Tech Trend: Ann Arbor’s upward trajectory

Funding is trending up in key Flyover Cities, a testament to the intentional innovation development in the region.

One of those cities is Ann Arbor, more specifically Washtenaw County, which is home to the sprawling University of Michigan. As the home to nearly half of all high-growth tech companies in Michigan, Washtenaw County boasts a large concentration of tech talent and research that has led to a strong community of entrepreneurs and early-stage investors.

According to EntryPoint’s 2021 Ann Arbor Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, the Ann Arbor region, which is consistently ranked among the best places to live and work in the country, has built a strong foundation of talent, research, and capital that supports nearly half of all startup companies in Michigan. Of the 69 venture-backed startups in Washtenaw County, 54% are information technology companies and 34% are life science / healthcare companies.

“Ann Arbor’s density of talent, research, capital, and community greatly contribute to the region’s ability to build a strong and resilient high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem,” according to Emily Heintz, founder and managing director of EntryPoint. “Startups such as Censys, Mi Padrino, and SkySpecs successfully navigated the challenges of the past year while attracting record-breaking amounts of venture capital investment, paving the way for continued growth and success.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Forty-six percent of the startup companies in Michigan are located in the Ann Arbor area.
  • In the last year, 43 startup companies in the overall Ann Arbor area attracted more than $215 million from venture capital firms, a record for the region.
  • Over the last seven years, there have been 69 venture-backed startups in Washtenaw County alone.

Wins from this year already include San Francisco-based software company ADASTEC moving its headquarters to Ann Arbor; the opening of KLA Corp.’s $200 million headquarters in the city; and a $20 million funding round for genomic testing software company Genomenon.

As the community moves forward together, Ann Arbor has the foundation and fortitude to sustain its upward trajectory.