We at Cronicle would like to expect social justice and equality to be the norm. Times like these highlight how far we as a society still have to go, including in the tech industry where minority founders and talent are regularly underfunded or mistreated. Also in Southeast Michigan, which remains one of the most segregated metro areas in the United States. While Cronicle already highlights organizations that promote equal opportunity and fair treatment for under-represented people groups, we want you to know at this juncture in our history as a startup that we stand with all of you working toward equal opportunities for everyone regardless of race or gender expression, for fair treatment in the world at every level, and will do our best to highlight more opportunities for tech to support people in our community and in the world at large whose diverse perspectives and talents enrich the fabric of our collective future.
In the last month, many tech conferences and tech events have pulled the plug on in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even major conferences like Detroit’s NAIAS and Austin’s SXSW have been cancelled for 2020. But while many live events have to wait until next year or beyond, others are going online to open up content to a global audience. Here is a list of tech conferences around the world you can access from anywhere.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak shutdown around the globe, a growing number of tech events have moved online for the first time. This month, we will feature some select tech events going on across the world, because they’re accessible to you whether you live in Ann Arbor, Austin, Santa Clara, or London. We hope that some of these events tide you over to the return of in-person tech events or help you find a new niche or tech community to explore.
Givitas, a company we’ve highlighted previously on Cronicle, has recently launched a network that is designed exclusively for Michigan startups to give and receive requests for help and information. Givitas is a social network by Give & Take that is designed into hubs for specific work groups within companies or industries.
A microfluidic device invented at the University of Michigan and developed by U of M startup Optofluidic Bioassay may offer a cheaper, faster, and much more reliable antibody test than those currently being rushed to market to trace the spread of COVID-19. A microfluidic device is described by the company as a “lab on a chip,” meaning that it shrinks multiple lab testing functions onto a single chip just millimeters or centimeters in size. The technology enables faster results for coronavirus antibody testing with smaller sample sizes.
Today, the Michigan Venture Capital Association released its annual research report on the state of venture capital in Michigan. As with other recently published reports on the state of business investment, the MVCA Research Report show record-breaking investment in the recovering state’s new business ecosystem, followed by challenges brought by COVID-19.
Ann Arbor-based academic research database company ProQuest has just announced it is aggregating a database of coronavirus and related virus research available through its library customers and to academic research users for free to assist in research and data analysis of the quickly developing COVID-19 outbreak. “The Coronavirus Research Database saves time and improves outcomes for researchers by aggregating authoritative content from ProQuest with content made available at no cost by members of the International Association of STM Publishers…. Journals, preprints, conference proceedings and dissertations provide comprehensive coverage of COVID-19 and other past coronavirus outbreaks, such as MERS and SARS, for context around the current global pandemic. Full-text content in the database is available either directly from ProQuest or via links to publisher sites.”
Ann Arbor’s Voxel51, which offers advanced machine learning tools to analyze video, has just released a tool that looks at the social impact of physical distancing from the COVID-19 epidemic. They’re calling it PDI, or Physical Distancing Index. The data can be used in a number of ways to look at the results of social distancing orders and correlated with virus spread trends.
The Whitmer Administration has announced that businesses across Michigan are now able to apply for $349 billion in Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II was joined by former Lt. Governor, and current president of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) Brian Calley and Bob Doyle, president and CEO of the Michigan Association of CPAs, in launching a new statewide website, MIpaycheckprotection.com, to provide businesses with key resources to assist with the PPP application and loan process and ensure the greatest amount of federal funding is able to be used by small businesses for economic relief efforts throughout the state.
“A lot of people want to help manufacture PPE protective gear but don’t know how to get started,” says Jeff Trevorrow, CEO of Columbus Advanced Manufacturing Systems in Ohio. CAMS is partnering with its customer, fitness equipment manufacturer Rogue Fitness, in rapid production of Personal Protective Equipment that is reusable for front-line responders in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “Rogue Fitness’s CEO saw this need coming several weeks ago and ordered 5 extra 3D printers,” Trevorrow tells us, “which is about $360,000 of equipment plus hard tooling to make molds, and they’re giving [the gear] away for free. They organized this, and we jumped in.”