When new businesses start up, arranging financing can be fraught. When that process involves a bank loan, it’s hard to know where to go. Many banks have a reputation for turning away small or risky tech startup businesses. Good news for tech businesses in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. Bank of Ann Arbor, which according to DBusiness is now the 4th largest bank in Metro Detroit, has created an entire division specifically for financing and guiding tech businesses in the growing startup hub. BOAA Technology Industry Group President Michael Cole says this has been a long time in process. Cole has been working for the past 17 years to create business financing options specifically tailored to tech and life sciences businesses in Southeast Michigan.
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.