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NASA just unveiled the first image captured by the Webb Space Telescope on Monday from billions of light years in the past. This morning at 10:30 ET, more photos will be revealed, and you can watch the reveal from the Webb Space Telescope live on Youtube from the NASA TV feed live from Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
AI tool Sophie, from Stefanini, is now helping run factories, because of a partnership between Stefanini Group and Lawrence Technological University (LTU). It’s one of the first applications we’ve seen of natural language processing for AI integration with smart manufacturing, and we sat down with Stefanini leadership to learn about the challenges of developing AI for manufacturing applications and why this type of application is a cutting edge use of the technology.
The University of Michigan’s enormous research enterprise contributed $97 million to Michigan’s economy over the past fiscal year, according to University of Michigan News sources. This supported employment and business development statewide. The report comes from the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science, which explored how university research spending impacts the economy.
Bloomberg co-founder Matt Winkler and Editor Emeritus has published a piece on Michigan’s #1 U.S. economy this week, saying that under Governor Whitmer, the state has had the biggest rebound of any state in the U.S. While some of these stats are relative to previous economic troubles rather than absolute numbers on economic growth or scale, it’s a refreshing take on a state that often gets little credit on the hard work so many people have done to rebuild a state after manufacturing’s historic contraction in the early naughts. Some highlights from the piece:
Ever since Drive Capital was founded by a partnership between local and Silicon Valley VCs, Columbus has taken off as a center for insurtech and healthtech startups. Forbes now calls it “the #1 city for startups and the top remerging city for venture capital.” The traditional presence of insurance companies in the region has even encouraged many healthtech startups to move headquarters to the region. Columbus has experienced tremendous growth in 2021 and is earning its own star on the map as a tech ecosystem.
Chicago minted 8 unicorn companies valued at over $1 billion in the first half of 2021 alone, bringing the total number of Chicago unicorns to 15. That number is rising quickly as the region expands the tech sector in logistics, AI, and healthtech.
The Midwest is in a renaissance of technology companies, with Michigan at its center. Michigan now has the highest level growth of VC investment of any state this year, with 900% VC investment growth between 2016 and 2020. Ann Arbor isn’t the only tech hub growing in the Midwest, but it is a notable one, with 46% of the tech startups in Michigan located in this one college town, according to EntryPoint Michigan. In Washtenaw County alone, 43 startups in 2021 attracted $215 million in venture capital funding.
Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2tech360 FastTrack Awards were held tonight to celebrate the fastest growing startups coming out of Washtenaw and Livingston counties in Southeast Michigan. These “gazelles” are startups with rapid year over year growth defined as 20% increased average revenue for 3 years starting from a base of $100,000. These awards do not include metro Detroit or other areas of Michigan, so this is not a comprehensive list of the fastest growing companies in Michigan overall.
Ann Arbor’s startup scene continues its growth with so many new startups we can’t cover them all. A unique new offering from young serial entrepreneur Alison Elgass is a crypto-based music streaming service called Biscuits n Groovy.