Roundup: LLamasoft, TechHire Bootcamp, Application Deadlines Galore

Here’s a look at innovation news you may have missed from around Michigan:

LLamasoft, the Ann Arbor-based developer of supply chain software, announced today that TPG Capital has invested in the company. The specifics of the deal were not disclosed. LLamasoft marks TPG’s second foray into the supply-chain technology space, following its 2016 investment in Transporeon, a European cloud-based network for industrial logistics.

—The University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center now has a new name. The public-private partnership, established by the university in 2013 to lead collaborative research on connected and driverless vehicle technology, will now be called MCity, formerly the name of U-M’s test track. The test track will now be called the Mcity Test Facility.

“The rebranding was undertaken to better call attention to who we are and what sets us apart in a rapidly changing mobility environment,” Huei Peng, director of Mcity, said in a statement. “To a large extent, it embraces a transition that was already under way.”

For more details regarding the name change, check out Mcity’s new website.

—Applications are now open for the annual Hatch Detroit contest, where local entrepreneurs seeking to open a brick-and-mortar retail business compete for $50,000 in seed capital from Comerica Bank, plus a suite of startup services from Hatch Detroit and its partners. Applicants can submit a business plan until July 14, and then the public votes online to determine the finalists. The top 10 candidates will be announced on Aug. 10, and the four companies with the most votes will be announced on Aug. 18. The public then has until Aug. 25 to cast final votes for the winner, who will be announced the same day.

TechTown Detroit recently launched a new series called “Ask an Expert,” where attorneys, finance and marketing professionals, venture capitalists, tech firms, and other experts are available for free, one-on-one appointments to answer startup and small-business questions. Click here to schedule an appointment with the list of available experts. If you’re interested in offering your own expertise to inquiring entrepreneurs at TechTown or one of its neighborhood hubs, send an email to [email protected]

—Are you a Detroit resident interested in a career in a technology field? Downtown coding school Grand Circus and the City of Detroit are partnering on a program called TechHire Bootcamp, which provides scholarships for a 10-week class in programming tools such as HTML, CSS, MySQL, and more. Upon graduation, students will have the skills needed to work as entry-level business analysts, Web developers, quality assurance testers, or program managers. Applications are open to anyone over age 18 who is living in Detroit and available Monday through Friday for the duration of the course, which runs from July 10 to September 1. Click here to apply; deadline is May 25.

Ross Open Road is a U-M program that sends three teams of graduate business students across the country to work with and learn from social entrepreneurs and their ventures. Over the course of the five-week program, 14 organizations in 10 states will host one of the student teams with the goal of tackling a major challenge or issue they’re facing. The Ross Open Road teams began their journey last week in Detroit, spending a week with Sisters on a Roll, Merit Goodness, and the Detroit Training Center. To follow along as the teams travel, watch the hashtag #RossOpenRoad on social media.

VentureWell is in search of up to 15 Michigan-based tech startups working in the healthcare sector and actively raising investment capital to participate in this summer’s ASPIRE (Accelerating Startup Partnerships and Investment Readiness) accelerator program. The program, which prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their businesses, will run June 26-30 at TechTown. To apply, send a cover letter, brief executive summary, one-page technical summary, and current investor pitch deck to [email protected]; the deadline is May 17.

Ann Arbor SPARK announced earlier this month that it partnered with TrueJob to revamp its free online job portal. The improvements, made based on feedback from both employers and job seekers, are designed to offer more information to employers and improve the overall user experience. Check out the enhanced site here.

Detroit Startup Week, a five-day event held at multiple locations around town to celebrate the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, is back May 22-26. Last year’s edition drew nearly 3,500 attendees, a number organizers are hoping to exceed in 2017. For a full schedule of happenings, click here.


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