What excites me most about the startup ecosystem in Michigan right now is the momentum that we are building. Not only does 2018 represent a significant milestone with Duo Security’s $2.35B exit, but we are also seeing an increasing number of exciting new companies that are being built in Michigan focused on disrupting very large and established markets.
When the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) announced their 2018 Up-and-Coming Company of the Year Nominees it was a great moment to step back and look at how diverse and exciting the ecosystem is becoming. Here are the four nominees as described by the MVCA nominating survey:
Blue Medora is a Grand Rapids-based software company founded by Nathan Owen and Carl B. Erickson and that provides monitoring integration software for application performance, cloud and database management platforms.
Clinc is an Ann Arbor-based IT company founded by Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang that offers a global conversational AI training platform deploying the next generation of natural language processing and deep learning technology for enterprises.
May Mobility is an Ann Arbor-based mobility company founded by Edwin Olson, Alisyn Malek and Steve Vozar that unlocks a better life today with self-driving transportation.
Strata Oncology is an Ann Arbor-based life sciences company founded by Dan Rhodes, Scott Tomlins and Keith Flaherty that is transforming cancer care by systematizing precision oncology across a large network of health systems and pharma companies.
Full disclosure, eLab was the first institutional investor in 3 out of 4 of these companies and 3 out of 4 of these company’s founders participated in eLab Insights 3-day retreat focused on finding solutions to big problems prior to launching their companies.
Each of these companies are building world class teams and aggressively chasing really big problems. And, perhaps more importantly, they are leveraging the growing entrepreneurial talent in Michigan and importing talent from other industries and geographies.
Congratulations to all the nominees not just for being nominated but for all of the hard work that has led to the success you have already achieved! We look forward to learning the results at the 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018!