Ann Arbor’s Voxel51, an AI startup that analyzes video for self-driving automotive applications and more, was featured last week in TechCrunch for its seed funding round raising $2 million, and because the company was chosen as a top 5 AI/machine learning company across the U.S. selected as a TechCrunch Top Pick to present at Tech Disrupt 2019. AI is growing up, and startups like Voxel51 are getting out there. That’s because Voxel51 is using adaptive tech to analyze videos using AI, not just traditionally frame by frame, but through analyzing the relationships between frames to understand what is going on content-wise over time.
The Tangent Gallery in Detroit this weekend is hosting the Marvelous Detroit Art Emporium for a multimedia music and art show Saturday August 17. Why promote this for a tech blog? Because BrandXR’s augmented reality murals are part of the show. Come check out the multimedia art recently featured on Cronicle created by Moody Mattan and friends. Summer is drawing to a close in a few weeks. Check this out for some end of summer festival fun.
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 live in a time where old orders are collapsing: from the post-colonial nation states of the Middle East to the EU and the American election. Amid all of this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment, without the money, power, and sex they think they deserve. Written and performed by Javaad Alipoor and co-directed by Kirsty Housley (who also co-directed Complicite’s The Encounter), this multimedia show weaves together stories of three disaffected men and their journeys to radicalization, exploring the smoke and mirrors world of online extremism, anonymity, and hate speech.
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.
Ann Arbor-based supply chain software development consultancy Llamasoft yesterday announced an expansion that will bring another 70 jobs to the company’s Ann Arbor headquarters, paired with a $10.7 million expansion. Job listings are already on the company’s website, including positions in machine learning, development, customer service, marketing, legal, and sales.
There’s a new tech company hiring in Ann Arbor, and its biggest challenge is keeping up with growth. Gradient Valley is “Southeast Michigan’s premiere provider of machine learning solutions,” a machine learning and artificial intelligence consultancy built out of a partnership between owner Keith Bourne and Arbormoon Software owner Dave Koziol. Keith Bourne tells us he started this company in 2018 after doing similar work for 3 years because the cost of working with machine learning and AI is dropping and a lot of companies are interested.
The story broke on Reddit a couple of weeks ago with a story by Washtenaw Community College student Marie Wood, and has gotten a lot of response on Slack back channels and in various local news outlets. Washtenaw Community College was blaming their IT department for a campus-wide outage in June of 2017 that lasted 3 days and using it as an opportunity to outsource all IT to a company with a somewhat dismal reputation for quality, laying off 31 full-time staff members or offering them the opportunity to work for the new service provider, though with lower benefits. On May 22nd, WCC announced on its website that the school was planning to outsource its entire IT department. “The network outage prompted us to conduct a comprehensive review of our entire IT infrastructure and staffing,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. “We have a responsibility to ensure that the college has a sustainable, secure and robust IT infrastructure that meets the needs of all WCC stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff and community members now and into the foreseeable future.”
We saw him at TechTalk during a2tech360 2019 in Ann Arbor, and caught up with him over lunch afterward. JSTOR founder and parent company ITHAKA’s President Kevin Guthrie is always thinking about what’s next for the nonprofit he spun off from the University of Michigan in 1995, which has become the most popular site around for academic researchers looking for primary sources in the humanities in particular. I mean, really popular. People get JSTOR tattoos, folks.
Gaudium is an Ann Arbor-based gaming studio that creates classic anime-style games. We sat down recently with founder Andrew Yang to ask what everyone has been asking us lately: how do you grow a gaming studio in a smaller market like Michigan? Gaudium’s current game, Armor Blitz, looks pretty mainstream for such a small studio. It has an anime trailer (shown above) and can be downloaded on Google Play (4.2 stars with 2800+ reviews) or you can play online on Nutaku.