A look back on this week’s economic development headlines, announcements, and other share-worthy news from the Ann Arbor region.
Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you had a terrific holiday season, and cheers to 2020.
The end of 2019 sees quite a bit of funding announcements for companies in the SPARK and greater Ann Arbor orbit:
- Akadeum Life Science raises $4 million.
- SkySpecs raises a $17 million Series C, which will partly be used to hire new people. Check out the dozen + jobs on our job portal.
- Intvo closes on their pre-seed round.
- Rivian adds $1.3 billion to their investment raise.
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Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play opens a mobility accelerator in Detroit, in partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
In case you missed it, here’s a deeper dive on the Refraction AI “REV” robots doing food delivery around town.
Food for thought: “Today’s kids might be digital natives — but a new study shows they aren’t close to being computer literate.” In other words, it may be easy for a younger person to navigate the user interface of TikTok, but that doesn’t mean they have any idea what’s under the hood.
Axios Cities looks at geographic mobility and reminds us that Americans are moving far less than they once did. In the mid-80’s, over 20% of America moved; last year it was less than 10%. This matters for a number of reasons, but it’s something to think about as communities, states, and countries think about talent attraction. It may have broader implications, too. In 2017, economist Tyler Cowen wrote a book on the lack of geographic mobility, calling it an “unseen threat.” Here’s an overview.
The New York Times takes a look at how the changing automotive product landscape could affect communities in Germany. “Workers are feeling the brunt, and not just in Germany. The upheaval in auto technology was an undercurrent in the United Automobile Workers’ recent strike against General Motors, with G.M. aiming for flexibility in staffing levels as it devotes more resources to electric vehicles.”
Twitter chats about how startups have been acting between 2010 and today. Brenden Mulligan writes that the 2010s Startup Guidance included “ignore profitability” and “Bay Area or bust.” In the 2020s, it’s “focus on revenue” and “hire remote teams.”
People look back over their decades as we move into the 2020s — here’s a thread to find out what you were Googling back in 2010 if you’re interested, assuming you had a Google account back then.