Cronicle has heard from a number of tech companies, startups, VCs and talent across Midwest tech that a sea change is underway. How companies think about finances and investments is changing. No one wants to say we’re in an all-out recession yet, but there is still hesitation over previous growth plans reflecting the uncertainty over…
With consumer sentiment continuing a downward trend, falling 14.4% in June according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, many companies are tightening their belts. Inflation is outweighing income growth. How will inflation impact your company’s bottom line and, if you are the tech talent, your cost of living?
Bloomberg co-founder Matt Winkler and Editor Emeritus has published a piece on Michigan’s #1 U.S. economy this week, saying that under Governor Whitmer, the state has had the biggest rebound of any state in the U.S. While some of these stats are relative to previous economic troubles rather than absolute numbers on economic growth or scale, it’s a refreshing take on a state that often gets little credit on the hard work so many people have done to rebuild a state after manufacturing’s historic contraction in the early naughts. Some highlights from the piece:
Septentrio, a leader in high-precision GNSS positioning solutions, announced today an addition to the open-source resources for their GPS/GNSS module receivers: mowi. This wireless device combines the Septentrio mosaic-X5 or mosaic-H module receiver with a dual-mode Bluetooth and integrated Wi-Fi from the well-known ESP32- WRover programmable module by Espressif Systems.
The Michigan Venture Capital Association has just announced a partnership with Fontinalis Partners to create a $104 million Fund 3 to invest in the next wave of mobility startups in the state of Michigan. This comes on the heels of multiple other news funds raised by venture capital firms around Michigan to continue the historic steep growth in investment in new tech companies around Michigan and the Midwest, which are now being hailed as some of the best cities in the nation for new startup growth and incubation.
Entrypoint’s current Washtenaw County COVID-19 Business Impact Report is now available for anyone wanting an in-depth look at how the coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses in Ann Arbor’s business industries over the past year. Cronicle reported on the upcoming research earlier this year, and it’s now complete and updated for current market conditions.
Ann Arbor-based startup Nahsai creates extreme environment materials and sensors for aerospace, defense, and industrial applications. As such they are at the forefront of seeing the defense industry, among others, adopt lean startup strategies for invention, project management, and manufacturing. In the case of aerospace, the market for private companies going to space (e.g. SpaceX) is so new that companies have to invent and produce parts in-house for their rockets in many cases. But whether it’s a private or public contract, when companies like Nahsai are brought on board to contract out parts, the industry is recognizing that the product development cycle is shortening dramatically and large contracts can’t deliver on time and still be relevant. Enter lean startup strategies.
Pocketnest, a new app for next-gen financial wellness used by top credit unions and companies like Cisco and Henry Ford, has experienced explosive growth over the past year after closing its Series A funding round in 2019. The Ann Arbor-based fintech startup was founded by financial advisor Jessica Willis just 12 months ago after realizing there was very little out there in the way of non-transactional financial wellness apps for Gen X and millennials who were looking for technology to ease communication with financial advisors and to glean accessible financial wellness education and advice. Now boasting 8 enterprise clients with 20% user growth month over month and 40% growth month over month from an enterprise standpoint, Pocketnest now works with the top 3 largest credit unions in the United States–Wright-Patt Credit Union, Lake Trust Credit Union, and MSU Federal Credit Union–and growing.
Torrance Learning is an online training software company based in Chelsea, Michigan, just west of emerging tech hub Ann Arbor. Torrance has won awards from the eLearning Guild Demofest and the Brandon Hall Awards for its methods of developing new forms of instructional design, primarily for corporate training. The small consultancy has thrived thanks to the innovative thinking of founder Megan Torrance, who has adapted agile programming methods for application in instructional design and corporate training.
Human Element, of Top 20 Fastest Growing Companies in Michigan, Creates The Kind of Culture They Want To Stay In
“We’ve been experiencing 3-4 years of 30% growth rate year over year,” Human Element’s Ben Lorenz tells us. “We’ve been an Inc 5000 company 3 years in a row and last year were named one of the Top 20 fastest growing companies in Michigan.” Ann Arbor is one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the Midwest, but what explains some companies like Human Element growing so much more quickly than others? To some extent, it’s positioning and the market they’re in. It’s no secret that AI companies are hot, as well as security. An e-commerce strategy company like Human Element has a lot of work to do catching up Midwest companies to digital business processes and online sales. But that’s not all it is.