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Ann Arbor SPARK celebrates region's economic progress, achievements at annual meeting

Annual Meeting
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At its annual meeting in May, Ann Arbor SPARK celebrated 11 years of making the Ann Arbor region an area of innovation. The event featured a keynote by University of Michigan President Dr. Mark S. Schlissel and a recap of economic development milestones from the last year.
“When we look at the bigger economic picture, the signs of our progress are undeniable,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “The creation of jobs and investment are clear indicators of growth, but the truly exciting story lies in our future potential. Collaboration around the American Center for Mobility puts us on the leading edge of automotive technology research and development. Regional business leaders have come together to imagine Ann Arbor in 2030 and are committed to making that vision a reality. Start-ups and established businesses alike have established roots and are growing in Ann Arbor, and SPARK will continue to support their growth.”

Ann Arbor SPARK’s work in 2015 continued to boost the region’s economy through business growth and success:
  • Business attraction and retention of 37 successful projects, resulting in $130 million in new investment commitments and 891 announced jobs
  • Assistance to 266 start-ups, and incubation of 77 start-up companies
Ann Arbor SPARK also presented its annual chair awards:

Entrepreneurial Services Company of the Year was awarded to Sakti3, which is developing advanced, all solid-state batteries to replace existing storage technology in a wide range of products. Recently acquired by Dyson, Sakti3 is committed to its workforce, and continues to expand in the Ann Arbor region. A video detailing Sakti3’s successes is online.

Volunteer Leader of the Year is Tim Marshall, president and CEO of Bank of Ann Arbor, who was a founding member of Ann Arbor SPARK and has been a constant source of strong leadership and guidance. His commitment to the Ann Arbor region’s growth has had a significant impact on our economy. A video detailing Tim’s volunteerism is online.

Project of the Year went to First Martin with winners including Google Ann Arbor, LLamasoft, McKinley and TD Ameritrade. The award celebrated First Martin’s development of the new Google campus on the north side of Ann Arbor, which opened up space downtown at McKinley Towne Centre for LLamasoft and TD Ameritrade. A video of the Project of the Year is online.

The Comcast Virtual Business Advisor Award was presented to George Pariseau, founder of Brainstream Creative, LLC. Pariseau used the Virtual Business Advisor to completely revamp his sales and marketing efforts, including forming a strategic partnership with one of his existing clients. A video highlighting Pariseau’s success with the Virtual Business Advisor is online.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s annual meeting was made possible through support from sponsors, including premier sponsor, Comcast Business.
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