Last time we spoke with BrandXR, the new extended reality startup was installing augmented reality art murals around the United States and Detroit. After pushing through the pandemic, founder Moody Mattan says the company has found unexpected momentum. This AR/VR tech is suddenly in high demand as a learning tool.
Ann Arbor is a great place to raise kids, and a great place to found a new tech company, but it’s not often you can do both at once! Wild Swan Theater in Ann Arbor is celebrating the launch of their new production Coding To The Moon: Margaret Hamilton and the Apollo Missions, with a pre-party at Circ Bar February 5th. This production is a great family event, appropriate for anyone 9 years old and up, and will run March 4th through 7th in Ann Arbor. If you would like a preview, join The Wild Swan Theater a month before the play comes to the stage for a $20 ticket.
“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.
“It’s unusual, experimental, and avante garde,” says Ann Arbor Film Festival Director Leslie Raymond of her historic film festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently rated #1 in the country by USA Today in its 57th year. The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the fourth oldest film festival in the United States and the oldest experimental film festival. What makes Ann Arbor consistently rated one of the best places to raise a family (CBS Local, Livability, Niche, Money) is the cultural events like this, particularly with a long and storied history like the Ann Arbor Film Festival. It’s one of the reasons people with Michigan roots come back to raise kids here, or stay to found startups. From software to security to life sciences to mobility tech, SE Michigan is now an increasingly attractive option for tech workers who love a balanced livable lifestyle and the cultural events that make any community a great place to live and work.
You know someone’s a born entrepreneur when they’re 22 years old, graduating from the University of Michigan, and on their fourth venture. Peter Michaelides started his first business renting out parking lots for U of M football games at 11 years old, and the bug bit him for life. Now he’s heading off to Santa…