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Growth Areas

Alternative Energy

From biofuels to batteries, the Ann Arbor area is ground zero for alternative energy research and implementation. Not only are Ypsi's residents pushing for solar energy on their municipal buildings but Ann Arbor was named by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of their 13 "Solar Cities." But the quest for renewable power doesn't stop there. A2's Danotek is an innovator in wind turbine technology. Adaptive Materials has developed battery technology that lasts 10 times as long as conventional energy cells. And Milan is now home to a biodiesel cooperative. All these efforts may be the key to weaning the US off fossil fuels ...and Michigan's economic success.read on…

Entrepreneurship

As start-up central, Washtenaw County is the face of things to come in Michigan. Whether its biotech companies like Ann Arbor's QuatRx, Cerenis, or HandyLab, the alternative energy innovations of Danotek and Adaptive Materials,  Internet gurus like SpamStopsHere and Pure Visibility, or the Jolly Pumpkin microbrewers of Dexter, economic pioneers are reshaping the state's business landscape.You can't stop them, so why not join them?read on…

Film And Video

CUT TO: laptop auteurs busily working on their next YouTube masterpiece as local  production companies like Odd Angle and Quack! Media generate cutting edge video. CLOSE ON: U-M's film program, where the next generation of Steven Spielbergs and Martin Scorcese are learning their craft. FADE ON: Michigan's state legislature as it approves an ambitious new Film Production Incentive Package. From cineastes to camera jockeys, it's only a matter of time before Washtenaw County says, "We're ready for our close up, Mr. DeMille!"read on…

Green Building

Surprise! Michigan is ranked in the top 13 states for energy-efficient buildings. The list of organizations, foundations and educational institutions promoting a greener Mitten State seems to grow by the day and Washtenaw County is a vital part of that equation. From the solar panel intiatives on Ann Arbor's Farmer's Market and Ypsilanti's city hall to Greenhills School's rooftop wind turbine, to A3C's state-of-the-art 'green' renovation in the heart of downtown, the Ann Arbor area is tightening its green belt and looking healthier for it.read on…

Higher Education

"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." -Diogenes Laertius. Higher learning is Washtenaw County's main industry. With the University Of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University drawing nearly 63, 000 students and a combined funding of almost $1 billion each year, these schools are not only powerhouses of innovation and economic activity, they also profoundly shape the cultural, creative and professional landscape of our region, state and country.read on…

Internet

Whether it's Google Adwords opening in downtown Ann Arbor, Healthmedia leading the way with online health resources, Hass MS&L storming the web with innovative ad campaigns, the sturm und drang of local bloggers or the community-based efforts of Wireless Ypsi, Washtenaw County understands that the Internet is a heckuva lot more than a bunch of tubes; it is our cultural and economic future. read on…

Life Sciences

It takes good DNA to establish a healthy bioscience industry and Ann Arbor's gene pool is deep and wide. Along with the academic and research power of the University Of Michigan, there's also the relentless advocacy of SPARK and Michbio, Michigan's life sciences trade association. You can play connect-the-dots with the successful life science startups that have popped up around here: Nanobio, Cerenis Therapeutics, QuatRx, Compendia Bioscience, Oxford Biomedical, Velesco, the list goes on and on and on. Washtenaw County's biosciences are truly the shape of things to come --for Michigan and the world!read on…


Reuse / Rebuild

Just because a space has been abandoned does not mean it is no longer useful. Entrepreneurs, artists, city officials, activists and neighbors, with the right amount of ambition and innovation, can take vacant spaces and turn them into opportunities. By transforming what we already have into sustainable properties, we revitalize neighborhoods and stimulate local economies.
read on…


Software Design

When it comes to 1s and 0s, Washtenaw County can code with the best of them. We are both a virtual and literal hub for software design. Whether it's the logistics simulations of Llamasoft , the game-inspired creations of Reactor Zero, the consumer index algorithms of CFI Group, new kids on the block Procuit and Boomdash, or the customer-catered innovations of Menlo Innovations, the virtual world is our oyster.

read on…

Venture Capital

If innovation is the engine, investment is the fuel. For Michigan to transform its economy and nurture homegrown high-tech companies, it must develop a robust venture capital community. Ann Arbor understands this better than most. In conjunction with the University Of Michigan, SPARK, the MEDC and the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (held in Ypsilanti every year), entrepreneurs are starting to see a change in attitude about local investment. Ardesta, EDF, Arboretum Ventures, Plymouth Venture Partners and the University's Wolverine Fund are just some of the firms trying to change Michigan's economic landscape.read on…

Video Game Design

With annual revenues reaching $14 billion, the video game industry is the new frontier for entertainment. So, it should be no surprise that U-M has added courses in Computer Game Design and Implementation while students have formed their own development group, Wolverine Soft. With companies like Reactor Zero, Image Space Inc., Cybernet and fledgling Western Civilization Software looking to get into the action don't be surprised if Michigan's next Big Three turns out to be virtual.read on…

Web 2.0

The revolution has begun! Create. Share. Collaborate. Optimize. The Internet has become a business platform unto itself, giving rise to a whole new generation of high-tech start-ups in the Ann Arbor area. Whether it's Internet juggernaut Google Ad Words, locally-based Pure Visibility, recently transplanted MyBuys or new kids on the block like Fluency Media and Ur.Turn, the next evolution in web development has arrived. Are you connected?read on…
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