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Ann Arbor Spark

April 13, 2020

Ann Arbor SPARK Facilitating New Business Accelerator Funds Announced by Michigan Small Business Development Center

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MISBDC) recently made additional Business Accelerator Funds (BAF) available to business accelerators to help early stage tech companies involved with alleviating the COVID‐19 crisis or severely struggling as a result of it. Ann Arbor SPARK’s entrepreneurial services team is facilitating the process for small businesses in Washtenaw and Livingston counties.

The funds, which are both limited and specific in scope, are categorized into the following three groups:

1. High-tech companies involved with COVID-19 alleviating innovation

  • Available to existing, previous, and new Ann Arbor SPARK clients.
  • Designed for existing high-tech companies commercializing compelling technology or products that fight the COVID-19 crisis such as diagnostics, therapeutics, or innovations that bolster the healthcare system’s ability to respond. Idea-stage companies are not eligible.
  • Company may have no more than 75 employees.
  • $50k maximum per company; previous BAF support does not count against maximum funding.
  • New clients should complete SPARK’s intake form.
  • Additional criteria may apply. This program expires on September 30, 2020.

2. Non-tech companies involved with COVID-19 alleviating production

  • Available to existing, previous, and new Ann Arbor SPARK clients.
  • Designed for Michigan-based small businesses with less than $1.5 million in 2019 revenue that are manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) or medical supplies, such as hand sanitizer, gowns, and masks.
  • Eligible companies will have exhausted banking resources and do not have adequate private sector funding options available.
  • $25k maximum per company. Up to $5k per company may be used toward rent or utilities.
  • New clients should complete SPARK’s intake form.
  • Additional criteria may apply. This program expires on June 30, 2020.

3. Ann Arbor SPARK clients that need minimal support for rent, utilities, etc.

  • Only available to existing or previous Ann Arbor SPARK clients.
  • Designed for early stage startups that may not survive as a direct result of the COVID-19 situation — not companies that were struggling prior to the pandemic.
  • Funds may be used toward services not previously allowed under BAF guidelines, such as rent or utilities. They cannot be applied for employee compensation or physical assets.
  • These grants are not substantial and will be allocated based on specific costs.
  • Additional criteria may apply.

Application Process

Ann Arbor SPARK will guide qualifying companies through the application process. To become qualified:

  • Existing SPARK clients should contact their Ann Arbor SPARK entrepreneurial services team representative.
  • New clients interested in either of the production-related BAFs should complete SPARK’s intake form.

Learn more about Ann Arbor SPARK’s entrepreneurial services