Mayor Hieftje: Conversations on Economic Opportunity

In August, Paul Krutko, president and CEO of SPARK, sat down with Mayor John Hieftje to discuss economic opportunity in the Ann Arbor region. Mayor Hieftje assumed office in 2000, and has served as the city’s mayor ever since. The Mayor has led the city through a period of tremendous change, including the worst recession since the 1930s. Throughout their conversation, Paul and Mayor Hieftje discuss the significant challenges that have faced the... [Read More...]

Conversations on Economic Opportunity with Mike Miller

What does it take to work at the Google AdWords headquarters? Why did Google decide downtown Ann Arbor was the perfect place to do business? Paul Krutko recently sat down with Mike Miller, head of the Ann Arbor Google AdWords office, to discuss these questions and more as part of SPARK’s podcast series. View from outside the Google AdWords Headquarters in downtown Ann Arbor. Q&A Paul:  Mike, you worked at Google, and before that you were... [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...]

Paul Krutko Appointed New CEO and President, Ann Arbor SPARK

Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK's new CEO, President Paul Krutko has been selected as the new president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. Krutko will join the organization on April 18 and will oversee continued efforts to expand economic opportunities in the Ann Arbor region through collaboration with local, state, federal and university resources. Krutko brings over 31 years of economic and business development expertise to Ann Arbor SPARK. Recently,... [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...]

The Young & Entrepreneurial: David Merritt

Photo credit: Dave Lewinsky In an article published last week, Concentrate offers a great look at David Merritt, a young entrepreneur who founded I Miss You, or IMU.  IMU is an apparel company that fulfills David’s dream of blending business savvy with community commitment and service. In the article, writer Jon Zemke offers that David is exactly the type of up and comer that is the foundation of our state’s best and brightest economy. ... [Read More...]

New Economy Initiative Awards $3 Million to Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan

This picture is from the press conference announcing the new Business Accelorator Network for Southeast Michigan The announcement of the new Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, a region-wide collaborative effort dedicated to attracting and retaining business in southeast Michigan, took place on Monday, June 21st.  The  New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, an innovative philanthropic effort to accelerate the transition... [Read More...]