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Student Discovery Trek Introduces U-M Students to Ann Arbor’s Entrepreneurial Tech Scene

December 11, 2019 Startup Ecosystem
Discovery Trek-Group-smaller version

The Ann Arbor region’s growing tech sector is directly fueled by the immense talent graduating from the University of Michigan. According to reports from the University Career Center and the Engineering Career Resource Center, approximately 30 percent of undergraduates remain in Michigan. In an effort to retain more of this talent post-graduation, Ann Arbor SPARK coordinated with the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship to host Student Discovery Trek — an event designed to connect students and Ann Arbor-based tech companies.

“Ann Arbor continues to rank as one of the best college towns in the U.S. and was recently identified by Bloomberg as a top new tech hub,” said Jenn Queen, vice president of marketing and communications at Ann Arbor SPARK. “Our goal is to encourage more graduates to remain in Ann Arbor by showcasing the high-growth career opportunities available here.”

Ann Arbor SPARK welcomed 50 students and 24 companies at its SPARK Central Innovation Center in October for a series of speed networking and meet-and-greet sessions. As a result of the Discovery Trek, two of the participating companies were able to fill open internship opportunities.

One of those companies was Duo Security, represented at the event by Deepak Bhaskaran, director of QA. “Duo receives an enormous amount of applications for internship positions and we continuously strive to ensure that our program is accessible and inclusive,” said Deepak. “A key part of this effort is engaging with the local community, meeting face-to-face with new candidates, and telling them about Duo and the opportunities we offer. These efforts broaden the channels into our company.”

Participating companies also included early stage startups such as Every Two Minutes who hired an intern as a result of the event. “Participating in Discovery Trek was a great opportunity to interact with U-M students majoring in entrepreneurship and learn about their interests,” said Erin Rose, CEO and founder. “I was fortunate to meet Gabrielle, who is a sophomore majoring in art and design with a minor in Entrepreneurship. We immediately brought her on as an intern and she is currently working on some marketing and social media projects.”

Discovery Trek Participating Companies

The other companies participating in Student Discovery Trek at the SPARK Central Innovation Center were: AdAdapted, AGC Automotive Americas R&D, Amy Cell Talent, Arbor Interactive, Arbormoon Software, BestFoodFeed, Criteo, DaySmart Software, EMU Digital Summer Clinic, Domino’s, ICON Interactive, InfoReady, Intvo, Jottful, KLA, Passivebolt, Pocketnest, ProQuest, Refraction AI, Saganworks, Shoshana Technologies, and Voxel51. Students also visited Menlo Innovations, Barracuda Networks, and Cahoots.

Ann Arbor SPARK coordinates several opportunities throughout the year to connect potential new hires with the area’s companies in the automotive, manufacturing, technology, and life sciences industries. A2 Tech Trek (part of a2Tech360) and Tech Homecoming are the two largest annual events.

Check out the SPARK Job Portal to see which companies currently hiring.