This is the first of a three-part series highlighting the winners of the 2020 Invest360 competition. The competition is part of SPARK’s a2Tech360, a week of events celebrating Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation through experiences, conversations, and connections that strengthen and expand the region’s vibrant ecosystem.
At the inaugural Invest360 competition, winner Dynamo Metrics proved to be a standout contender. Described by Mike Flanagan, Ann Arbor SPARK’s vice president of capital programs as, “a well-deserved win”, the company’s transformative software-as-a-solution (SaaS) platform earned Dynamo Metrics a combined prize of $100,000 as the winner of both the information technology session and the People’s Choice award.
Invest360 showcases Ann Arbor’s regional strengths in information technology, mobility, and healthcare and provides a curated group of companies valuable exposure to investors. During the annual competition, companies pitch their businesses to a panel to seed stage investors whose funding ultimately nurtures the Ann Arbor region’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Dynamo Metrics’ victory further solidified its product’s potential and the company’s positive impact on the Ann Arbor tech landscape. The funding is currently being utilized to expand the reach of the company’s products, including Neighborhood Intel, which combines the best of economics and proprietary data science to make predictive insights and relevant data from the public sector more accessible to local and regional governments.
“Increased accessibility to real estate insights and land data ultimately leads to better decision making by local governments and a deeper understanding of the impact of their work. By simplifying complex data into analysis and economic models, our platform enables government entities to increase efficiency to a once daunting process,” said Dynamo Metrics’ founder and CEO Nigel Griswold. “With clients across the state including Detroit, Ypsilanti, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Jackson, the positive social and economic outcomes of our product have only scratched the surface in terms of long-term impact on the state and local communities.”
While Dynamo Metrics has a strong foundational model, thanks to the Invest360 award, a much grander vision for implementing its products is on the horizon. “We’re positioning to integrate our local level product into a much larger system,” Griswold said. “Our product has primarily focused on the local user that can be implemented every day in community development, planning, housing, and code enforcement, but we’ve been able to aggregate all the local level data to the state so the communication across multiple levels of government is enhanced in both housing and economic development. We’ve essentially threaded together both local- and state-level programs that work in tandem to create something we hope to sell to other states.”
Eventually, the company would also like to expand its model to help refine how local governments sell data to the private sector. It is currently testing an open portal program that would allow government partners to have open access to reports.
As the company expands its data footprint, Dynamo Metrics can achieve its altruistic mission of making data-driven governance easy, so governments can utilize data to help communities thrive.
Dynamo Metrics has been a client of Ann Arbor SPARK since 2019. The company has participated in the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program and received grant money that supported team growth and product development. Dynamo Metrics was located at the SPARK Central Innovation Center (SCIC) before its growth required the company to find its own office in downtown Ann Arbor.
This year’s a2Tech360 will be hosted from October 1 – 8 with both virtual and in-person events. Visit the website for event details along with news updates.