Vision for success
Entrepreneurs turn to in-state resources at critical start-up stages
companies in Michigan have increased from 75 to 129 during the past five years.
There’s a simple explanation for that impressive 70-percent increase: A lot of
patience, timely nurturing, and finding the right resources at the right time.
The following examples
demonstrate how entrepreneurs are turning to state-funded programs, private-tech
accelerators and university grants to grow their start-ups:
Max Nussenbaum and Brian
Rudolph, Rebirth Realty: Members of Venture for America’s
inaugural graduating class in Detroit shared a deep affection for the city.
Their fondness turned to inspiration when they decided to set up shop in the
Motor City for good. In launching their respective
startups, Castle and Banza, Nussenbaum and Rudolph are turning
an abandoned Detroit house into a co-working space for fellow VFA graduates as
part of Rebirth Realty.
Veronika Scott, The Empowerment
Plan: As a 20-year-old product design student at the College for Creative
Studies in Detroit, Veronika Scott turned a class project into a non-profit.
Her vision led to The Empowerment
Plan, which employs homeless people in Detroit as seamstresses who create coats
distributed to the city’s homeless community.
Ted Serbinski, TechStars
Mobility: Driven by Detroit: A former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Ted was
drawn to Detroit from the West Coast, attracted by the city’s growing start-up
culture as an early-stage investor. After serving as a partner and founding
team member of Detroit Venture
Partners, Ted now manages TechStars’ Detroit
branch in Detroit, which offers funding for 10 mobility start-ups.
Danny Ellis, SkySpecs: As CEO of
Ann Arbor drone startup SkySpecs,
which creates commercial drone designed for site inspection, Danny has utilized
the University of Michigan’s student entrepreneur resources and in-state
start-up competitions to get the company off the ground—literally. Most recently, SkySpecs earned
$500,000 in funding by winning the 2014 Accelerate Michigan competition.
John Hennessy, Elegus
Technologies: John has extensive experience launching in Michigan. Elegus Technologies is his fourth
start-up. After spinning out of the University
of Michigan from a multi-year, multi-dollar university research project, the
company launched successfully and entered the TechStars Detroit accelerator