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Ann Arbor Spark

May 22, 2020

Weekly Rewind: Ann Arbor’s Business News Recap

A look back on this week’s economic development headlines, announcements, and other share-worthy news from the Ann Arbor region.

Happening Today

  • Pandemic Pivots: Ann Arbor Mobility Startups Responding to COVID-19 (Eventbrite), hosted by Komal Doshi. Komal is also a judge in CATCH, “The City Architecture for Tomorrow Challenge (CATCH) is organized by Toyota Mobility Foundation and co-developed by Deloitte Future of Mobility Solution Centre, to drive intelligent data-driven, connected solutions towards more efficient, innovative, secure and sustainable cities.” (TMF CATCH). Check out our latest mobility newsletter, too (Mailchimp).
  • “Recent census data show that Michigan has approximately 98,000 households with a net worth over $3 million. That means there are a lot of potential angel investors in our state. We need more people to become angels in Michigan,” said Skip Simms, Michigan Angel Fund managing director and Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president, in a great overview of angel funding in our state. (SPARK Blog)
  • The LivCo Road Rally is a scavenger hunt that takes ralliers through a course of scheduled “pit-stops” as they chase clues throughout Livingston county. This year, the LivCo Road Rally was held via Facebook Live. The event, organized by the Livingston ESA, helps to fund scholarships for graduating high school students in Livingston County who are pursuing careers featured in Michigan’s HOT 50 Jobs list. Ann Arbor SPARK supports the organization of the Liv Co Road Rally and funds one of its scholarships. (SPARK blog)

News to Know and Company Updates

  • The Ann Arbor SPARK Area of Innovation Meets the 4th Industrial Revolution (IASP)
  • Startup LoanSense Uses Algorithm To Help Find The Right Loan Forgiveness Program, Even Years Into Repayment (Cronicle Press)
  • Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative Raises $75,000 in Brighton with support from Lake Trust Credit Union (WHMI)
  • MEDC profiles Ann Arbor-based FifthEye (MEDC)
  • MEDC adds more programming (MEDC)
    • Metro Community Development loans to provide critical capital for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 virus
    • MI-STEP program to further support export activities of businesses in Michigan

America’s Mighty Middle

“Founders in the Mighty Middle have long had access to engineering talent, large Fortune 500 customers and the benefits of a lower cost of living. Local and coastal venture capital investors are actively and increasingly funding growth across all stages, and it is clear that large, valuable technology companies can be built outside of traditional tech hubs.” (Full report on Crunchbase)