In The Zone – Automation Alley

Courtney Overbey

Monday, March 23, 2020

Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, takes us "In the Zone" at Michigan's Industry 4.0 knowledge center. Launched in 1999, Automation Alley has more than 1,000 members working to launch, grow or diversify their business and establish Michigan as a leader in the emerging technology sector.

Automation Alley’s largest coworking space, the Woodward Auditorium (formerly the Atrium), seats more than 100 people and is used as a way for members to convene the knowledge they need to be successful in the industry. Hosted in the space every Wednesday is Tech Takeover, a weekly event series dedicated to helping small and medium-sized manufacturers learn current trends and how to apply those trends to a business model. Automation Alley also hosts Integr8, an annual conference that draws in thousands of technology and manufacturing professionals from around the globe.

Established in 2011, Automation Alley’s International Business Center provides a space for international companies to use free of charge while they explore Michigan as a potential place to set up business. Since its inception, 35 international companies have successfully integrated their businesses to Michigan through Automation Alley, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in new business for the state.

With funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, SmartZones like Automation Alley assist tenants in fast-tracking their business concepts from ideation to commercialization by providing them the resources they need to grow.

If you have a high-tech startup idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit

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