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.
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.
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.
Censys Raises $15.5 Million, Hiring To Double Staff, As Cybersecurity Startup Announces New Features
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: