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Software Design

Ben Kazez at the Mobiata offices
Ben Kazez at the Mobiata offices

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.

Software Design Features

Welcome to the Year of the Gazelle

Over the next year, we will identify the fastest-growing local companies and tell you the behind-the-scenes stories of the entrepreneurs, investors, and the resources that are building Michigan's new economy.

Changing careers in the startup lane

In today's economy, finding a job is challenge enough. Now try finding one at age 45. Or 55. And in a different field. Where do you start? How do you present decades of work experience to an industry unfamiliar with your skill set? Shifting Gears is a career-transition program for mid-to-late-career professionals looking for a second act.

GameStart: Minecraft Class Is Now In Session

The computer gaming industry earns more than $60 billion dollars each year. Hollywood's use of computer animation only grows. Yet computer programming is not a focus in K-12 education in Michigan. The folks at GameStart see both an educational and entrepreneurial opportunity. They offer programming classes to 3rd through 8th grade students with a focus on the game that sets every kid's heart a-flutter.

Ann Arbor Startups That Don't Start in Ann Arbor (But We Wish They Did)

Ann Arbor may be Michigan's hotbed for innovative startups but sometimes those innovations have trouble gaining a toe-hold in the local market. From healthcare apps to wind energy technology, Concentrate takes a look at a trio of technologies we'd like to see more of here.

Ann Arbor's Small Business Job Growth: The Who, What , and Where

Rumor has it that Ann Arbor is ripe with small business job growth. But who's been growing and why? Jon Zemke, Concentrate's Innovation And Jobs News Editor, reflects on 2012's third quarter and which sectors were doing their part to reduce unemployment. (Hint: Techies rule!).
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Software Design Blogs

Dug Song

Start ups, skate parks, hacker culture... these represent the future of Ann Arbor if Dug Song has anything to say about it. The VP of engineering at virtual cable provider Zattoo, Dug will be writing about where we need to go and what we need to do to keep the best and brightest here in Tree Town.

Elizabeth Ziph

Elizabeth Ziph is the co-founder of The Linux Box Corporation in downtown Ann Arbor, has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry and sits on the Detroit Chamber of Commerce Technology Advisory Panel. She will be writing about open source software, the freedom it gives its users and its potential impact on the future of computing.

Thomas Meloche

Thomas Meloche has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. A native Detroiter and U-M grad, he co-founded, managed, and sold nine different start-ups in Michigan over 20 years, including the professional service firm, Menlo Innovations LLC. He is currently President of Procuit (pronounced Pro-Q-It) Inc. Thomas will be writing about untapped Michigan potential, and more importantly, how to tap it!

Mike Finney

Mike is president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. A passionate advocate for the transformation of Michigan's high-tech economy he also managed the MEDCís $1 billion Michigan Life Sciences Corridor initiative between 2000 and 2002. Mike will be wriing about who's making a difference in the Michigan and why.

Ron Suarez

Dr. Ron Suarez is our guest blogger this week. Ron is a serial entrepreneur and Arbor City Councilmember who recently founded Promovuz, offering digital music promotion, statistics and sales. He is also a Media Futurist at and the president of Object Insight, Inc., a software engineering firm. Ron uses his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science for his work with User Experience and Object Oriented Design.
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Software Design Videos


How does a company efficiently get its stuff from the manufacturer to the warehouse to store shelves? What if the store is in Berlin? Or Singapore? What if it's hurricane season? These are just a few of the millions of questions companies ask themselves when it comes to supply chain logistics. And Ann Arbor's LLamasoft helps them figure it all out.

All Hands Active

Make it yourself. Or get others to help you. All Hands Active lives up to its name as Ann Arbor's ever-industrious hackpace, a place where inventors, innovators, designers, and crafters plot the overthrow of the status quo... or just make some really cool stuff.

Pixel Velocity

Pixel Velocity is watching. Or rather they're letting you watch. This Ann Arbor-based company creates high-speed digital image processing products for the surveillance and medical imaging markets. See them seeing you.


"Microns matter," is the slogan for Ann Arbor's Coherix, which creates holographic optical mechanical measuring systems for automotive and semiconductor manufacturers. Hey, now there's a mouthful. Still, it's the kind of cutting-edge technological innovation that Ann Arbor has become synonomous for.

Quantum Signal

Pound for pound, Ann Arbor-based Quantum Signal is tops for cool-geek technology. From video gaming to controls for unmanned aerial drones to camouflage detection and recognition, the company sees a world of possibilities for its core technologies. They've got their virtual mitts in military applications, industrial robotics and computer gaming, blurring the line between armchair warriors and real world applications
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