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Ann Arbor SPARK Creates New Business Education & Networking Series, ACE

Laura Cowan

By Laura Cowan

Laura K. Cowan is a tech editor and journalist whose work has focused on promoting sustainability initiatives for automotive, green tech, and conscious living media outlets.

Ann Arbor SPARK, Ann Arbor business

For those business owners not in the tech startup space, Ann Arbor SPARK is launching a new, free educational series, Accelerating Company Excellence (ACE), which aims to help small business owners learn new skills and reinforce best business practices by learning from subject matter experts in finance, sales, marketing, and accounting. A lot of SPARK programming is specific to their tech startup cohorts, so this is a great opportunity for those slightly outside the normal criteria to take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities SPARK provides, for more mainstream businesses.

ACE starts at 11:30 a.m. on August 17, with a small business funding roundtable featuring:

  • Alex Dishman of Michigan Women Forward
  • Sean Gray from the Small Business Administration
  • Rita Hillman from the Small Business Development Corp
  • LaShonda Golden from Fifth Third Bank.

ACE events will be occur weekly through the series.

Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan business resources COVID-19, coronavirus business funding, Ann Arbor business news

“Ann Arbor SPARK’s response to COVID-19 was to step up and help as many businesses in our region as possible, expanding our work beyond the driving industry companies that have been the focus of our work since our founding,” said Jenn Cornell Queen, Ann Arbor SPARK Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Events. “Throughout that experience and regular dialogue with business owners in our community, we heard the need for more programming around shoring up business basics and a desire for new networking opportunities specifically for business owners.”

Each ACE event will feature a deep dive on specific skills necessary for businesses to accelerate their growth. Topics include:

  • best financial practices
  • do-it-yourself marketing
  • online sales
  • team building and leadership

More info: ACE Webinar Small Business Funding Roundtable.

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