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The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently awarded $100,000 to Ann Arbor SPARK, a public-private partnership whose mission is to advance innovation-based economic development in the greater Ann Arbor region.  Ann Arbor SPARK will use the funding to manage MichAGAIN trips to Boston, Chicago, Palo Alto, and Washington, D.C. this year.

“MichAGAIN is a platform for evangelizing the state in areas rich with talent and growing businesses,” said Paul Krutko, CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.  “By addressing and meeting the needs of businesses and individuals, MichAGAIN is a powerful driver of economic opportunity.  Ann Arbor SPARK is well-positioned to manage MichAGAIN: Not only was the program started at SPARK, our connections to both talent and growing companies means that we understand the needs of both audiences.”

MichAGAIN is an effort led by Ann Arbor SPARK to lure back grads who have left the state to take jobs at high tech firms elsewhere.  The MichAGAIN trips bring capital, investment and talent back to companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are thriving in Michigan.

MichAGAIN, supported by a consortium of several private companies, economic development groups, and the University Research Corridor, hosts events in various cities with vibrant high tech communities and a significant number of Michigan college alumni. These events connect talent with representatives from companies, colleges and universities, and economic development officials to talk about the career opportunities available to them back home in Michigan.

As part of its efforts, Ann Arbor SPARK will develop targeted events in each city, including alumni receptions, CEO breakfasts, site selector meetings and economic development benchmarking visits.  At each event, customized “Why Michigan” presentations will be delivered, tailored to each specific audience’s interests and needs.

Locally, Ann Arbor SPARK will hold MichAGAIN lunch and learn presentations that will educate companies on the program and how they can participate, and benefit, from it.