Michigan’s Getting It Right

“Simply put, Job One is jobs,” said Governor Rick Snyder tonight at his State of the State address. What a refreshing voice for the people of Michigan! Open Source Economic Development ® Michigan Dashboard Metrics-real results for real people Economic growth Health & Education Value for Government Quality of Life Public Safety Pure Michigan Talent, entrepreneurs, employers, universities, funding, incubators = JOBS.  Read More →

FastTrack Awards Accepting Applications

Ann Arbor SPARK is now accepting applications for the FastTrack Awards. The application deadline is October 19. FastTrack is an exciting annual program sponsored by Ann Arbor SPARK, AnnArbor.com and Weidmayer, Schneider, Raham and Bennett, CPAs recognizing companies in Washtenaw County for outstanding business success. Awards are presented to companies with consistent records of growth, defined as revenue of at least $100,000 in 2005, and average... [Read More...]

Crain’s identifies SPARK as “scratching the entrepreneurial itch”

From Crain’s cover’s Washtenaw/Livingston …Goldschmidt is one of the nearly 70 new startups that have begun working with Ann Arbor Spark this year, a roughly 25 percent increase from the same period in 2008, according to Skip Simms, director of business acceleration services at Spark. Much of the spike is driven by an increased awareness of the resources available to Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial community and an increase in... [Read More...]

Local Entrepreneur Launches T-Shirt Company

University of Michigan basketball star and co-captain turned local entrepreneur, David Merritt has announced that he’s starting a new line of “feel good” t-shirts.  The IMU Brand t-shirts not only feature street-savvy designs but also boast a community give-back component, where proceeds from the launch event will be donated to Mott Children’s Hospital, employees of I Miss You commit to weekly community service and purchasers of the product... [Read More...]

Open Source Economic Development and Statewide Cooperation

At Ann Arbor SPARK, our immediate goal is to promote economic development in the Ann Arbor region. But our larger focus is ensuring long-term growth and viability for the entire state of Michigan — something that can best be achieved through a process we call Open Source Economic Development. We don’t view any place in the state of Michigan as competition to us. We view the rest of the state as partners. If there are things that we can do... [Read More...]

SPARK Annual Meeting

Ann Arbor SPARK is driving the region forward and helping to create viable economic opportunities for businesses, job seekers and employers. Our work has led to creation and retention of thousands of jobs in the region, new business location and business expansion as well as millions in new investment.  In a time when communities are struggling, SPARK is working hard to diversify our local economy and generate meaningful collaborations that result... [Read More...]

“Open Source” Economic Development

Economic development in Michigan should take a page from the playbook of the ever-evolving software industry. Its “open source” philosophy – the source code that drives development should be open and available to all – is a model that can propel Michigan’s success in growing, retaining, and attracting business. Michael Finney, SPARK President & CEO Ann Arbor SPARK has taken steps to pilot this approach to economic development by designing... [Read More...]