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.
Small businesses in Washtenaw County have another option to help bridge the coronavirus crisis: Ann Arbor SPARK has just announced the new Washtenaw Small Business Resiliency Fund. We spoke with SPARK Chief of Staff Phil Santer to get the details on this new financing option to help struggling businesses in the Ann Arbor area and surrounding regions.
Ann Arbor SPARK is emerging tech hub Ann Arbor’s premier small business support organization and new business incubator. We connected with their marketing director Jenn Queen to ask about any resources they’re publicizing for the greater Ann Arbor area and Michigan businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Ann Arbor SPARK has shut down its local offices to protect workers, but already has an extensive list of informational and business support resources for businesses planning for these changing times, and has more programming in the works aimed at supporting small businesses in partnership with the state of Michigan. More on that in the coming weeks as details are available. For now, we list the resources listed through Ann Arbor SPARK here for your convenience, but please visit Ann Arbor SPARK’s website for updates as this is a quickly evolving situation for individuals and businesses alike. Be well.
Emily Heintz has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Axios, and VentureBeat. She was also named to Crain’s Detroit Business 40 Under 40 List. Heintz is the founder and managing director of EntryPoint, a research firm that specializes in conducting research and compiling reports on the state of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan. Heintz founded EntryPoint several years ago, but previously worked to support the growth of the Michigan entrepreneurial community through the Michigan Venture Capital Association, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Ann Arbor SPARK. Why all this news coverage of her work? Heintz founded EntryPoint just as Michigan’s economy was undergoing major shifts toward more of an entrepreneurial economy.
Today we caught up with the new Phimation Strategy Group and Ann Arbor SPARK sponsored Rising Leaders program, which piloted this year to mentor business leaders in the Ann Arbor area. At the Circ Bar in Ann Arbor, we heard speeches from several tech, talent, and business leaders to hear their best career advice and leadership lessons.
Recently, Phimation Strategy executive coach Dave Haviland and team piloted a podcast with Ann Arbor SPARK called SPARK.grow and a new pilot program for mentoring startup founders and tech professionals called Rising Leaders. Now, even if you’re not part of the first cohort, you can join the Rising Leaders program for a panel on leadership and career advice in Ann Arbor.
Continuing our series on podcasts in the Michigan tech scene is Dave Haviland, new host of the SPARK.Grow podcast sponsored by Ann Arbor SPARK that interviews executives around the Ann Arbor business community. Haviland is an executive coach through Phimation Strategy Group to second-stage tech company founders and executive teams in the Ann Arbor area. We found him in his offices on the 8th floor of the First National Building on Main Street and Liberty, which has a lovely view of downtown.
It was a packed house at Zingerman’s Roadhouse this week for a panel on the best options for financing your company. It’s always worth it to get up for a 7 am breakfast here, because you are guaranteed to meet amazing new friends in the Ann Arbor business world, and because if you stay the full 2 hours your clothes will smell like the Zingerman’s barbecue smoker all day. The panel at this Leaders Connect breakfast hosted by executive coach, psychologist, and University of Michigan professor Dr. Rob Pasick included President of the Technology Industry Group at Bank of Ann Arbor Michael Cole, Managing Partner and Co-Owner of BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting Kris Bergman, VC Evan Ufer of Plymouth Growth Partners, serial entrepreneur Mike Klein who is currently CEO of genomics startup Genomenon, and Skip Simms who is Senior VP of Ann Arbor SPARK and managing partner of the Michigan Angel Fund.
It’s already time for the fall September tech events for Ann Arbor Detroit! This time, we’ve included some paid workshops for intro to coding of various kinds, but please note most of these hosts have multiple workshops for different subjects. Grand Circus, TechTown Detroit, Tech Elevator, and Entirety Technology all have multiple paid workshops you can check out through the links above.
The man who founded popular ForeSee Results survey software you’ve seen on websites from Realtor.com to U.S. government websites is back, and he’s working with a great team. Larry Freed recently came on board as CEO of Give & Take, a Fortune, Inc, and FastCompany-featured startup leveraging software to foster reciprocity in business teams.