In July, five early-stage businesses from Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties received $275,000 in funding in the inaugural round of awards from the Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, Powered by JPMorgan Chase. Receiving $25,000 grants were AQUASIGHT, Rochester Hills, for a real-time intelligence solution for water pumping systems to identify performance issues; GAP Quality Systems, Southfield, for an automated process for inspecting chrome-plated and high-gloss painted parts; and KTISIS, Sterling Heights, for a composite container system to enable fleet vehicles to use either compressed natural gas or liquefied gas. Receiving $100,000 awards were Ann Arbor companies MyFab5, for an online marketing platform that streamlines social media marketing for restaurants, and TurtleCell, a maker of a thin-profile smartphone case with retractable headphones.
The Innovation Fund is a $2.7 million effort to stimulate economic development and job growth among promising entrepreneurs and next-stage companies with high-growth potential in the nine-county southeast Michigan region. It provides capital to entrepreneurs when it’s needed most, bridging between the pivotal time between “family and friends” funding and the ability to attract mainstream financial investor funding. Entrepreneurs involved in high-growth technology focused businesses, such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, alternative energy, healthcare, logistics and supply chain are eligible to apply. Companies funded by the Innovation Fund are required to provide internships or learning experiences for Macomb Community College students. Applications for the Innovation Fund’s third round of funding are being accepted and are due by Nov. 20. For more information about the Innovation Fund or to apply, go to www.macomb.edu/cie.