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Ex-HandyLab exec launches own startup, PlanReaction

When BD acquired HandyLab in 2009, Michael Kaye was in the thick of it, serving as the Ann Arbor-based startup’s chief engineer. So much so that a number of HandyLab executives advised him to start his own firm.

The Ann Arbor resident liked the idea but was much more familiar with engineering that running a business. So Kaye bumped around Ann Arbor SPARK's Central Incubator in downtown Ann Arbor for a few years after the HandyLab acquisition figuring out what the best startup would be for him. The result is PlanReaction, a software platform that automatically generates building floor plans and furniture layouts.

"I used to say I have no business being in a business because I have no business background," Kaye says. "I jokingly refer to my business as a multi-hundred-dollar company."

Those characterization no longer apply. PlanReaction made the semifinals of this year's Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and then won the business-plan competition's IT award and the $25,000 in seed capital that came with it. Kaye credits the competition with giving him the basic tools to pitch his startup, such as a pitch deck and a tighter business plan.

PlanReaction is developing software that help completes the initial design phase of building out commercial real estate spaces. Think generating floor plans and designs for office spaces. PlanReaction streamlines the process of bringing those plans to reality. Kaye has finished the initial development of the software and is looking for a software developer to put the finishing touches on the program.

"I am looking to expand right away," Kaye says. "I am looking to bring on a developer so we can produce a minimum-viable product so we can get to the pilot stage."

Source: Michael Kaye, founder & CEO of PlanReaction
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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Related Company

  • PlanReaction
    330 E Liberty St
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Website
    PlanReaction is developing software that creates a new way of modeling and visualizing space in commercial property. It is based in Ann Arbor SPARK's Central Incubator.