The Story of Detroit Added Some Significant Chapters in 2010; Here Are 10 of Them

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said at a meeting of venture capitalists in Ypsilanti, MI in May was that if the nationwide trend is toward smaller investments, Michigan already has a head start and knows how to spend its VC dollars wisely. Still, there is reason for optimism,  such as a close of nearly $50 million in investment funds for the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, a “fund of funds.” Renaissance has so far invested nearly $6 million in six venture capital funds. Those funds, in turn, have put more than $23 million into 12 Michigan companies that have raised nearly $146 million in total and created over 200 new Michigan jobs, according to Renaissance’s tally.

Michigan VC firms like Beringea and Arboretum Ventures are keeping their investments in-state and individuals like Jeff Sloan of Aria Equities are working to change the entrepreneurial culture here.

Automotive connectivity

Our automobiles, like our phones, are going through some big changes. We expect them both to be always “connected.” In the case of cars, that could mean connected to the power grid, if you have an electric vehicle, connected to GPS navigation, connected to our music and entertainment systems, connected to onboard video monitors. This new demand comes just in time for automotive suppliers like Delphi, which recently emerged from bankruptcy and is eager to find new markets and new connections to the automotive industry.

Delphi had a kind of post-bankruptcy coming-out party at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in April, where it showed off its products that connect electric cars to the grid and your smart phone to your car. Delphi, however, does not enjoy the leadership status it once had in automotive parts, so it needs to fight its way back from the brink. It is working with Google and others to connect your smart phone to your car. Meanwhile, Ford and GM are also rolling out similar new systems, including ones that help you avoid texting while driving — an increasing focus for law enforcement nationwide and one that needs a technological solution.

And GENEVI, a coalition of auto companies, suppliers, silicon providers, and software companies predicts its own open-source operating system will be running most in-vehicle infotainment systems by … Next Page »

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2 responses to “The Story of Detroit Added Some Significant Chapters in 2010; Here Are 10 of Them”

  1. My #1 Michigan story in 2010 was Detroit’s popular opinion victory. In 2010, for the first time in my adult life, popular opinion in Michigan tipped in favor of saving Detroit. Thank you Xconomy, for becoming part of the solution with the launch of Xconomy Detroit.

  2. Thank you, Michael. We’re trying! There are still many who consider Detroit to be a burned-out hulk, but it is based on outdated information. It’d be tempting to focus purely on Ann Arbor for news about entrepreneurship, but I’ll keep reporting on the cause for optimism in Detroit.