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.
Happy Women’s Equality Day. In honor of this event, we are happy to announce that Ann Arbor security startup Censys has surpassed tech industry benchmarks in total women at the company, as well as women in technical roles. Censys prides themselves on their role helping more women enter the cybersecurity industry.
Recent University of Michigan Ross School of Business Dare To Dream Grant recipients Shivani Kothari and Anne Goering had an idea: create an online service that helps engaged couples plan their wedding affordably with the assistance of a human wedding planner. The duo, both working on MBAs finished in 2020 and 2021, received the grant in Fall of 2020, and have already launched their startup.
Augmented reality startup Spellbound AR, known for its augmented reality games to distract pediatric patients from hospital procedures, has created a new scavenger hunt game called ARISE, to make hospital stays less intimidating for children.
There’s no global database of auto clubs, certainly not one that’s multilingual. Creating this is one of the ongoing projects of new startup Throdle, an Ann Arbor SPARK Best of Bootcamp winner and new player in the automotive social media scene. Founder Nadine Lee says that when people connect with a car through a test drive or a track day, they often connect with a brand for life. Connecting potential buyers or new drivers with other people who already own a special vehicle, whether that’s a BMW or an EV, helps people discover a love of car culture.
How does a meteorological tech startup working in IoT sensing end up in our mobility startups to watch series? LiveRoad Analytics is a new startup out of Ann Arbor that uses weather sensing data and road surface predictions to support improvements in connected vehicles, as well as fleet management. The technology can be used in logistics, agriculture, insurance and retail as well.
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.
Ryan Landau is co-founder of Purpose Jobs, a recruiting firm that works with the hottest tech startups in Southeast Michigan. We have heard both from startups and talent lately that a lot of people are looking for work, but that many startups are also hiring at a faster clip than ever before. Which tech companies in Detroit and Ann Arbor have the most openings? We checked in with Landau to highlight some great companies where you might land your next tech job, and to ask him about trends he’s seeing in the tech startup hiring space in Detroit and Ann Arbor.
How does someone build a career in successful startup exits 5 companies deep in a smaller and still emerging tech hub like Ann Arbor? Ask Jim Simpson, who has done just that in the burgeoning security startup scene in Ann Arbor with startups including Duo Security and Arbor Networks. Now new security startup Blumira, whose alumni include people from Duo Security, Censys, Groundspeed, Deepfield by Nokia and the NSA, has just hired Ann Arbor security startup veteran Jim Simpson as VP of Product as the company heads into its next building phase. Blumira has closed on $2.6 million in funding in the last year and recently doubled its team of about a dozen to two dozen, hoping to double that again in the next year to 50. We chatted with Simpson this week about the company’s rapid growth and how Blumira is working with the dynamics created by COVID-19 instead of against it to build success.
Despite a challenging year, a number of Ann Arbor tech startups are still experiencing rapid growth. First up? Pocketnest, the fintech startup that created a personal financial wellness app to integrate into bank and credit union software to help advise end users on savings and investment decisions while they monitor their finances.