In light of the recent Meow attacks that delete vulnerable databases on the internet, we were curious when Ann Arbor-based tech startup Censys announced $15.5 million in new funding and yet another phase in their mission to make vulnerable online data visible to companies so they can resolve it.
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.
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.
How Do You Launch A Business During a Pandemic? 100K Ideas Takes Entrepreneurs from Ideation to Launch
“Ferris Wheel Flint is the building–a coworking space with 7 floors and flexible memberships month to month for existing businesses and entrpreneurs,” Brandee Cooke explains. Cooke runs an incubator program called 100K Ideas out of the Ferris Wheel, which has been instrumental in helping new startups revitalize the city. “The city has evolved into a lot of small businesses launching and being successful,” Cooke says. Ferris Wheel is the space–where people can rent the conference room, or visit the downstairs coffee shop and print shop, and then there is 100K Ideas.
So you’re laid off, or already thinking of starting a new company, but now it not the ideal time to apply to an elite startup incubator. What does a company that doesn’t quite qualify as tech or can’t get funding do right now to fill in the mentorship gaps on the road to starting a new business in Southeast Michigan? Kristin Gapske is the Director of the Washtenaw Community College Entrepreneurship Center, which helps new startup and Main Street small business founders get the help they need to:
We’ve spoken with a number of executives in the past 3 months who are responding to COVID-19 for their big tech business or small startup, and we noticed some trends in how businesses are responding to the pandemic. Quite a few people from virtual panel attendees to readers to interviewees have asked Cronicle questions about what we’re seeing in our interviews with Midwest Tech. It’s the million-dollar question: what’s next? How are businesses coping, and how does that impact their workers and public health? Here are the top trends we’ve noticed behind the scenes in Midwest tech in our interviews from manufacturers and scientists pivoting to produce PPE to tech startups creating new software for public health initiatives. All of this is based in our limited interview time and virtual networking, not an official survey. Here are, in order that they appeared, the behind the scenes trends we’ve noticed in Midwest tech businesses responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Michigan’s business analysis firm EntryPoint has just released the Washtenaw County COVID-19 Business Impact Report to help business owners and investors examine the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on local business and investment. For startups and tech businesses looking at the business landscape, here’s what you’ll learn:
Research labs have been shut down. Small businesses are searching for funding. But it’s not all bad news in the emerging tech hubs of the Midwest. Especially in hard-hit Michigan, the structure is in place to allow some startups to do quite well during challenging times. We went in to a few interviews of Midwest tech companies and startup coaches thinking they would help us pay forward resources to startup founders to get through these hard times. In addition to resources, they had some good news.
With everything going on in the world, what is happening to business funding in the Midwest, which only recently climbed out of the hole caused by manufacturing decline and economic collapse? Guy Turner, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Chicago’s Hyde Park Ventures has been in investing for years. “Myself and one partner created Hyde Park nine years ago,” Turner said from his office several weeks ago in Chicago, where he was sheltering with the door closed to avoid exposing colleagues to COVID-19 while work life continued as best it could. “We ran Hyde Park Angels,” he explains of the group’s origins in angel investing. “We recognized there were very few early stage funds working with zero to $1.5 million in revenue before coastal funds would be interested. In 2011 we raised our first fund,” he said.
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.