Ann Arbor SPARK helps companies looking to grow, expand, or relocate find a space that suits their needs. From work environments at the SPARK Central Innovation Center in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor to commercial real estate options throughout the region, Ann Arbor SPARK has the resources and connections to facilitate your site selection.
Ann Arbor has quickly emerged as a leader in the data and cybersecurity industry across the Midwest.
This distinction was accelerated by the success of Ann Arbor’s first unicorn, Duo Security, which was acquired by Cisco in 2018 for $2.35 billion. As a result, startups focusing on security markets have sprouted in the area.
Two such startups, Censys and Blumeria, have several Duo Security alumni contributing to the companies growth. Other industry leaders like Netscout and Barracuda have a longstanding and significant presence within the region.
Michigan has devoted resources to cybersecurity companies and the education sector. The governor hosts the annual Michigan Cyber Summit to address growing industry needs across the state. Additionally, Michigan’s Cyber Partners is a collaboration between various divisions at the State of Michigan, including Michigan Cybersecurity, the Michigan State Police, and local public entities across Michigan to strengthen, improve, and promote cybersecurity resources and best practices.
Top-tier universities have also partnered to create the Michigan Cyber Range (MCR), a training effort that brings together URC universities and other institutions to teach cybersecurity professionals how to detect, prevent, and mitigate cyberattacks in real-world situations. Additionally, Wayne State University developed the Cyber Range Hub in 2017 at their Advanced Technology Education Center as a cybersecurity lab that brings together educators and industry in southeast Michigan.
The state also developed the Michigan Initiative for Cybersecurity (MICE), a program dedicated to educating K-12 and post-secondary students on the importance of cybersecurity. This program, along with the Michigan branch of the Cyberpatriot program, impacts schools across the state and continues to solidify a talent pipeline.
Ann Arbor SPARK Services and Resources
Business Development and Site Selector Services
Ann Arbor SPARK works closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Works! Southeast, local municipalities, and other partners to facilitate business location and growth within the region. Our team can help make meaningful connections as well as identify office space and the skilled talent you need to achieve your goals.
Startup and Business Acceleration Resources
The SPARK entrepreneurial services team works closely with early-stage startups to expedite their success. A reliable advocate to help founders navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem, SPARK offers desk space at our incubators in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, business accelerator grants to help achieve significant product development milestones, and mentoring opportunities with the area’s experienced business leaders. We’ve also teamed up with the Michigan Small Business Development Center to help our qualified clients apply for the Michigan Emerging Technologies Fund.
In addition to avenues for funding, SPARK initiatives promote collaborative programs in the region. For example, a2Tech360 is an annual weeklong series of events, featuring the region’s companies and leaders. Included in the lineup is the opportunity for angel investors and venture capitalists to hear pitches from early-stage startups during the Invest360: Investor Showcase.
Industry Sector Reports
- In 2020, there were 138,000 cybersecurity job postings in southeast Michigan, the top field being software developers.
- Annually, the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University graduate more than 500 students in computer science and computer engineering.
Recent Industry Projects in Southeast Michigan
- A University of Michigan professor and a group of graduate students spent six years building Morpheus, a computer chip that sought to defeat the sort of cyberattacks that threaten Americans every day, from banking and financial systems to computer security and medical data.
- Censys Inc., a cybersecurity company in Ann Arbor, introduced a new feature for its Attack Surface Management (ASM) platform.
- Blumira expanded its cloud security coverage with AWS Security Monitoring.
Regional Industry Employer
|Company Name||Description||Regional Employees|
|Duo Security||Advanced Information Technology||400|
|Barracuda Networks, Inc.||Advanced Information Technology||219|
|NETSCOUT||Advanced Information Technology||160|
|ETAS Inc.||Advanced Automotive; Advanced Information Technology; Business Services||100|
|Nokia-Deepfield||Advanced Information Technology||75|
|Censys, Inc.||Advanced Information Technology||65|
|Applied Dynamics International||Advanced Automotive, Advanced Information Technology, Aerospace, Homeland Security, Defense Technology||50|
|Quantum Signal AI||Advanced Information Technology; Homeland Security and Defense Technology||43|
|Otava||Advanced Information Technology||40|
|Pinkerton||Advanced Information Technology; Business Services||30|
|NetWorks Group||Advanced Information Technology||18|
|Blumira, Inc.||Advanced Information Technology||13|
|ESCRYPT||Advanced Information Technology||10|
|TechStak||Advanced Information Technology||3|
Apply to Join our Startup Incubator
A member of the Ann Arbor SPARK entrepreneurial services team will be in touch to discuss how we can help bring your idea to life. This is the first step in participating in our Entrepreneur Boot Camp, becoming a client of one of our incubators, and getting introduced to our growing network of mentors and consultants. We can’t wait to connect with you!