Funding

3 Lansing LEAP Startups Land on Michigan Tech Startup Hotlist
Funding

3 Lansing LEAP Startups Land on Michigan Tech Startup Hotlist

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.

Blumira Hires Veteran Jim Simpson as VP Product As Security Startup Doubles Hiring
Funding, Recruiting, Security

Blumira Hires Veteran Jim Simpson as VP Product As Security Startup Doubles Hiring

How does someone build a career in successful startup exits 5 companies deep in a smaller and still emerging tech hub like Ann Arbor? Ask Jim Simpson, who has done just that in the burgeoning security startup scene in Ann Arbor with startups including Duo Security and Arbor Networks. Now new security startup Blumira, whose alumni include people from Duo Security, Censys, Groundspeed, Deepfield by Nokia and the NSA, has just hired Ann Arbor security startup veteran Jim Simpson as VP of Product as the company heads into its next building phase. Blumira has closed on $2.6 million in funding in the last year and recently doubled its team of about a dozen to two dozen, hoping to double that again in the next year to 50. We chatted with Simpson this week about the company’s rapid growth and how Blumira is working with the dynamics created by COVID-19 instead of against it to build success.

3 Lansing LEAP Startups Land on Michigan Tech Startup Hotlist
Funding

3 Lansing LEAP Startups Land on Michigan Tech Startup Hotlist

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.

Blumira Hires Veteran Jim Simpson as VP Product As Security Startup Doubles Hiring
Funding, Recruiting, Security

Blumira Hires Veteran Jim Simpson as VP Product As Security Startup Doubles Hiring

How does someone build a career in successful startup exits 5 companies deep in a smaller and still emerging tech hub like Ann Arbor? Ask Jim Simpson, who has done just that in the burgeoning security startup scene in Ann Arbor with startups including Duo Security and Arbor Networks. Now new security startup Blumira, whose alumni include people from Duo Security, Censys, Groundspeed, Deepfield by Nokia and the NSA, has just hired Ann Arbor security startup veteran Jim Simpson as VP of Product as the company heads into its next building phase. Blumira has closed on $2.6 million in funding in the last year and recently doubled its team of about a dozen to two dozen, hoping to double that again in the next year to 50. We chatted with Simpson this week about the company’s rapid growth and how Blumira is working with the dynamics created by COVID-19 instead of against it to build success.

Save Pinball Pete’s: Popular Lansing and Ann Arbor Arcade Needs Support Through COVID
Funding, Gaming Dev

Save Pinball Pete’s: Popular Lansing and Ann Arbor Arcade Needs Support Through COVID

Pinball Pete’s is a favorite arcade of both Ann Arborites and Lansing residents who have fun memories of gathering with friends around the venue’s classic arcade games for the last 44 years. The first Pinball Pete’s was founded in Lansing, Michigan, by creator Tim Arnold, in 1976. The Ann Arbor Pinball Pete’s is a downtown mainstay, and one of the few gathering places for young people in the city that isn’t a nightclub.

AaDya Expands Ann Arbor Security Startup Scene to Detroit
Funding, Security

AaDya Expands Ann Arbor Security Startup Scene to Detroit

Another security startup has joined the growing ranks of cybersecurity companies in Southeast Michigan, emerging from the Duo exit. This one, AaDya, targets mid-size companies that need a general security service. Founder Raffaele Mautone says this was intentional, as many security startups have novel ideas but “only solve one problem.” AaDya is located in Detroit, not nearby Ann Arbor, because Mautone says he grew up in Detroit and had “seen how the city has evolved the last 5 years. I’ve been seeing startups and founders reposition themselves in the market to overcome challenges.” Mautone says he also likes the culture and the startup ecosystem, “which is small enough to help each other.”

Blumira Builds On Ann Arbor’s Rise as Emerging Security Tech Hub
Funding, News, Security

Blumira Builds On Ann Arbor’s Rise as Emerging Security Tech Hub

If you’re in tech, you know something special has been happening in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the last few years. First cybersecurity startup Duo Security was acquired by Cisco for $2.3 billion, alongside 3 other Southeastern Michigan companies that became the region’s first unicorn startups, or tech startups valued at over $1 billion. Ann Arbor, with its solid tech talent pipeline from the University of Michigan and local business hubs that are home to now hundreds of software, life science and biotech, and security startups, has been ranked as an emerging tech hub by national outlets. Then the Duo team present for the exit got the startup itch. Now Blumira, founded in 2018 by tech alum of Duo Security, Censys and the NSA, just raised $2.6 million in seed round funding, is doubling its staff, and is disrupting the security SIEM (Security Incident and Event Monitoring) market to offer streamlined security services to small businesses.

What Would It Take For Ann Arbor To Be The Next Biotech Hub?
Funding, Leadership, Medical Tech

What Would It Take For Ann Arbor To Be The Next Biotech Hub?

For all of its historic challenges and unwelcome public health impacts, 2020 has been a not-so-subtle reminder of the critical importance of biomedical innovation. The world is figuratively holding its breath, counting on the promise of life-changing breakthroughs in vaccines and therapeutic treatment options to help us begin to get back to a pre-COVID normal. The power and potential of new ideas and new medicines has perhaps never been more evident. But bringing them to life and to market is not easy: it requires not only big ideas and expertise, but the technical and economic resources needed to infuse promising possibilities with the entrepreneurial energy that translates to practical results.

Washtenaw County’s Economic Resilience Uneven But Holds Through COVID
Funding, News, Recruiting

Washtenaw County’s Economic Resilience Uneven But Holds Through COVID

EntryPoint today just released its 2020 Ann Arbor Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, which covers everything from 20 years of growth in the Ann Arbor startup ecosystem to impact reports of recent events. If you’re interested in how Ann Arbor came to be recognized as an emerging tech hub for software/security and life science startups, this is a great report to dig into, and to see up-to-the-minute trends as it also addresses the very recent impact of COVID-19 on the region’s economy.

“Bar Napkin” Pitches @ TCNewTech Michigan Tech Virtual Takeover Pitch Competition Tomorrow
Announcements, Funding, Tech Events

“Bar Napkin” Pitches @ TCNewTech Michigan Tech Virtual Takeover Pitch Competition Tomorrow

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN: A cohort of entrepreneurs from Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan will takeover the TCNewTech’s August 4th Pitch Contest as part of an initiative to strengthen the connection between MTU and the Grand Traverse Region. Three student-led “Bar Napkin Ideas” will be presented along with 3 commercialized, early-stage startups with roots connecting them to MTU and the Husky Innovate program.

David Ponraj’s StartupSpace Democratizes Access For Underserved Business Owners
Funding, Networking, Software

David Ponraj’s StartupSpace Democratizes Access For Underserved Business Owners

Just a little over 2 years ago, David Ponraj decided to do something for underserved communities: democratize the information that helps businesses network and grow, and make it accessible to everyone. StartupSpace is an app customized for business and entrepreneurial support organizations that allows them to offer a database of business loan and grant information, curated content, and networking events specifically filtered for particular regions, business area, and demographics.

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