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Life Sciences : Featured Stories

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Mark Smith at the future incubator site

A plan to make Ann Arbor Michigan's startup city

To establish a true startup culture, Ann Arbor needs more than just a SPARK. It needs incubator, research and co-working spaces that can accommodate a growing and wide variety of needs and disciplines. Mark Smith hopes to address that with his ambitious plan to build an entrepreneurial campus on the outskirts of the city.

OpEd: SBIR/STTR Funds Bridge the "Valley of Death" for Small Tech Companies

What comes first, the money or the product? Tech entrepreneurs are often caught in the catch-22 of needing funds to prove the worthiness of their products. BBCetc Managing Partner Lisa Kurek explains a real but often overlooked option.


OpEd: Minority/Women Tech Entrepreneurs: Don't Overlook Federal R&D Grant Money

Minorities and women have historically received only a slice of small-business funding, an economic reality that crimps today's diversified economy. Michael Kurek, partner at BBCetc, tells how these underrepresented groups can gain a more equitable share of available grant funding.


Our Post-Pfizer Economy

When Pfizer left Ann Arbor it was hard not to view the glass as half empty. Five years and 16 start-ups later, that perspective has started to reverse. And in many ways, the transition from one large company to many more entrepreneurial efforts is exactly what our community and state needs to establish a healthier long term economy.


Got Talent? A Conversation with Kurt Riegger

When it comes to building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, Kurt Riegger, COO of OcuSciences, argues that there's no lack of ideas or innovations in Ann Arbor. Talent with enough experience to execute on those ideas may be another question. Riegger has launched, funded, and advised 26 companies, and chats with Concentrate about what our community needs to succeed.


MI vs SF: The Art Of The Business Plan Competition

One excels at style. The other, substance. But when it comes to nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem, both matter. Jon Zemke attends Silicon Valley's quarterly Founder Showcase and our own annual business plan competition, Accelerate Michigan, and finds a clash of both cultures and community.


Basha Diagnostics Finds Major Success Competing Against Local Hospitals

Some residents in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County might feel comfortable going to their local hospitals for diagnostic check-ups. But since 1980, many patients have been comfortable taking an alternative route — getting their medical testing done by the top diagnostic company in the area, Basha Diagnostics, without having to step foot in a hospital.


Incubating Metro Detroit's Health Care Economy

Business incubators and accelerators are all the rage. Communities see them as a vital new tool in economic development. Southfield, in its attempt to capitalize on the region's growing reputation for medical excellence, is hoping to launch its first health care incubator.


The Re-Investors

With the successful exits of Esperion and Accuri, CEO's Roger Newton and Jen Baird could have taken the money and run. Instead, they're establishing new local ventures, reinvesting in Michigan's future, and helping to grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Ann Arbor: Targeted For Acquisition

As Ann Arbor evolves its stable of start-ups, acquisition will be the inevitable fate for more than a few. Last month Accuri Cytometers joined the list of successful exits. But how did it happen and what does it mean for the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem? Concentrate's Jon Zemke surveys the landscape.


Venture Partners: A Q&A with Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend

The small scale of Michigan's venture capital community means many ground-floor opportunities for investment. Bay Area boomerangs Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend of Resonant Venture Partners wax on the need for a new generation of VC investors and peek into the realm of "dirty tech".


Natural Intelligence

It's not quite artificial intelligence but it sure comes close. Named one of the ten "World Changing Ideas" of 2010 by Scientific American, swarm intelligence is a biology-inspired computer algorithm that's starting to see commercial application. And most of that development occurred here, in Ann Arbor area research labs.


Regenerating Our Economy With Stem Cells

Not only does stem cell research offer a lifeline to patients with life-threatening diseases, it may also provide an economic lifeline to Southeast Michigan by growing our life sciences industry.


The Girl With the Curl: A Q&A with Lisa Kurek

Lisa Kurek has the kind of can-do, grab life by the horns attitude that inspires (and fascinates) the people around her. She channels that same energy and outlook toward local entrepreneurs as the director of Biotechnology Business Consultants, helping them to achieve their full start-up potential. Concentrate gets her views on entrepreneurship, scoring seed capital, and government grants.
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