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Macomb Innovation Fund awards $125,000 to two Detroit-area technology startups

– Tuesday, May 30, 2017 12:00AM

Since 2015, 29 companies have received a total of $1.6 million

Two early-stage companies from Oakland County will receive $125,000 in funding from the Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, Powered by JPMorgan Chase & Co.  Since July 2015, the Macomb Innovation Fund has awarded $1.6 million to 29 companies.

The Innovation Fund is a $2.7 million effort to stimulate economic development and job growth among promising Detroit-area entrepreneurs and next-stage companies with high-growth potential. Funding is provided by Macomb Community College’s Strategic Fund and JPMorgan Chase, as part of the company’s $150 million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery. The unique initiative provides mentoring and capital to early-stage businesses, as well as learning opportunities for Macomb Community College’s students.

“Encouraging, stimulating and supporting innovation is an important facet of creating and sustaining economic vibrancy,” said James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College.  “The Macomb Innovation Fund is not only helping to fill a gap in support for startups, but is also directly connecting Macomb Community College students with distinctive learning experiences to foster their capacity to innovate.”

Munetrix (Auburn Hills/ Oakland County) will receive a $100,000 award, which is designed to advance the progress of emerging companies toward larger-scale funding. The company must provide matching funding and commit to paying back the award.  Munetrix is a data science and advisory firm that provides analytics, planning, transparency and compliance tools for state and local governments, and school districts. The cloud-based platform is designed to help public institutions better understand and communicate their financials with stakeholders and plan using predictive analysis. 

Skypersonic (Rochester/ Oakland County) will receive a $25,000 award, which is designed to support early-stage businesses taking the initial steps in market introduction. The company develops drones for indoor applications that can be used for commerical, industrial, agricultural and civil applications. The technology is based on the original concept of autonomous vehicles. The drone's propeller apparatus is enclosed and proteced by an external casing, and it has multiple operating modes including flying, rolling and traveling on ground.

“Investing in small businesses is essential for creating a vibrant local economy in Detroit,” said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. “Together with Macomb Community College, JPMorgan Chase is excited to lend ongoing support for the innovative entrepreneurs creating jobs and economic opportunity at such an important time.” 

The two companies awarded funding were selected from a field of 17 qualified applicants. Each went through a two-stage process, pitching first to a screening committee. The highest-rated companies moved on to a selection committee comprised of area professionals with experience in business management, finance, law, manufacturing and technology, who make award recommendations.

To be eligible for the Innovation Fund, companies must locate within a nine-county region consisting of Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw or Wayne counties.  Information about the application process is available at www.macomb.edu/cie.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to more than 44,000 students annually. Macomb grants the largest number of associate degrees in Michigan and nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor-degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: Jeanne Nicol, 586.445.7204, nicolj@macomb.edu