Many Michigan small businesses and startups are scrambling for resources to bridge the COVID-19 outbreak gap, or to pivot to thrive beyond the coronavirus shutdown. Resources for small businesses are often only known by those founders who have already been through the startup process, so in addition to recently posting a number of small business loan resources for Michigan tech startups, we wanted to catch up with someone who is known for mentoring founder through the challenging startup phase. Melanie de Vries, who mentors both at Desai Venture Accelerator in Ann Arbor and as Technology Business Consultant for the Michigan Small Business Development Center, was gracious enough to answer some questions about what it’s like helping business owners navigate challenging times.
Rebecca Cunningham, the University of Michigan Interim VP for Research with Tech Transfer and Kelly Sexton, Associate VP for Research at Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships at U of M TechTransfer, held a panel this week at Celebrate Invention on a milestone year for the University of Michigan developing inventions, research, and startups from work done by faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. TechTransfer is the licensing office that helps researchers and faculty at the University of Michigan who develop inventions and new business ideas spin off intellectual property with proper licensing from the University of Michigan. This year, according to Cunningham, the University of Michigan has developed 502 new inventions, 198 patents, 232 licenses and options with industry, and founded a record 22 new startups.