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U-M moves to #6 for most students studying abroad

The University of Michigan moved from 10th to 6th in the rank of higher education institutions with the most students studying abroad between 2012 ans 2013. This represented a 15-percent increase, with 2, 365 students studying overseas (for academic credit)

On the flipside, U-M dropped three ranks for schools that host international students.

You can check out all the stats here. Kind of like baseball, ain't it?

 

Lansing and Ann Arbor, economic rivals as well?

Oh, how the mighty might fall. Not only is U-M's football in decline, overshadowed by the green and white, Ann Arbor may soon see its economic dominance eclipsed by Lansing as well.

Excerpt:

"But if growth trends continue, perhaps Lansing is poised to take the lead here as well after trailing Ann Arbor for 13 years.

In the Lansing region, which includes Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties, GDP grew by 2.4 percent in 2013 over the previous year, with more growth expected from a series of recent plant investments by General Motors. But in the Ann Arbor region, which includes Washtenaw County, 2013 growth was an anemic .7 percent."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor ranked as Michigan's second most LGBT-friendly city

And the competition continues, with East Lansing edging us out on the LGBT-friendly designation, scoring a perfect 100 out of 100. Knocked from its first-place slot, Ann Arbor secures number two with 83 out of 100 according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Excerpt:

"The Human Rights Campaign examined 353 municipalities in the U.S. to see how open their governments are toward people who identify as as being lesbians, gay, bisexual or transgender. East Lansing scored a perfect 100 out of 100 total points, based on six criteria that focused on city laws and government outreach; it was one of only 38 cities in the U.S. to do so, according to the report.

The study said that being open to gays and lesbians can help cities develop and attract talent, an issue in Michigan, where attracting college grads has been a challenge. "Being welcoming to all residents and visitors reflects the core values of our university community," East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett said in the report, released Wednesday. "It's part of who we are."

The city, for example, has an ordinance banning discrimination against the LGBT community and also includes transgender people in health coverage."

Read the rest here.

The state of Detroit's startup scene

Ann Arbor likes to think that it exists in a magical economic and political bubble. But the truth is, we are part of the Detroit metro region and its fortunes impact our fortunes. And so as our community's entrepreneurial ecosystem strengthens it only makes sense that we should pay better attention to Motown's situation... especially as more and more U-M grads choose to move there.

Excerpt:

"Detroit has lost more than 20 percent of its population 25 years and over in the last decade, according to U.S. Census Data. But a more shocking statistic indicates a different narrative: the population of college-educated residents under 39 year-olds increased by 59 percent in the 7.1 square mile area of Greater Downtown from 2000 to 2010, according to a Forbes report from 2011.

“There is a certain demographic that comes to Detroit that is well-educated, affluent and white and wants to do something,” said Associate Prof. Nick Tobier, who teaches topics like social entrepreneurship in the University’s School of Art & Design. “I mean that in good and bad ways.”

Now, Detroit is building an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, including venture capitalists — those who provide early-stage funding to promising startups — entrepreneurship-focused non-profits; lawyers; a tech-savvy Chamber of Commerce; office hubs, the vibrant urban areas that innovators crave and months-long programs that provide funding and mentorship to innovators."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor Library among best in nation

Ann Arbor's library system gets five stars with regard to circulation and services. How about we construct a downtown building that honors that sterling reputation?

Excerpt:

"For the seventh straight year, the library system has earned a five-star ranking in the Library Journal's yearly Index of Public Library Services. "

Read the rest here.
 

The Bridge breaks down Ann Arbor's economy

Did you know we rank third among Michigan's economic regions but 241st among the nations top 382 metro areas? Check out The Bridge's thumbnail analysis of Ann Arbor's economy and enlighten yourself!

Read it here.
 

Build bike lanes and they will come

Gotta love a story that starts "...from the Journal of Duh…". Apparently, research shows that if you provide people with good biking infrastructure they'll -gasp!- use it. Crazy, I know.

Excerpt:

"In short, folks who live near the off-road trails switched to cycling to work at a higher rate than people who don’t. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of U.S. bike commuters has increased 60 percent over the last 10 years. The shift to pedal power in Minneapolis has been even more pronounced: Bicycling among workers who live within three miles of the Greenway shot up 89 percent during the decade of data."

Read the rest here.
 

Houston VC firm opens in Ann Arbor

Somebody smells money. If there's one thing Texans don't fool around about it's football, oil and, of course, making money. To wit, Houston-based venture capital firm Mercury Fund has set up shop in The Deuce.

Excerpt:

"He said there is a depth of engineering, computer science and machine-learning talent in the area, bolstered by graduates of the University of Michigan. One of Mercury's main areas of investment is biotech, and there are numerous contract research organizations in Ann Arbor that were founded by former Pfizer Inc. employees after it closed its local operations in 2008."

Read the rest here.
 

NASA tests Ann Arbor firm's wing innovation

Flexfoil, a company that's no stranger to Concentrate, is having their flexible flap design flight tested by none other than NASA. How cool is that?

Excerpt:

"The flap design is a variable geometry airfoil system called FlexFoil, which was designed and built by Ann Arbor, Michigan-based FlexSys Inc. The FlexFoil has already been installed and the first flight-test has been completed on a Gulfstream III test airplane."


Read the rest here

Ann Arbor "Hackomotive" winner sell stake in mobile app

Ann Arborite Steve Schwartz is one third of a trio of entrepreneurs (one in Lansing, one in Seattle) who developed an app called Carcode, that connects customers and auto dealerships via text message. Success took less than a year.

Excerpt:

"Berkowitz would not disclose financial terms of the deal. But Gorton and his team said the transaction was “life-changing.” The group also declined to accept investment offers while launching Carcode, which allowed each of them to keep a larger ownership share."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor in top 10 for construction job growth

Look at all the giant cranes around town and it should be little surprise that Ann Arbor is a destination for construction employment. In this case we're seventh on the list.

Excerpt:

"In addition to being the home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is also number 7 on our list of top cities for job growth in construction. From August 2013 to August 2014, the Tree Town had a total construction job growth of 18.4 percent. Though job growth in construction is strong, the University of Michigan remains the city’s largest employer. The city is also a regional hub for technology, biotechnology, health services, research and manufacturing."

Read the rest of the list here.
 

Washtenaw County an early adopter of single point of entry homeless services

As financial support dwindles, nonprofits that are part of homeless service system are adopting new strategies to offer care. 

Excerpt:

"Here's how it works in Washtenaw: A nonprofit organization called Housing Access handles all visits from potential clients. A separate 24-7 hotline operated by the county's Salvation Army fields calls for services. Staff members then assign clients a vulnerability rating that determines what kind of services individuals receive.

Outside of a few exceptions, such as the domestic violence shelter, the organizations don't field calls directly from potential clients. By having just one agency screen potential clients, the system streamlines the intake process and ensures that all participating agencies receive the same data, making it easier for agencies to coordinate on getting clients a shelter bed."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor's Avegant raises $9+ million. Is this the future of video?

Could Glyph be the next generation in entertainment viewing? Some big investors are betting on that to be the case.

Excerpt:

"Glyph is based on technology developed by Dr. Allan Evans, a graduate of the University of Michigan, and relies on images that are generated from reflected light, which mimics how the human eye sees the world.

Each headset incorporates an array of tiny mirrors that reflect light onto the retina. Reflection creates images that are crisp, avoiding the pixelated effect of images on older televisions and on smartphones, for instance, when their screens are too close to the eye, the company said.

Video for Glyph is generated from a smartphone or other mobile device and connects to Glyph through an HDMI cable that Avegant provides."

Read the rest here.

 

Ann Arbor's secret auto lab

Shhhh. It's a secret. There's a lab in A2, the only Federal testing facility in the country, that determines what a car's m.p.g. rating really is. Or so the Freep tells us. There's no telling how many reporters they lost getting this information.

Excerpt:

"The MPG audits performed in Ann Arbor are increasingly important with several companies forced to restate inaccurate fuel economy figures. Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have had to revise their claims and some have sent compensation checks to owners.

The accuracy police at the EPA have changed some of their testing, now auditing more aspects of each vehicle as a result of the misleading stickers. And the lab in Ann Arbor, which is the only federal lab to do fuel testing, continues to expand its overall."

Read the rest here.

How cities can make smarter economic choices

Bruce Katz of the Brooking's Institute has some advice for metro regions… and points to San Diego as a city that 'gets it.'

Excerpt:

"We have 100 metropolitan areas that really power our economy forward. They all have really distinct economic profiles — what they make, the services they provide, what they trade, who they trade with. Buffalo is not like Boston. San Diego is not like Syracuse. In the great words of Dolly Parton: “find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Cities should invest in those things that will really power their distinct economy forward — in some places that might be an investment in a port or an airport.  Everywhere it will require an investment in skills but it needs to be really customized to the kind of economy you have.

Read the rest here.
 
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