Russell Schindler is the head of TCNewTech in Traverse City, which at 1600 members averages 200 people per meeting. He’s also the CEO and founder of a company called SampleServe that uses technology to update the antiquated process of environmental sampling, from municipal water supply testing to cannabis. It sounds simple, and some of the technology is, but, Schindler tells us, the state of Michigan updated the standards for environmental sampling of soil, water, and the like, a number of years ago, and all of a sudden, it became much harder for companies to not only purchase specialized equipment required to conduct their sampling, but also to process all the data.
It’s New Years Eve, so we’re looking back at the most popular posts on Cronicle Press Tech News out of Ann Arbor-Detroit about the growing Great Lakes tech scene in 2019. Turns out, it was a banner year for Ann Arbor tech and Detroit startups in particular, so we just scratched the surface of all the latest news. First up, the most popular post by far, professor Austin Yarger’s master list of game development studios of Michigan. Also included at the end are some followup interviews with a few of those gaming studios that are either growing in Michigan or started here.
What is going on in Ann Arbor and Detroit? Everyone from Fortune Magazine to Forbes have recently rated the nextdoor Michigan cities as tech or startub hubs to watch. In 2019, VentureBeat listed Ann Arbor as the #1 place for female founders to raise a round. Last year, USAToday listed Ann Arbor as a top innovative city. Bloomberg recently listed Ann Arbor as a top #3 tech hub for their brainpower index, given Ann Arbor is the best educated city in the United States. Detroit was not to be left out, listed in 2019 as the next potential Silicon Valley by Fortune. Forbes has several times claimed Detroit was a startup hub to watch. And on and on.
Sam Pierce Lolla’s Shuffleboard Hacks Product Development Collaboration From Ann Arbor To Silicon Valley
Sam Lolla is one of the creators of MadeinA2.com and the founder and director of Directed Works, a company focused on product development and user experience design for startups. Lolla taught product design at the University of Michigan, and these days works independently with clients from Ann Arbor to the San Francisco Bay area to create products using a new app he put together to make collaborative design more efficient, called Shuffleboard. Recently, Lolla put together a video series on his journey designing and building a startup and documenting every step on Youtube.
216 W. Michigan Ave. Michael Ploof of Tinkertech in downtown Ypsi, right across from SPARK East headquarters, has a unique space. Sewing machines line the room that looks out of a storefront on the main drag packed with antique tin-ceiling shops. Events here at Tinkertech focus on everything from Arduino controller programming for automatic garden watering to 3D printing and laser cutting to electronics.
Rebecca Cunningham, the University of Michigan Interim VP for Research with Tech Transfer and Kelly Sexton, Associate VP for Research at Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships at U of M TechTransfer, held a panel this week at Celebrate Invention on a milestone year for the University of Michigan developing inventions, research, and startups from work done by faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. TechTransfer is the licensing office that helps researchers and faculty at the University of Michigan who develop inventions and new business ideas spin off intellectual property with proper licensing from the University of Michigan. This year, according to Cunningham, the University of Michigan has developed 502 new inventions, 198 patents, 232 licenses and options with industry, and founded a record 22 new startups.
It’s day 2 of DevOps Days Detroit at CCS overlooking the downtown skyline of Detroit from New Center, and once again the theme is trending toward a common challenge for devops teams: handling disasters and rollouts. Devops folks are no strangers to stress, and the speaker lineup this morning covered a number of recognizable topics to people on teams who have been faced with an onslaught of challenges.
Day one of DevOps Days Detroit is in progress in downtown Detroit at the Alfred A. Taubman Center for Creative Studies, launching with talks by national and local speakers on subjects from data security to tech education for underprivileged youth in Michigan. Executive leader and coach Ryan Lockard kicked off with a talk on “The Enterprise SRE (eSRE) Approach, discussing how SRE helps turn fragile, error-prone enterprise computing into robust systems. “Even further,” Lockard’s talk summarized, “with Contino’s Enterprise Site Reliability Engineering (eSRE), you can tap into your organization’s ability to connect technology decisions to the customer experience or business decisions.”
Age-old story at this point: “A lot of people don’t realize how important supporting entrepreneurship is for the economy,” Doug Huesdash, COO of the ACRE AgTech Incubator in Allendale, west Michigan, tells Cronicle. “We see GM and Steelcase, and we need them, but small business hiring now equals large company hiring.” This is according to GAN, the Global Accelerator Network that Acreagtech is a part of, a spinoff of Techstars.
Evan Adams is the Capital Programs Manager at Detroit’s Build Institute, a Detroit-based incubator founded in 2012 that has already graduated more than 1800 entrepreneurs focused on community-impact ventures. The Build Institute runs several programs to mentor, house, and fund entrepreneurs, including SOUP and Kiva, which Adams manages to help startups of all kinds pitch for funds and find mentorship in Detroit.