Why work at SPARK Central Innovation Center?

There have been a lot of articles written detailing the benefits to starting your business in Ann Arbor, so let’s just move to where in Ann Arbor you’ll be located. Of course, we need to start with the price. Where else can you find access to downtown Ann Arbor — the food, coffee, other businesses (check out Tech Trek to see just how many there are) — for a reasonable price? SPARK Central starts at $250 per seats, including 500 mbps... [Read More...]

A Few Fundraising Basics for New Startups

  Entrepreneurs face an uphill battle when attempting to raise capital to grow their business.  The reality is that the probability of raising “risk capital” – namely venture or angel capital – is very low for most startups.  Some of the common reasons companies don’t qualify include: Not in a high-enough-growth technology sector Product isn’t new or disruptive to the status quo Gross margin is less than ~50% Addressable... [Read More...]

Angel Investing in Michigan

Angel investing is becoming a topic of discussion around the state.  Angels and entrepreneurs are the job creators in our country.  The entrepreneur brings the ideas, technology, and business opportunity while the angels provide the capital and management experience and strategic thinking that help startups grow and prosper.  Startups create more net new jobs than any other sector of the economy over time.  Angels move our overall economy forward... [Read More...]

Larry Freed: Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Podcast

Larry Freed is managing partner of Second Stage Partners, where early and second stage companies are assisted with efficiently increasing their revenue to achieve business maturity. In his conversation with Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, Larry discusses his success as president and CEO of ForeSee, the launch of Second Stage Partners, and the three-phase framework it offers its clients. Listen to the podcast at this link.  Read More →

Focused on the Future, Ann Arbor Michigan

This article was originally published at Business In Focus, for the August 2014 issue.  The community grew up around the University of Michigan, which is one of the top three publicly funded research universities in the nation. The institution both attracts and develops talent, and encourages a culture of innovation. “Ann Arbor is a significant area of innovation in the United States,” Mr. Krutko points out. “We are bringing new innovations... [Read More...]

Ann Arbor SPARK Awarded $500,000 for Michigan Angel Fund

Ann Arbor SPARK has been awarded $500,000 from the Michigan Strategic Fund for continuation of the Michigan Angel Fund (I), and to establish the Michigan Angel Fund II. “The success of the Michigan Angel Fund shows that there’s a real need for this type of very early stage capital in the state, and a pool of investors that are interested in backing those startups,” said Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president and Michigan Angel Fund... [Read More...]

TurtleCell Graduates from SPARK Central Business Incubator to New Kerrytown Ann Arbor Office

 TurtleCell, creator of the first protective case for the iPhone 5 and 5s with retractable headphones, recently graduated from its incubator space in SPARK Central to a new office in Ann Arbor. Prior to SPARK Central, TurtleCell, which was founded by graduates from the University of Michigan, was incubated at TechArb. A video on Ann Arbor SPARK’s YouTube channel details TurtleCell’s expansion: The company’s new offices, located in Kerrytown,... [Read More...]

Ann Arbor SPARK, Washtenaw County and A2Y Chamber Launch Virtual Business Advisor

Free Online Tool Offers Business Assessment, Benchmarks and Education Ann Arbor SPARK, Washtenaw County, the A2Y Chamber of Commerce, and New Zealand-based QLBS have collaborated to launch the Virtual Business Advisor, a self-assessment tool that aims to assist entrepreneurs and early stage businesses as they work towards their next stage of growth. Ann Arbor SPARK was the catalyst for Virtual Business Advisor. In conjunction with QLBS, it developed... [Read More...]

Virta Laboratories Wins Ann Arbor SPARK’s Best of Boot Camp

Virta Laboratories, Inc. was awarded Best of Boot Camp at the conclusion of Ann Arbor SPARK’s 24th Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. Virta Labs was chosen as winner by a panel of investors and industry experts who rated Boot Camp participants’ pitches. As Best of Boot Camp winner, Virta Labs received membership to the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) and a NEF coaching team for one year as well as an engagement with the Ann Arbor SPARK business accelerator. Virta... [Read More...]

Algal Scientific Completes $3 Million Raise for Biotechnology Commercialization

NORTHVILLE, MICHIGAN, April 28, 2014 – Algal Scientific Corporation, a biotech developer and manufacturer of algae-based chemicals and a supplier of related technologies for the food and beverage industries, today announced that it has completed a $3 million financing led by Evonik Ventures, Formation8 Partners, and Independence Equity. “The completion of this funding allows us to begin the commercial scale production and sale of Algamune™,... [Read More...]

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