamasoft Reports Record 2018 Revenue and Customer Growth
- Taking a step
back,here’s more on Research Universities’ Magnetic Attraction to Jobs
- A crowdfunding campaign launched for Rutherford Pool’s “Bathhouse 2.0” project in Ypsilanti
- Washtenaw County’s Contributions To Our Driving Future On Display At the Detroit Auto Show
- Ypsilanti’s Growing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Welcomes Back Office Studio (from our blog)
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