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

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2017. It plans to showcase its technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011.

As it is with batteries and with automobiles, themselves, Detroit will not necessarily be dominant in infotainment systems moving forward. But in 2010, auto companies and suppliers took steps to make sure they are at least in the game.

Going Mobile

Arising out of University of Michigan dormrooms, tinkerers and young entrepreneurs are developing smart phone applications. In 2010, a few of them made news, including include Ann Arbor’s Mobiata, which develops apps for the travel industry, and Mobile Sign Language Systems, which converts spoken or written English into real-time sign-language video. Mobile apps developers will not necessarily employ thousands in Michigan, but they represent a new outlet for creative tinkerers to test ideas. And the entrepreneurial culture at U-M seems to encourage it. And, answering the call for marketing opportunities that come with the popularity of the smart phone is Michigan’s new Mobile Monday chapter.

University of Michigan spinouts

Speaking of the University of Michigan’s entrepreneurial culture, in 2010, U-M continued to engage directly with the real-world business community through programs like the Wolverine Venture Fund, in which business students invest real money in real companies.

University of Michigan spinouts are too numerous to name, but it is safe to say that, through companies like NanoBio, what is being achieved in the lab does not stay in the lab.

An issue that does continue to come up, though, is how to keep young talent in Michigan. This problem was highlighted when Ambiq Micro, launched by U-M students, decided this year that it can find more fertile ground in Texas.


TechTown, located in the heart of Detroit on the campus of Wayne State University, has made great strides this year to show the world than not everything in the city is abandoned and decaying. I wrote earlier this year that, although there is great innovation happening in Ann Arbor, the key to Southeast … 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.