Ann Arbor SPARK will report on business growth and results of COVID-related grant activities at the annual meeting

ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor SPARK honored leading regional companies at its annual meeting and published its annual report.

The event included a fireside chat between John Tuttle, vice chairman and chief commercial officer of the New York Stock Exchange, and David Ruud, senior vice president and chief financial officer of DTE Energy.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s work in 2020 has continued to fuel the region’s economy through the growth and success of businesses and address the business needs and challenges in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The highlights include:

  • Business attraction and retention of 13 successful projects resulting in new investment commitments of $ 80 million and 700 jobs announced.

  • Support for 267 startups with more than 650 employees and support for 50 startups founded in the last year.

  • Distribution of $ 16M COVID-related grants to 2,600 business owners.

“When businesses in our community needed support, Ann Arbor brought together SPARK partners who were committed to raising local, state and federal funding quickly. We have advocated these critical resources across all levels of government and set up an online resource hub to provide businesses with the services and training needed to keep operations running in an unprecedented time, ”said Paul Krutko, President and CEO by Ann Arbor SPARK.


“At the same time, the SPARK team has continued its activities to help startups and established companies grow and to market our region to companies and job seekers alike. Our region’s economy is more resilient because of the efforts of SPARK, and we are grateful to our private, public and academic partners for joining us in this important work. “

Workit Health, the business services company of the year, had a banner year in 2020 and successfully closed a Series B funding round worth $ 12 million. Ann Arbor SPARK has supported the company since its inception in 2015. This includes spaces in the SPARK Central and SPARK East innovation centers, grants for marketing, legal and customer identification work, and hiring interns to expand the team’s skills.

Wacker Chemical, the business development project of the year, has laid the foundation stone for a new innovation center for the North and Central America region. The project will generate $ 50 million in investment in the community and the site will house more than 200 scientists, researchers and professionals – growth is expected over the next few years.


Wacker Chemical will open the doors to the new facility in 2021.

Legends Award winner Cynthia Wilbanks has been affiliated with Ann Arbor SPARK since its inception in 2005 – a manifestation of a longstanding commitment to fostering collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors to create economic opportunity in Ann Arbor and Michigan to advance.

In her leadership role at the University of Michigan, Cynthia was an advocate of finding ways to maximize the university’s impact on our regional economy, whether through growing UM technology startups, attracting new businesses to our area, connecting students and researchers to the jobs these companies create or to strategic projects like Mcity and the American Center for Mobility.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s annual meeting was made possible through support from sponsors including leading sponsors Comcast Business and DTE Energy Foundation.

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