This week we have covered a few new events or those we don’t usually make it to during Ann Arbor’s expanding tech week, a2tech360. TechTalk is a must-attend event, and we are covering it today to take you behind the scenes. This year’s theme focuses on Ann Arbor’s tech visionaries, particularly those working in cutting edge areas of diversity and inclusion.
a2tech360 week in Ann Arbor continues, with What The Future Holds today to predict the trajectories of tech-related industries that have a foothold in Michigan. Panelists included Dr. Peter Adriaens and Dr. Mingyan Liu of the University of Michigan, Dr. Matthew McMahon from the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA.
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.
So you’ve got your startup running, now how do you do PR outreach and content marketing? A great media pitch is similar to your startup pitch you gave to investors, but it’s kind of flipped on its head. Content and media pitches are different in key ways that could make or break your business’s marketing plan.
For those business owners not in the tech startup space, Ann Arbor SPARK is launching a new, free educational series, Accelerating Company Excellence (ACE), which aims to help small business owners learn new skills and reinforce best business practices by learning from subject matter experts in finance, sales, marketing, and accounting. A lot of SPARK programming is specific to their tech startup cohorts, so this is a great opportunity for those slightly outside the normal criteria to take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities SPARK provides, for more mainstream businesses.
Ann Arbor last-mile logistics startup Interpl.ai announced in late 2020 that it had been accepted into the mobility division of Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play, which has launched such companies as Paypal and Dropbox after being launched out of Ann Arbor SPARK’s incubator. The autonomous delivery robot startup has several unique features to its robots that indicate a potential success for this Midwest autonomous delivery robot company.
Michigan’s economy has had a “K shaped recovery” as the COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate effect on restaurant, retail, and Main Street businesses that still have not recovered. What many people have been wondering is how businesses are faring who were able to function remotely or support businesses in that endeavor. Has Michigan hit yet another “once in a lifetime” financial crisis? The answer is a bit complicated, but there is a lot of good news for businesses like tech and life science companies that could pivot to remote work structures. We reached out to a few VC and angel investors in the Ann Arbor-Detroit startup space to get their perspective on what’s happening at the very base of the startup pipeline: funding. As everyone in the startup space knows, Michigan has always dragged a bit behind on having enough funding for the great startups that come out of this region, so we were concerned that if the funding dropped, the ecosystem might lag. Fortunately, we found the behind the scenes reality is quite the opposite, and many investors were happy to share their tips on how businesses can get in the loop on what’s going on in Michigan startup funding in 2021.
Have a new startup in mobility, sustainable energy, or tech that you would like to pitch? Ann Arbor SPARK has just announced a number of opportunities for startups, particularly in the mobility space, to get their name out and find funding. Here are some new announcements of opportunities for Michigan startups from Komal Doshi, Director of Mobility Programs at Ann Arbor SPARK, Ann Arbor’s premier business support organization for tech startups.
Ann Arbor’s premier tech hiring event, Tech Homecoming, happens Tuesday, November 27, from 3-7 pm. This year it’s virtual, so you can attend from anywhere, even if you’re not in town for the holidays.
If you’re a tech founder or a tech worker who has navigated a tough set of decisions in your career, you know the scenario: maybe you have to find a new job under less than ideal circumstances. Maybe your business is gaining traction, but you’ve lost yourself in the hectic grind of making it happen for yourself and your employees and now you’re worried about a new set of hurdles to keeping your business running. Wellness coaching and business coaching are a support in times like these to tech founders all over the globe, and nowhere more than in places like Ann Arbor, which is home to a wide variety of coaches and wellness professionals. What do they wish you knew? That they’re here for the hard times and the early days of starting a business, not just a luxury for the more affluent. This is because business and wellness coaching is a support that saves individuals and founders the very practical resource of time–and therefore a lot of runway. That isn’t to say that coaching is something everyone can afford, but it can be a lifesaver in more ways than one.