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Ann Arbor Spark

November 15, 2019

Weekly Rewind: November 15

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

Don’t forget to register for Tech Homecoming on November 27 from 4 – 7 p.m. This happy hour-style event connects job seekers with some of the region’s fastest-growing companies.
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It was a busy week in the early-stage investment world with the Michigan Angel Summit and the MVCA Annual Dinner taking place on Tuesday at the Henry Ford, and then Accelerate Michigan happening the day after. Arboretum won MVCA’s “Capital Event of the Year” and AMIC winners include PassiveBolt (People’s Choice), Brand XR, and the grand prize winner was UM-spinout EVOQ therapeutics. Our own Skip Simms was featured on a panel discussing a look at AMIC after 10 years. Congrats to all the nominees and winners at these events!

Bud Gibson, director of Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Digital Engagement appeared on FOX 2 Detroit earlier this week promoting the annual Digital Marketing Workshop. The Digital Engagement Center program itself has grown a lot over the past few years and the workshop is today, and it’s oversubscribed!

IndustryStar provided a nice testimonial as they “graduate” from the SPARK Central Innovation Center. “SPARK really shined throughout this process. We were fairly specific about the characteristics we wanted for our next space and SPARK’s director of research, Alex West, was very thorough and resourceful as she toured nearly a dozen potential locations with us.” Reminder: You can check out IndustryStar’s new space in Pittsfield Township on November 21 as part of the A2 Mobility Tech meetup.

“From semiconductors to driverless cars, U-M students got an inside look at the Ann Arbor tech industry for ECE Expeditions. Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) students toured KLA — a global capital equipment company — and Quantum Signal AI — a startup recently acquired by Ford to make robotaxis and driverless delivery vehicles a reality within two years.”

Check out the updated Tech Market Sector report. Data has been updated and revised, and new sections added, including a feature about how Google, KLA, and Nexient have scaled their operations in the region.

MichBio hosted its Drug Discovery and Development Symposium in Ann Arbor on Tuesday. According to one attendee, the State of Michigan, along with its universities and biotech companies are becoming a center for developing new therapeutics.

20 Years Later, Michigan Ross Continues Entrepreneurial Build: Ann Arbor SPARK is another initiative in which students and alums can get involved. The initiative’s sole purpose is to boost southeastern Michigan’s economy by supporting startups, including connecting job seekers with employers. “Ann Arbor SPARK does a lot of things for the community that ZLI does for the university,” points out Stewart Thornhill, the executive director of Michigan Ross’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.