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Check Out The EMU & U-M Student Video Game Showcase Wednesday
Fun, Gaming Dev, Tech Events

Check Out The EMU & U-M Student Video Game Showcase Wednesday

Hands down, our most popular posts in Cronicle’s first 6 months have been the feature on indie game design studios in Michigan from University of Michigan professor Austin Yarger, plus all the followup interviews of game designers from Finji Games to Heart Shaped Games to Dreaming Door. We caught up with Yarger again recently to ask when his popular student gaming showcase was taking place. Turns out, we were just in time.

Finding Joy In Music & Tech with Ki5 Looping Artist and Menlo Engineer Kyler Wilkins
Fun, Multimedia Arts

Finding Joy In Music & Tech with Ki5 Looping Artist and Menlo Engineer Kyler Wilkins

“I began working at Menlo Innovations in February 2018 as a Software Developer, though recently I’ve shifted to Quality Advocate (QA) as my main role,” says Kyler Wilkins, or Ki5 as he’s known in the local music scene. Kyler is a hip hop artist, beatboxer, singer/songwriter, and looping artist. His music sounds like a combo between hiphop and EDM, and he’s good. He does a lot of covers, but the music he put together on the night we saw him in Ann Arbor was original, complex, and intriguing. He’s been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered, and says it was a natural progression for him to step up in his role at Menlo, which is now famous for its founders “joy-based” software and culture design process for engaging work environments, to combine tech and music.

MVCA’s Executive Director Ara Topouzian Balances Economic Development with Award-Winning “Side Hobby” in Armenian Music
Fun, Funding

MVCA’s Executive Director Ara Topouzian Balances Economic Development with Award-Winning “Side Hobby” in Armenian Music

We met him at the TechCity Jam early this fall. The local jam session for tech workers who have music careers or hobbies on the side included everything from pop songs to electronica to incredible traditional Armenian music. We wanted to know who was playing in this award-winning band that came seemingly out of nowhere to the stage and played a brilliant set that would be inadequate to just call foot-tapping. Ara Topouzian, pictured right above, plays the qanun (kanoon), an Armenian 80-string harp that goes back to the 5th century and is still played today. The music sounds traditional, and yet it’s still extremely catchy.

Tinkertech Is A 3D Printing Laser Cutter Sewing Machine Electronics Controllers Santa’s Workshop
Fun, News

Tinkertech Is A 3D Printing Laser Cutter Sewing Machine Electronics Controllers Santa’s Workshop

216 W. Michigan Ave. Michael Ploof of Tinkertech in downtown Ypsi, right across from SPARK East headquarters, has a unique space. Sewing machines line the room that looks out of a storefront on the main drag packed with antique tin-ceiling shops. Events here at Tinkertech focus on everything from Arduino controller programming for automatic garden watering to 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics.

Check Out The EMU & U-M Student Video Game Showcase Wednesday
Fun, Gaming Dev, Tech Events

Check Out The EMU & U-M Student Video Game Showcase Wednesday

Hands down, our most popular posts in Cronicle’s first 6 months have been the feature on indie game design studios in Michigan from University of Michigan professor Austin Yarger, plus all the followup interviews of game designers from Finji Games to Heart Shaped Games to Dreaming Door. We caught up with Yarger again recently to ask when his popular student gaming showcase was taking place. Turns out, we were just in time.

Finding Joy In Music & Tech with Ki5 Looping Artist and Menlo Engineer Kyler Wilkins
Fun, Multimedia Arts

Finding Joy In Music & Tech with Ki5 Looping Artist and Menlo Engineer Kyler Wilkins

“I began working at Menlo Innovations in February 2018 as a Software Developer, though recently I’ve shifted to Quality Advocate (QA) as my main role,” says Kyler Wilkins, or Ki5 as he’s known in the local music scene. Kyler is a hip hop artist, beatboxer, singer/songwriter, and looping artist. His music sounds like a combo between hiphop and EDM, and he’s good. He does a lot of covers, but the music he put together on the night we saw him in Ann Arbor was original, complex, and intriguing. He’s been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered, and says it was a natural progression for him to step up in his role at Menlo, which is now famous for its founders “joy-based” software and culture design process for engaging work environments, to combine tech and music.

MVCA’s Executive Director Ara Topouzian Balances Economic Development with Award-Winning “Side Hobby” in Armenian Music
Fun, Funding

MVCA’s Executive Director Ara Topouzian Balances Economic Development with Award-Winning “Side Hobby” in Armenian Music

We met him at the TechCity Jam early this fall. The local jam session for tech workers who have music careers or hobbies on the side included everything from pop songs to electronica to incredible traditional Armenian music. We wanted to know who was playing in this award-winning band that came seemingly out of nowhere to the stage and played a brilliant set that would be inadequate to just call foot-tapping. Ara Topouzian, pictured right above, plays the qanun (kanoon), an Armenian 80-string harp that goes back to the 5th century and is still played today. The music sounds traditional, and yet it’s still extremely catchy.

Tinkertech Is A 3D Printing Laser Cutter Sewing Machine Electronics Controllers Santa’s Workshop
Fun, News

Tinkertech Is A 3D Printing Laser Cutter Sewing Machine Electronics Controllers Santa’s Workshop

216 W. Michigan Ave. Michael Ploof of Tinkertech in downtown Ypsi, right across from SPARK East headquarters, has a unique space. Sewing machines line the room that looks out of a storefront on the main drag packed with antique tin-ceiling shops. Events here at Tinkertech focus on everything from Arduino controller programming for automatic garden watering to 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics.

BOAA Technology Industry Group President Michael Cole On The Tech Financing Process, Tech City Jam Friday
Fun, Funding, Tech Events

BOAA Technology Industry Group President Michael Cole On The Tech Financing Process, Tech City Jam Friday

When new businesses start up, arranging financing can be fraught. When that process involves a bank loan, it’s hard to know where to go. Many banks have a reputation for turning away small or risky tech startup businesses. Good news for tech businesses in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. Bank of Ann Arbor, which according to DBusiness is now the 4th largest bank in Metro Detroit, has created an entire division specifically for financing and guiding tech businesses in the growing startup hub. BOAA Technology Industry Group President Michael Cole says this has been a long time in process. Cole has been working for the past 17 years to create business financing options specifically tailored to tech and life sciences businesses in Southeast Michigan.

Into The Dataverse! Hackathon This Weekend
Fun, News, Tech Events

Into The Dataverse! Hackathon This Weekend

Starting today, Friday September 20th at 4:00 pm and running through Sunday September 22 4:00 PM, the Into the Dataverse hackathon in Ann Arbor will explore AI-enabled user interfaces “that can intuitively capture both structured and non-structured maintenance data, and associated maintainer actions, in an efficient and user-friendly manner to produce more accurate maintenance logs.” You still have time to get involved by signing up through Eventbrite at the link below. It’s free to register, and food and snacks are provided through the weekend. Here are more details from the event website.

Tech To Watch: The IT in the D Podcast
Fun, News

Tech To Watch: The IT in the D Podcast

Stop what you’re doing and check out this list of Detroit-made podcasts. Included in that list: IT in the D, a podcast by “The Geek” Dave Phillips and “The Sales Guy” Bob Waltenspiel, is all about tech in the Motor City. (Also check out Motor City Geek, and even classes to create your own podcast based in Detroit and Royal Oak.) We caught up with IT in the D co-founder Bob Waltenspiel to ask about how IT in the D got to be a popular local podcast about and for Detroit tech.

Scavenger Is An Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt For Adults
Fun, Gaming Dev, University of Michigan

Scavenger Is An Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt For Adults

It’s been a while since we played a scavenger hunt, but these days augmented reality seems just the thing to make these old-fashioned games fresh again. Plus, on our phones we don’t have to get in trouble deciding if we should follow a clue like “find the oldest bones around” by taking forbidden photos in the dinosaur museum or asking an old guy crossing the street to take a selfie with us…. Closing out our summer series on Michigan-based gaming studios is Scavenger, another student launched out of the University of Michigan OptiMize program that has continued as the co-founders Kyle Zappitell (CEO) and Harry Stephens (CPO) and other team members moved to LA, New York, and Chicago. Co-founder Kyle Zappitell tells us his startup Scavenger is an augmented reality scavenger game app that allows users to combine augmented reality and real-world gaming to win cash prizes. For now, the testing zone for the game is based in Chicago, but other cities are coming soon.

Detroit Art Emporium Invites You To A Multimedia Art Festival Saturday August 17
Fun, News

Detroit Art Emporium Invites You To A Multimedia Art Festival Saturday August 17

The Tangent Gallery in Detroit this weekend is hosting the Marvelous Detroit Art Emporium for a multimedia music and art show Saturday August 17. Why promote this for a tech blog? Because BrandXR’s augmented reality murals are part of the show. Come check out the multimedia art recently featured on Cronicle created by Moody Mattan and friends. Summer is drawing to a close in a few weeks. Check this out for some end of summer festival fun.

Abaca To Launch 10 Degrees Game To Help With Climate Change & Reforestation
Fun, Gaming Dev, University of Michigan

Abaca To Launch 10 Degrees Game To Help With Climate Change & Reforestation

Chris Karounos is the co-founder and creative director of Abaca Games, a new startup out of Ann Arbor that is based in his masters research in sustainability, in which he focused on tropical agroforestation. He says he had the opportunity to launch a new video game called 10 Degrees (coming September 3rd) that helps support reforestation through game play when his startup was accepted into the University of Michigan Optimize incubator program.

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