Roundup: Improve Detroit, DTX, GM, Zagster, U-M Life Sci Institute

Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor — 

Here’s a look at news from around Michigan’s innovation hubs:

—Detroiters, rejoice: The city recently released the new Improve Detroit app, which allows residents to report problems like potholes, illegal dumping, and water main breaks to city officials. The app also connects to the police department, the city’s bus system, and the water department. Users are encouraged to set up a profile and report issues often, and then city officials will send someone out to fix it. Users can also submit complaints with photos and maps attached.

In an article in the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the app represented a “fundamental change in the way city government operates.” He also promised to track response times in order to overcome any challenges early on.

—Last week, GM and Zagster announced that they would expand their bike-sharing program to GM’s Warren Technical Center. Twenty new bikes and seven new stations will be added, bringing the total number of bikes to 70 at 14 stations. The program, which is the first of its kind from any U.S. automaker, was launched last August to give GM’s 19,000 employees options for getting around the 61 buildings covering the 330-acre tech center campus.

DTX Launch Detroit, a 10-week startup accelerator program for college students and recent grads, is now accepting applications for the summer session. Participants will receive a stipend of $2,500 per individual (up to $7,500 per team) to test out their entrepreneurial ideas. This year, teams also have the option to pursue project ideas from some of Michigan’s top companies, giving participants the opportunity to interact with industry sponsors throughout the course of the program. Applications are due by May 1; click here to apply.

—Stephen Weiss has been named the new director of University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute. Weiss has a background in cancer research, and he’s focused his efforts on examining the molecular mechanisms at play when cancer cells metastasize. Weiss is currently a professor of oncology and internal medicine at U-M, and he takes over for Xconomist Alan Saltiel, who will step down on Aug. 31.