Roundup: Startup Week Detroit, Grand Circus, MWCT, Duo Security, More
Summer is here, and with it, plenty of tech news from across Michigan. Startup Week Detroit kicks off on Monday, while other programs have fast-approaching application deadlines; grants have been awarded; milestones have been achieved; and new hires have been announced. Read on for details.
—Techstars Startup Week Detroit, described by organizers as a weeklong celebration of the Detroit entrepreneurship community, takes over the downtown area June 18-22. Startup Week offers participants the opportunity to take in dozens of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, networking events, and more. The best part? Startup Week activities are free and open to all, but registration is required. This year’s keynote speakers include Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit”; Pamela Prince-Eason, CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council; and Bill Fandrich, chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
—Speaking of Startup Week, JPMorgan Chase will announce another $1.55 million in small business investments during the event next week. TechTown Detroit will receive $780,000, the Accounting Aid Society will get $410,000, and the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council will receive $360,000. The grants are part of JPMorgan’s $150 million investment in Detroit’s economic recovery, the company said in a press release.
—Grand Circus, the tech training school with locations in Detroit and Grand Rapids, is holding free software development bootcamps sponsored by Facebook starting July 16. Those accepted into the program will receive full scholarships valued at approximately $10,000 and will learn C# and .NET (Grand Rapids) or Java (Detroit). Students will also get assistance with applying for jobs and preparing for interviews. Applications to take part in the bootcamps are due by June 15.
—The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation recently hosted an event in which a group of 450 Detroit girls spent the day at Wayne State University learning about all facets of computer science. Now, MCWT is preparing for Camp Infinity, weeklong summer tech camps held across the state with interactive activities for girls in 5th through 8th grades. Some of the camp sessions begin as early as June 18; click here and scroll down to apply to the camp nearest you.
—Comerica Hatch Detroit, the annual contest that awards $50,000 to one local entrepreneur in support of opening a brick-and-mortar business, is back. Anyone with a retail concept for Detroit, Highland Park, or Hamtramck is eligible to apply before July 13. The three-month contest includes two rounds of public voting. Since the contest’s inception in 2011, 33 Hatch finalists have opened storefront businesses, with 12 more expected by March 2019. The winner of this year’s contest will be announced on August 30.
—Kirkland, WA-based Inrix, a telematics and transportation analytics company, has been selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation to monitor, measure, and manage traffic on state roadways, MDOT said in a press release. Inrix will also supply historical and real-time traffic information by leveraging anonymous GPS data from connected cars. The three-year agreement with Inrix is meant to help MDOT reduce the cost of operations, find which roads are most in need of repairs, and measure the impact of past transportation investments.
—Genomenon, the Ann Arbor, MI, startup focused on analyzing genomics data to guide clinicians in the diagnostic process, last week announced its newest partnership. The company has entered into a co-marketing agreement with San Francisco’s Fluidigm, which develops, manufactures, and markets analytical systems with life sciences applications. Researchers can now use the companies’ joint gene panel design to accelerate disease-specific, next-generation sequencing and genotyping for use with Fluidigm’s automated microfluidic systems, ideally saving time and increasing efficiency. The companies did not disclose whether any money has changed hands as a result of the partnership.
—In personnel news, Ann Arbor’s Duo Security has named Bill Welch as president and chief operations officer. Welch joins Duo with 25 years of experience in leadership positions with companies like HP, Symantec, and Oracle. Most recently, he served as COO for Silicon Valley cloud security company Zscaler. Welch is one of a number of senior hires Duo has made this year, including chief financial officer Sydney Carey and chief marketing officer Neville Letzerich.
Swift Biosciences, which makes library prep solutions for genomic sequencing, has hired Nathan Wood as its new CEO. Before joining Swift Bio, Wood most recently worked as president of SGI-DNA, a synthetic genomics company. Swift Bio also recently opened a second office in South San Francisco and expanded and relocated its Ann Arbor headquarters.
Royal Oak’s Tome Software has hired Shane Wilson to be its vice president of business development and sales, leading the company’s deployment of bike-to-vehicle safety software. Prior to joining Tome, Wilson served as the assistant vice president of advanced safety and convenience at Voxx Automotive.