Seven Ann Arbor Companies Receive FastTrack Awards, Honored for Business Growth

Seven businesses in the region are winners of this year’s annual FastTrack awards.  The FastTrack awards recognize companies that have demonstrated consistent growth.  Several of the 2011 FastTrack award recipients were multiple year winners, demonstrating long-term business growth. Recipients of 2011 FastTrack awards were required to have revenue of at least $100,000 in 2007, with an annual growth of 20 percent for the following three years. ... [Read More...]

Akervall Technologies Repays $15,000 Michigan Microloan Fund Program Award

Sassa Akervall, COO of Akervall Technologies, and Skip Simms, senior vice president of Ann Arbor SPARK Akervall Technologies recently repaid its Michigan Microloan Fund Program award, making it the first microloan recipient to repay funding.  The company, whose work on the innovative Protech Dent™ mouth guard was also awarded phase I SBIR funding, repaid its $15,000 microloan in just 15 months, nine months before it was due. “Akervall Technologies... [Read More...]

Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund Invests $2.5 Million in 2010

Several Michigan companies recently received investments from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, pushing the total investments made through the Fund to over $11.6 million.  To date, 52 Michigan companies have received seed funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, a collaborative effort of Michigan’s SmartZones. “Companies that received support from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund are currently employing 285 people throughout... [Read More...]

California’s Innovation Model… Michigan?

A great article in the San Fransisco Business Times talks about how California can get its “innovation game back,” it should follow Michigan’s example. Photo courtesy of San Fransisco Business Times Noted venture capitalist Tom Baruch offers insight on where we’re  getting it right and what other states can learn from Michigan. The article notes Michigan’s robust entrepreneurial eco-system as having an impact on our... [Read More...]

Three Companies Receive Combined $110,000 From Michigan Microloan Fund Program

Three Michigan companies recently received a combined total of $110,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, bringing the total amount invested through the Fund to over $1.69 million. GreenSand Corporation, iQ-Telematics and MyBandStock Corporation received the funding to support commercialization of their core products. Since the Michigan Microloan Fund Program was established in July 2009, 42 companies have received over $1.6 million... [Read More...]

Join us for our new series: Business Law & Order

On September 20, we’re kicking off our newest series in our Entrepreneur Education & Training Resources: Business Law and Order.  The nine-session series will give entrepreneurs insight into important legal issues surrounding company formation and growth. Topics planned for Business Law & Order include: Business structure Intellectual property Doing business overseas. Compensating founders Hiring employees versus contractors Understanding... [Read More...]

AnnArbor.com and Concentrate Feature Local Serial Entrepreneurs

AnnArbor.com and Concentrate cover some local serial entrepreneurs. Click the links below to read their stories. From AnnArbor.com:  Dual entrepreneurs reflect next stage of Ann Arbor’s startup community From Concentrate: Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurs multi-task with a variety of start-ups  Read More →

WhereToFindCare.com Wins ACE Business Idea Tweet Competition

WhereToFindCare.com recently won the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE)’s newest business idea competition. The ACE Business Idea Tweet Competition is a business idea pitch contest using Twitter where the judges are anyone and everyone with access to Twitter. Entrepreneurs pitch their idea in 140 characters or less and Twitter users vote for their favorite by re-tweeting. The winner was announced at ACE’s premier entrepreneurial education... [Read More...]

SPARK featured in Crain’s article on future of entrepreneurship and innovation to drive Michigan’s future

November 12, 2009 -  Crain’s Detroit Business article on the future of Michigan is entrepreneurship and innovation. “One example is the West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative  in Grand Rapids. There is also Ann Arbor Spark, Next Energy and quite a few others, and they’re all doing great work but are limited in the scale they can achieve.  We need to expand their capacity — almost putting them on steroids — so they can... [Read More...]