Sure, there are braille tablets these days that are pretty amazing. They translate several words or lines of text from websites into raised braille dots on a physical surface that scrolls through the web, opening up the world to those who can’t view the content of computers and the internet through traditional screens. But there are challenges. According to Alex Russomanno of new Ann Arbor startup NewHaptics, current braille tablets are limited to small quantities of text at a time, they’re incredibly expensive to manufacture, and they don’t have any way to translate images or graphs. This leaves the blind locked out of visual content, maps and graphs on computers.
Every town around the Great Lakes and Midwest has its own mix of tech-related industries. As part of our expansion to cover more news and networking regarding the growth of tech in the Great Lakes region, we will be interviewing a number of diverse professionals who can give us a peek into their space. This time: Quintessence Anx of Buffalo, New York. Anx is a tech evangelist working with AppDynamics, who travels and speaks at tech conferences particularly in the devops space. We were curious what she could tell us about connecting with tech in the eastern Great Lakes region.
Thank you to everyone who has interviewed with Cronicle Press Tech News over the last 9 months since our launch out of Ann Arbor. We’re now putting together a series on growing tech industries around the broader Great Lakes region. If you have a growing tech company, incubator you’re getting started, or new fund to announce, we want to hear from you, and we want to hear the story of your community.
It’s already that time again, our monthly Cronicle tech events post for Ann Arbor, Detroit, and several notable tech events going on around the rest of the state of Michigan including Grand Rapids and Traverse City. We can’t cover them all, so this month we’re highlighting a few we haven’t before, such as Nerd Nite–science + beer! Also, coding + beer. We’ll get through the winter with beer.
“We recently closed on $17 million in funding, reinforcing our commitment to the wind industry,” says Danny Ellis, CEO of SkySpecs, a sustainable energy company in Ann Arbor that uses drones to inspect wind turbines. “We’ve doubled down our focus on the wind industry.”
Joe Affholter of Michigan State Unversity and Michelle Larkin at the University of Michigan have essentially the same job: get academic research in the life sciences from the laboratory where it is discovered in Michigan’s half dozen largest research universities out to industry. Sounds simple, but it’s anything but. That’s because the MEDC’s Life Sciences MTRAC program is tasked with licensing technology invented in the academic system, mentoring new founders who often did not start in industry, and with helping companies get funded through clinical trials and the push out to the commercial market, which can take years to complete.
The ladies who run Jottful set out to help very small businesses with fewer than 5 employees create professional websites. “Our clients are often self-employed consultants, or service-oriented businesses,” says Dawn Verbrigghe, founder and CEO. The service is perfect for everything from “life coaches to management consultants to Main Street service businesses such as martial arts studios, beauty salons, and custom cake decorators.” If a business needs more than a build-your-own site but can’t afford the commonly quoted $5k price tag for a custom website from a creative agency, Jottful fills the gap in between. But then, the scope of what Jottful was managing expanded, and in more than one direction.
Happy New Year, everyone! We are excited to kick off this new year with expanding interviews and test drives with the coolest new tech coming out of Michigan, but we need your help. Cronicle Press Tech News is supported through sponsorships of various kinds, and now you can become an individual or corporate Patron as well to help fund the work we are doing to cover the historic growth of tech in the Great Lakes area.
It’s New Years Eve, so we’re looking back at the most popular posts on Cronicle Press Tech News out of Ann Arbor-Detroit about the growing Great Lakes tech scene in 2019. Turns out, it was a banner year for Ann Arbor tech and Detroit startups in particular, so we just scratched the surface of all the latest news. First up, the most popular post by far, professor Austin Yarger’s master list of game development studios of Michigan. Also included at the end are some followup interviews with a few of those gaming studios that are either growing in Michigan or started here.
What is going on in Ann Arbor and Detroit? Everyone from Fortune Magazine to Forbes have recently rated the nextdoor Michigan cities as tech or startub hubs to watch. In 2019, VentureBeat listed Ann Arbor as the #1 place for female founders to raise a round. Last year, USAToday listed Ann Arbor as a top innovative city. Bloomberg recently listed Ann Arbor as a top #3 tech hub for their brainpower index, given Ann Arbor is the best educated city in the United States. Detroit was not to be left out, listed in 2019 as the next potential Silicon Valley by Fortune. Forbes has several times claimed Detroit was a startup hub to watch. And on and on.