Its a small world after all

Paul Krutko speaking at the VC breakfast.

Our team is up bright and early this Tuesday morning to spread the word of cool technologies, high returns, and the growing venture capital scene in Michigan to a group of around 30 Silicon Valley VC’s and high net worth individuals. The group was very interested in hearing more about our upcoming CEO Podcast between Paul Krutko, President and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK,  and Jan Garfinkle, Founder and Managing Director of Arboretum Ventures. Also, I now have a better understanding of why CA needs a carpool lane and treasure my 20 minute commute. Next stop, the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View to see what unstructured collaborative learning is all about. After checking-in and reading their “Warning” sign all we could find was a sea of Wolverines and Spartans! Britany Affolter-Caine, Talent Enhancement Director, and I learned a great deal from over a dozen “geeks” (remember “geek” isn’t what you remember from high school, today it is a huge compliment) all having roots back to Pure Michigan. One team worked with Ann Arbor SPARK years ago, sold their first company and are onto their next. They were thrilled to hear the great things that are brewing for start-ups in Ann Arbor. Most also knew of our “Dojo” environments, Tech Brewery and Menlo Innovations.

The "warning" sign at Hacker Dojo

After being educated at the dojo, it was back to San Jose for our MichAGAIN event! After passing a Google self-driving car I now know my next new car purchase, how efficient! The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Talent Enhancement team and Ann Arbor SPARK hosted around 50 Michiganders for a night of networking, career hunting and reminiscing of “back home”. Energy was high and attendees were thrilled to network with recruiters and CEO’s from Intrinsic Medical Imaging, Systems In Motion, Terumo Cardiovascular System and Terumo Heart. With over a handful of individuals highly interested in making the move back to MichAGAIN, our plates will be full over the coming months and not just with turkey and dressing! Our team is dedicated to help those looking to make the transition back to Pure Michigan seamless. For more information visit


Lots to do in Austin, Texas

Tuesday morning I was able to get a real feel for the surrounding downtown area in Austin. It was only about 9:00 AM but there were already many people out jogging and walking their dogs. The river had many jogging paths around it as well as benches and a gazebo where you could sit and enjoy the beautiful morning.

There were lots of shops near the Warehouse District near their Congress Drive. Driving down Congress really resembles our capital loop area in Lansing. On my venture downtown I walked by the Austin Children’s Museum at Dell Discovery Center. It reminded me a lot of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. I began to notice some very cool guitar sculptures and ended up on Willie Nelson Blvd…We are in Texas remember. On my walk back to my hotel I did notice that transportation was very popular for downtown employees. Like Ann Arbor, parking is at a premium and the bus system seemed very popular for commuting around Austin.