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...]

$2 Million Michigan Angel Fund Begins Investing in Early Stage Companies

The Michigan Angel Fund (MAF), a professionally managed equity fund focused on capital efficient early stage companies located in Michigan, recently closed the fund to new investors. MAF is a $2 million fund that, with more than 70 members, is the largest angel organization in Michigan. MAF has already made its first investment, in East Lansing-based BioPhotonics Solutions, a Michigan State University spin-out venture, producing technology that automates... [Read More...]

SPARK Hosts 20th Entrepreneur Boot Camp

This past month Ann Arbor SPARK put on it’s 20th Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. We had 14 participants, many of which came from all over the state.  With companies from Detroit to the U.P., this program reached greatly outside of Ann Arbor. Warmilu, LLC won "Best Pitch" at this year's boot camp. Warmilu has developed and is commercializing nonelectric, instant heat technology, specifically for infants. The camp is a 2-day intensive... [Read More...]

Ann Arbor SPARK Awarded $250,000 by U.S. Economic Development Administration to Develop Business Accelerator Model

Yesterday, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration announced a $250,000 grant award to Ann Arbor SPARK.  The funding will support development of a business accelerator model that can be used by communities throughout the U.S. Initially, the model will be deployed in Washtenaw and Wayne counties, providing a full range of business development services to tech-based start-up companies. “Ann Arbor SPARK is emerging... [Read More...]

Hygieia Secures $1.5M in Capital to Accelerate Product Commercialization

Medical device firm Hygieia recently secured $1.5 million in investment capital from Oakwood Medical Investors, a physician-managed venture fund in St. Louis, Missouri. Hygieia has developed the Diabetes Insulin Guidance System (DIGS), a handheld device that helps insulin-takers effectively manage their diabetes. DIGS adjusts insulin dosage weekly, to help patients get better. The investment comes on the heels of a study presented at the June American... [Read More...]

Kauffman Study Shows Impact of Business Accelerator Efforts on SE Michigan Start-Ups

A new Kauffman Foundation study shows the results of business accelerator efforts by Southeast Michigan’s economic development organizations.  Combined, Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator and TechTown , collectively known as the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, have: Created more than 1,000 jobs Invested approximately $18 million in hundreds of start-up companies Secured more than $101.2 million in... [Read More...]

Congratulations to e-CYREN for Winning the Tweet Award!

At the Michigan Emerging conference on Wednesday, CYJ Enterprises won the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Tweet Award.  The company’s Twitter submission focused on their business product, e-CYREN, a free online database of emergency information for schools and daycare programs. Their posting, “In case of emergency first responders can quickly alert loved ones and have access to your vital medical info 24×7 www.ecyren.com,”... [Read More...]

Two Ann Arbor SPARK Companies Mentioned in Fortune Article

Fortune’s recent “Tales of Rejuvenation in Motor City” includes two companies from the Ann Arbor region. Gerry Cox, courtesy of Fortune Velesco Pharmaceutical Services’ Gerry Cox talks about his transition from a large pharmaceutical company to founder of a start-up.  Velesco is an Ann Arbor SPARK Business Accelerator company. Daniel Gizaw, courtesy of Fortune Danotek Motion Technologies, a company supported  through the Michigan Pre-Seed... [Read More...]

Ann Arbor SPARK Takes Top Honors at MEDA, IEDC Awards

Ann Arbor SPARK’s marketing materials recently took top honors from the Michigan Economic Development Association.  Also, our business accelerator was awarded honorable mention from the International Economic Development Council. Valerie Christofferson accepts Ann Arbor SPARK's IEDC award. L to R: William Best, FM – Chairman of the IEDC Board of Directors; Christofferson; Timothy Solomon, CEcD – Chairman of the IEDC Awards Task Force... [Read More...]

Reflection on the IEDC Annual Conference: Day Two

This week, I’m sharing my experiences from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2010 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Day 2: It was a gloomy start with temperatures around 60 and rain but my morning tour of Technology and Higher Education really stood out in the trip. We toured the Ohio Supercomputer Center, TechColumbus, and the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC). All three locations were very unique in their infrastructure... [Read More...]

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