There are a number of successful co-working locations in Ann Arbor, so what makes yet another one special? David Whitinger of Office Evolution Ann Arbor said that he was looking for an opportunity that would reflect the culture of startups in Ann Arbor, and Office Evolution out of Denver really spoke to him because of the layout. Unlike most open-concept co-working spaces that aim to foster collaboration and socialization through single desks packed into an open room, Office Evolution is an office concept that allows teams to close their office door for private conversations, then emerge into the shared office kitchen and lounge for more connection. For teams engaged in proprietary discussions–automotive, legal, security, for instance–it’s an essential difference. And that is who has populated Office Evolution.
How does a young marketer bring best practices from one of the world’s most elite marketing academies and festivals back to a small tech town and apply it to B2B marketing? Silas Bush of Nexient recently was accepted to the Cannes Young Lions Marketing Academy, one of 4 small classes of marketing professionals at the 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, and says he learned a lot from hobnobbing with the CMOs of major global brands from tech to retail on how certain marketing practices can be applied to any kind of business. Everyone from Loreal to Google and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to Redbull to actors Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum were there on the French Riviera, where Bush says the connections with technology taught him an enormous amount about how to apply agency best practices to tech marketing.
We’re adding more Detroit tech events this month as we begin to expand our tech news coverage into other regional tech towns in Michigan. Let us know if we’ve missed your event, and please add us to your press lists and newsletters to keep us in the loop on your meetups!
It’s an improving but still perennial issue for the “flyover states”: finding funding for your business. Different types of tech companies require different types of funding, but it never hurts to know who is out there. With this in mind, the Michigan Venture Capital Association has created the Michigan Entrepreneurial & Investment Landscape Map, which includes not only local and regional VCs and angels but also economic development corporations, university partners, funds of funds, and more.
On Main Street in Ann Arbor, right next to the wedding dress shop and Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom, Workantile co-working space is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It’s a simple concept: professionals can rent a desk or drop in and use the space’s private conference rooms and phone rooms, or utilize the space for group meetups.
Workantile hosts the Festifool luminary workshops, parties, and get-togethers of various kinds, but it’s a pretty low-key place during the day. There are two rows of desks around a conference table up front on the first floor. Then a kitchen stocked with coffee and snacks, several private rooms including a private conference room, and up the open staircase is another set of desks. Workantile has just opened the options for dedicated work stations, so people can leave their things longer in the space.
If you’re looking to get connected to Ann Arbor tech, one group you might overlook is the A2B3 lunch networking group, which has been around for 13 years now. It’s mostly tech folks but is a nice way to meet professionals around town because it includes people from all walks. A2B3 is run by long-time Ann Arbor tech guy Ed Vielmetti (whom you really should be following on Twitter) and 2 other organizers, and meets at various rotating restaurants around downtown Ann Arbor after its original meetup location at Eastern Accents closed down several years back.
The Third Space. Community. It’s a topic that has rolled around communities lately because of the growth of online education and the disconnected social structure of modern society. Some companies are now doing more than starting meetups. Ray Batra, founder of ShiftUp, is a new community builder in the online education space surrounding technology. The company is brand new, Detroit-based, and plans to expand to other topics but has started in coding because it’s one of the learning spaces that most benefits from support and peer learning.
Every other month on the third Thursday of the month, the New Enterprise Forum meets in the Lower Level of SPARK Central on Liberty at 5:00 pm for Pitch Pit, where new entrepreneurs come and give short investor pitches on business ideas of all kinds. Pitch Pit doesn’t meet in August and December, and alternates…
It’s a monthly networking breakfast at Zingerman’s Roadhouse frequented by speakers including Michigan entrepreneurs, local business leaders, Governor Snyder, and more. Dr. Robert Pasick, PhD, known affectionately to many around the University of Michigan as “Dr. Rob,” has been running Leaders Connect events monthly for over two decades. Leaders Connect brings together Ann Arbor leaders…
Even undergrad students at the University of Michigan now have access to amazing mentorship from experienced tech leadership in Ann Arbor and Detroit. One such mentor working with student Scarlett Ong Rui Chern, whose startup Peerstachio we just featured on Cronicle Press was interviewed in Newsweek last week, is Gerry Roston. Gerry Roston served as…