TusStar is an affiliated network of tech startup incubators and early stage venture accelerators located in over 130 cities around the world. It is led by professors at Tsinghua University in China, a major research university in Beijing, and there is a TusStar Incubator in emerging tech hub Ann Arbor, where a number of academic faculty at the University of Michigan start new companies to make use of inventions found during their research careers. Frank Ni is the head of TusStar Ann Arbor, founded as the premier TusStar location in the U.S. in late 2017 on the north side of Ann Arbor which is famous for its engineering, science research, robotics and autonomous vehicle research campuses. “Innovation can go beyond borders,” Ni tells Cronicle of the philosophy of starting an international incubator in Southeast Michigan.
Incubator programs are the newest way to get a business off the ground. They offer mentorship, free rent on office space, guidance through customer discovery or clinical trials and securing early funding. Who wouldn’t want that kind of help through fragile early stages of building a company? But incubators don’t all work the same. We’ve been pitched lately with everything from revenue sharing to rapid cycle business development processes and realized that there is a broadening landscape out there of what an incubator or accelerator really is.
Cleveland’s North Coast Ventures has raised another $38 million to invest in Midwest startup companies, after investing $60 million in 57 regional companies in the last few years. This VC fund focuses on scalable SaaS companies, so we thought we would profile a few of them for you to show you what firms like NCV are looking for in a software startup.
Ann Arbor continues to pump out new tech startups by the month, and we’ve got a sneak peek for 2022 on one of the fastest growing in health tech, who seemingly popped out of nowhere in 2021. Ripple Science, a new health tech startup that created a platform for recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials, has already had significant product adoption by top universities like Cornell, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, John Hopkins and many more.
Detroit continues its lead in the autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle space with new startups coming out every month to address pedestrian safety, in-vehicle AI-based connectivity, and more. As transportation, advanced manufacturing, last-mile logistics, and autonomous technologies advance, expect to see more government investment in these areas to secure Michigan’s future dominance of these markets. Detroit’s got skin in the game and is already investing in an autonomous test highway, multiple self-driving car test facilities, drone deliveries for automakers and the airport, and mobility-focused incubators to support startups across Detroit and the state.
Starting your own business is the dream of many. What could be more exciting than owning and running your own business, setting your own schedule, and making tons of money?
University of Michigan students and faculty have just launched a student-run investment fund focused on supporting early-stage climate tech companies.
Columbus, Ohio, has been showing signs for the past few years that it is a growing Midwest tech hub. Why? Like other Midwest cities, Columbus has invested in developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can support new businesses. And, like emerging tech and startup hubs Ann Arbor and Detroit, Columbus is building its new entrepreneurial ecosystem around industries that are already strong locally.
Ann Arbor last-mile logistics startup Interpl.ai announced in late 2020 that it had been accepted into the mobility division of Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play, which has launched such companies as Paypal and Dropbox after being launched out of Ann Arbor SPARK’s incubator. The autonomous delivery robot startup has several unique features to its robots that indicate a potential success for this Midwest autonomous delivery robot company.
Three Michigan startups from mid-Michigan have just been named to a Michigan list of 25 top startups to watch, the Renaissance VC Fund list. Ann Arbor-Detroit and Traverse City aren’t the only Michigan cities creating welcoming communities for new tech startups. According to incubator Lansing LEAP, which supports new ventures in the Mid-Michigan region, “The Lansing area grew by 5% in 25 critical high-tech occupations from 2015-2020 and projects an additional 4% growth from 2020-2025, outpacing the national average.” Lansing is not known as one of the bigger emerging tech hubs in the Midwest, but its network of advanced manufacturing, seat of state government, and growing funding make it a critical and growing part of the Midwest’s long-standing effort to recover and diversify the economy and provide new businesses with a healthier climate to operate with a much lower operating cost than on the coasts.