SPARK East Opening Expands Ann Arbor SPARK Regional Incubator Network

Thu Mar 5, 2009 3:23pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Ann Arbor SPARK, the driving
force of regional business attraction, retention and growth, recently opened
SPARK East, the third business incubator in its Regional Incubator Network.
Located at 215 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, SPARK East offers affordable
office space, and critical start-up services, to new businesses.
    "SPARK East represents not only the commitment to broadening the footprint
of our region's technology hub, it represents a commitment to growing our
region's start-up businesses," said Michael A. Finney, CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.
"Businesses thrive in incubator space that meets infrastructure needs, like
Internet and logistics, as well as growth needs, like expert support and
access to resources.  SPARK East blends affordable office space, essential
business services and business development guidance."
    Two conference rooms, utilities and convenient parking are included in an
entrepreneur's SPARK East lease, ranging from 1 month to 1-year commitments.
Additional resources are VoIP phone system, T-1 Internet connections as well
as use of copiers, fax machines, and cleaning services.
    In addition to physical space, SPARK East offers essential business
services.  To support talent needs, SPARK East offers free job postings and
inclusion in Ann Arbor SPARK's weekly jobs newsletter as well as dedicated
recruiting staff to source and screen candidates for job openings.
    SPARK East also offers the unique SPARK East Entrepreneur Resource Board
(SEERB), and expert team in a range of critical start-up services, including
banking, finance, marketing, sales, human resources and logistics.  At monthly
SEERB meetings, each tenant at SPARK East will have the opportunity to provide
a 5-minute report followed by 10 minutes of suggestions and feedback from the
ERB.  Additionally, SEERB members will host "Expert Office Hours" coffee chats
for incubator tenants.
    SPARK East tenants will receive free admittance to the "Entrepreneur
Education 1.0: Launch" and "Entrepreneur Education 2.0: Growth" program
series.  They will also be included in the Ann Arbor SPARK Power Lunch series,
and receive preferred status for Mingle & Match talent events.
    Currently, LaVision, SENSI Change Associates, Brainstorm Creative and
Smart Dining occupy SPARK East.  Lease applications for SPARK East are
available at http://www.annarborspark.org/start-ups/spark-incubator/#east.
For a tour of SPARK East, contact Shamar Herron at shamar@annarborusa.org or
734-527-9171.
    About Ann Arbor SPARK
    Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization representing all communities in
the Washtenaw County, is the driving force establishing the Ann Arbor region
as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location.  Ann Arbor
SPARK identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from startups
to large organizations.  Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic,
government, and community investor partners including the University of
Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, the Herbert and Grace Dow Foundation,
Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, the Bank of Ann Arbor and the
Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  For more information, please call
(734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborSPARK.org.
    About the Ann Arbor SPARK Regional Incubator Network
    The Ann Arbor SPARK Regional Incubator Network is comprised of two
business and one wet lab incubator. The incubators provide physical space,
essential business services and business development guidance -- at lease
rates that are affordable for start-up companies. Ann Arbor SPARK Regional
Incubator Network includes SPARK Central Incubator located in Ann Arbor,
Mich., SPARK East Incubator located in Ypsilanti, Mich., and The Michigan Life
Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth, Mich.  For more information, visit
http://www.annarborspark.org/start-ups/spark-incubator.
SOURCE  Ann Arbor SPARK

Elizabeth Parkinson, Ann Arbor SPARK, Office: +1-734-821-0070, Cell:
+1-734-330-1383, elizabeth@annarborspark.org
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