Although we're hesitant to toot our own horn, it always feels nice when someone toots it on your behalf. Below are some favorable feedback and comments we've received about the region, state and Ann Arbor USA. We'd love to hear from you, so please join the band! Email us at Feedback@AnnArborUSA.org.
Inaki and I would like to thank you very much for the great support that you provided in helping us with the meetings. These are the kind of things that make Ann Arbor SPARK so special and differentiate you from others.
– Juan Carlos Ortiz, president, Aernnova Engineering US
I am pleased to let you know that today I started a new job. I hope to be seeing you all in the near future at a Shifting Gears networking meeting. However, I wish to say thank you to one and all for your support, suggestions, and assistance throughout this process.
– Rodney Keteyian
I wanted to personally thank you for being such a tremendous resource to the Alumni Association. I really appreciate what you’re doing for the community and wish you continued success.
– Dave Schueler, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor SPARK is consistently providing opportunities for matching great talent with great companies. I personally thank you and the team at Ann Arbor SPARK for the mission of this great organization. It has made a huge and permanent difference for me. I wish you continued success!
– Doug Edwards
I am genuinely impressed with the SPARK staff – the best support I ever had. Ever.
– Tim Stephens
Thanks for all the support that Ann Arbor SPARK extended in getting our MEGA approval. It has been a pleasure working with your team. We are quite excited about the opportunity to build this team out. You have assembled a great team and I could see this paying off in a big way during your pursuit to attract good companies.
– Varma Kunaparaju, CTO & VP, Engineering, NetEnich, Inc.
Thank you for your uplifting emails over the months since I left Pfizer. Happily, I have accepted a position at U of M and no longer need to be on your distribution lists.
– Cindy Norton
I attended the Career Catalyst Workshop and wanted to say “thank you” for a very worthwhile workshop with some very interesting and qualified panelists. Although I have been job seeking for some time now and have attended other workshops, the featured speakers provided information that I have heard before (and appreciated hearing again as they are the basics for job seeking), but they also provided insight into some new areas for me to consider and practice to assist in my search.
– Kathy Craig
On behalf of our team at Sakti3, I’m writing to thank you sincerely for your support of our efforts over the last few months. In space acquisition, marketing plan assistance, equipment and OSHA certification, assistance in filing for MEGA status, and management of public relations. Ann Arbor SPARK has stood ready to help us with details small and large. SPARK’s team has the combination of skills that any new business needs, but can’t hire in yet: you’ve made us larger and more effective than we could have possibly been, without your help. … There is simply no better place than Michigan to accomplish this transformation. … We are deeply grateful for the help and enthusiasm of your team, in assisting us as we try to achieve our goals.
– Ann Marie Sastry, CEO, Sakti3
It is clear that Ann Arbor SPARK is doing good work in the region to support and grow businesses. SPARK’s open-source approach to information sharing, coupled with its commitment to both the Ann Arbor region and State of Michigan has had a positive impact on many companies and individuals, and I thank you for all you have done to further these efforts.
– John D. Cherry, Jr., Lieutenant Governor, State of Michigan
On behalf of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber and the Ann Arbor Inter-city visit attendees, I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with us about SPARK. You gave a wonderful, well-prepared presentation that has generated helpful conversation back here in North Carolina. It is clear that you have done a masterful job with SPARK and we wish you continued success.
– Adam Klein
The funding we received from MEDC was critical for the success of the company. Now the funding SPARK is providing will fill the gap that was left by direct funding from MEDC.
– Prasad Sunkara, Ph.D., CEO, Innova Therapeutics, Inc.
This team of people has taken our business concept to a whole new level of professionalism and given us the confidence we need to proceed. We are so appreciative. I have been recounting my experience to my considerable Ann Arbor network. You have assembled a set of amazing programs, and I am grateful to be a recipient of some of them.
– Jane Spinner
Thank you for creating and sending out the wonderful promo piece on Complicite. We love being your partner once again, as we were with the Royal Shakespeare Company two years ago, on bringing a distinctive arts presentation to our community. That SPARK understands how closely linked arts and culture are to the economic vitality of the Ann Arbor area – and is willing to send out this kind of message to your community – is greatly appreciated by all of us at UMS.
– Ken Fischer, president, University of Michigan, University Musical Society
Team - Thank you for your great team work and support throughout the MEGA process. Without your help, guidance, encouragement and promptness, it would not have been possible. You helped us every step of the way. It is great to see the partnership that SPARK and MEDC have built with each other. You took such a great care of us. It is very exciting to be part of this community.
– Bhushan Kulkarni, president and CEO, GDI Infotech (Sent to SPARK & MEDC)
We are happy to let you know that we have a signed letter of intent from one of the candidates to accept the position. Thank you again for your help! This is a case of keeping talent in Michigan as he had an offer to move to New York and chose to stay in Michigan to work with us at Coy.
– Karen Studer-Rableer, Coy Laboratory Products
I’m writing to thank you for the help SPARK provided to PTC as we applied for a tax rebate related to our upcoming office move to Pittsfield Township. You were very helpful showing us the way. Under your leadership I’m seeing real action both at the nitty gritty level, such as with our tax rebate application, and at the community level with yur work to fill the Pfizer hole and attract new business to Ann Arbor. You are making a real difference.
– Jim Sterken, Head of R&D, Chief Technology Officer, Parametric Technology Corporation
I wanted to thank Ann Arbor SPARK for continuing to host events that have been of extreme value to my professional career. One month ago, I started a position at uRefer.com. It was at one of your Hot Shots meetings that this opportunity was created. The educational value of SPARK has far exceeded my original expectations through your networking opportunities and speaking engagements. I look forward to attending future events to stay abreast with the up and coming businesses of southeast Michigan.
– Joseph Venuto, account manager, uRefer
SPARK has been most helpful to both Genetics Squared and Armune BioScience in its Phase III Pfizer equipment awards. A big thank you to SPARK for your support of both companies.
– James Arthurs, VP, Genetics Squared and Armune BioScience, Inc.
I was pleasantly surprised with your Hot Shots networking event. It actually works! I am very confident recommending SPARK as a valuable career research opportunity. Thanks for all your hard work. Groups like yours that create a new spin on opportunities make a real difference.
– Kathy Pohutsky, Job Seekers Network
I wanted to thank you for all the great resources you have provided me. When I came to the business Boot Camp a few months ago, I really did not know what to expect. I was able to connect with a lot of business professionals in the area.
– Joe Koss, director of operations, College Voyage LLC
Thank you for the service you offer and the value it brings to the area. Participating in both your job posting system and career networking events, we quickly identified a group of better talent and I am delighted to inform you one of the candidates brought to us through you has now started with us. Thanks again for a great service and when we next need to recruit, I am going to mine your talent pool.
– Michael Potts, president, Ultraseal America Inc.
I wanted to thank you for your talk today at the EMU student center. I found it to be informative and motivational. Having recently moved to this side of Michigan, and beginning graduate school, it has been a bit overwhelming learning where to go with our business for this summer. It is very exciting to learn of your organization today and the many services you offer local business and entrepreneurs. I think your organization is an excellent addition to the Ann Arbor community, and I wish you and SPARK success in your goals. I can’t wait to learn more.
– Jason Windes
Congratulations upon receiving the award for Outstanding Diversification Achievement by an Urban Community Economic Development Partner. It is an honor to present this award to Ann Arbor SPARK. Thank you for the contribution you are making to Michigan by growing your business here and creating new job opportunities for our citizens.
– Jennifer M. Granholm, governor, State of Michigan; James C. Epolito, president and CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Matthew P. Cullen, Chair, MEDC Executive Committee
Posting the SoloHill lab tech opening on the SPARK website has been a knockout! We’ve received 12 resumes so far. Applicants vary from a college senior about to graduate to a PhD with 20 years experience. Thanks for the support of SPARK.
– Dave Solomon, chairman, SoloHill Engineering, Inc.
It's been a pleasure being in touch and beginning a relationship with SPARK. The BA Program has been instrumental in preparing the Eastern Micro Loan Fund Application, which I submitted on behalf of Ergun Technology, LLC yesterday. I believe this Micro Loan will make a leap forward to implementing our revolutionary Point of Sale (POS) system in local coffee shops for beta testing and moving closer to commercialization on a State-wide level. The guidance, counsel, and support I have received thus far have been critical to Ergun Technology LLC in these early stages of the Company, and we are blessed to have SPARK in the area to assist in these matters. Thank you for all your help and support!
– Verdi Erel Ergün, MBA Scholar, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Thanks, Elizabeth, and the whole SPARK team! We really appreciate your efforts to get Buycentives some great 'ink' at this critical time. We're very close to closing client #1, and we will be sure to share that info with you. Thanks again.
– Dave, Buycentives
We just received 2 year Phase II SBIR (730k) from the Army for lightweight armor development based on our NanoMag technology to assist our start up finances. Kurt Riegger is still working with us on market development and seeking outside investors. We are still using two mentors from the BOOT CAMP on a part time consulting basis as well. Looking back on BOOT CAMP; we cannot properly measure the positive boost we received from participating in the program. We are going after some government appropriations to assist the Army work. Congressional staff asked if we were working with any local support. We put SPARK on the top of that list so you may get a reference call asking about our past involvement in SPARK. Best regards and keep up the good work.
– Steve LeBeau, Thixomat Inc
Great! We love being on the SPARK newsletter! Most of our participants come from your newsletter.
– Helen Ledgard, Business Development and General Counsel, Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living
I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to meet with the resource panel this past Tuesday. I found it informative and supportive. It was an experience that intensified my satisfaction in being a tenant at SPARK East.
– Mr. Tony Dixon, Managing Partner, Dark Elf Entertainment & Media, Inc.
I tried to plug SPARK as much as possible, to express how important you’ve all been to my efforts, especially Scott. A portion made it into the article, but I wanted to further express my sincere gratitude for all your guidance and support. As Scott can certainly attest, I have a lot of irons in the fire, but I need a lot of help creating the proper business plan and structure to bring these new ideas and technologies to commercial fruition. I have a long way to go, but you have helped me immensely and I very much appreciate our relationship. I look forward to continued success together. Please do not hesitate to let me know how my successes can be amplified to express how SPARK can benefit new start-ups in our community.
– John, Nanosystems Inc.
On behalf of AlphaCore, I would like to thank SPARK (especially those we worked with) for giving us the start we needed. The last year at Traverwood allowed us to grow into a true place of business, and I know it would have been very difficult to have all those resources available to us anywhere else. As we move on, please don’t hesitate to call on us if we can help you help others (including IACUC if bodies are needed). Take care.
– Bruce J. Auerbach, President, AlphaCore Pharma
Some of you have already heard, but for those that haven't...I was offered and accepted a position with Adaptive Materials Inc. Today was my first day. I will be leading a team responsible for the Electronics, Controls, and Software. A huge thank you to everyone who helped me get to this day. Shifting Gears worked as intended. And as I think about it, there was no single element of the program, but many working together that helped get me to this new beginning: the networking opportunities, the various opportunities for personal growth, the inside view of the small business world, and an awesome mentor in David Bloom. And for those of you still looking, but perhaps pondering opportunities out of state, maybe this will suggest that it's possible to find excellent opportunities here in Michigan. As most of you know, I was close to taking a position out of state a couple of months ago. Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't.
We moved into MLSIC last week and are pleased to be here. We value the upgrade in space/amenities and the facility will present well to our clients. We are optimistic this will be an excellent base for us to expand our business! We also began the process of opening our GMP clinical supplies facility in Kalamazoo last week. We have already walked a number of potential clients through this space. A pickup in activity in Kalamazoo will lead to increased work in Plymouth (and vice-versa). Thanks for all your support!
– Gerry Cox, Chief Operating Officer, Velesco Pharmaceutical Services, LLC
I want to congratulate my fellow Shifting Gears participants for successfully completing 1st Gear and this week's Small Business Simulation. For me this was a fantastic educational exercise. Special thanks to our facilitators and the team of observers, each of whom added unique value to the experience. Thanks to Diana, Barb and SPARK for creating Shifting Gears. And to our mentors and all those who have given so generously of their time in support. Good luck to my S.G. colleagues in their internships. I expect that all those with whom you come in contact during this time will recognize the outstanding qualities that each of you possess and the value that you bring to our local community. I hope that you will grow in self-awareness, confidence and ability to "sell" yourselves into the small business environment, if that remains your purpose and objective.
At the urging of a neighbor I attended the "Mix and Mingle" on the 2nd, I expected a good opportunity to daydream. Although I have read about A2 SPARK I didn't think much of it, just another news item, after attending I was both very impressed by the format of the meeting and the concept of A2 SPARK. I actually grabbed a few contacts and plan to follow up. My thanks on being a part of this and I'll be back for more meetings. Many Thanks again!
– Phil Hemenway
I just wanted to thank you for featuring Young Professional Connection monthly events in your weekly SPARK newsletter. We've been seeing new members cause of it. If there's anything I can do to help return the favor to SPARK please let me know.
Thank you, Ann Arbor SPARK, for your tireless promotion of entrepreneurial businesses in Washtenaw County and for providing a great recruiting clearinghouse!
Thank you for all that you do. We are excited about Accuri’s future – and are really glad that you are part of helping us build it!
– Jennifer A. Baird, President & CEO, Accuri Cytometers, Inc.
SPARK has provided invaluable assistance and guidance the past year and a half, and now as well, as I continue figuring out how to best position this project and keep everything moving forward. You have one outstanding team.
Thank you all for doing the boot camp. I imagine it was quite a lot of hard work. It came off extremely well in terms of logistics. All the presenters were interesting and informative. The mentors who worked with us were mixed in terms of their effectivenss, but overall the good strongly outweighed the less good. Networking with cohorts, and viewing their pitches, helped give us perspective on where we are. Bill and I came in uncertain how to proceed, but now have a much stronger sense of direction. All in all, it was an intense experience that will stick with us forever. Thanks again.
– Jeff Holtzman
Just wanted to convey my appreciation for all the help and support you were to me and my responsibilities with our TechKnow Forum. As I am sure you know you have a great team and I know that their positive enthusiastic support and hard work were essential to making it happen. Thanks again.
Thanks for all the support that Ann Arbor SPARK extended in getting our MEGA approval. It has been a pleasure working with your team. We are quite excited about the opportunity to build this team out. We made some great progress with our early team already for this location and as we speak offers are getting made to hire. You have assembled a remarkable team and I could see this paying off in a big way during your pursuit to attract good companies.
– Varma Kunaparaju, CTO & Vice President, Engineering, NetEnich Inc
I started going through the lectures associated with the Cantillon training and found them to be extremely helpful. Many thanks.
Ann Arbor SPARK has been a big element in getting us to this point, and we look forward to moving ahead, with you and our other partners. Please know that we value your help very much, and stand ready to return the help, as best we're able, in creating the infrastructure around the electrified drivetrain in our region. Best Wishes.
– Ann Marie
I just wanted to let you know that I completed the module on executive summary.....it was simply spectacular! I really enjoyed the module and came out of it learning a lot. I also completed the test at the end and got 7 out of 8 questions correct!
"Thank You" for all of your hard work and efforts that went into planning the Starting Your Own Business Seminar. I was amazed at how much information I was able to come away with. Thank you.
– Virginia Kingsley
Thank you and your team for the service you offer and the value it brings to the area. We ran ads on Monster and were disappointed with the caliber of candidates. Participating in both your job posting system and career networking events we quickly identified a group of better talent and I am delighted to inform you one of the candidates brought to us through you has now started with us.
In the search to find a new leader for our niche, Ann Arbor business we needed a multi talented individual with Automotive sales and business experience based locally. The transition from a big company environment to a smaller niche operation always sounds easy but the reality can be a challenge. What I particularly liked was through your Talent pool candidates are seeking local 'entrepreneurial' opportunities and these were exactly the people we needed.
I had a blast at the Boot Camp last week. It attacked exactly what we needed. I think it was more beneficial than I can even comprehend. I am excited to polish a presentation and see you soon!
– Robert Dahm
Now that I finally have a chance to come up for air after my end of the semester/holiday rush, I just wanted to take a second to say thanks for all of the help you gave me in my job hunt. Thanks to your effort following our discussion in September, I had the chance to interview with SRT Solutions which ultimately led to the job offer that I ended up accepting. Without your help, who knows where my job hunt would have led me, but it's quite possible that it wouldn't have been a job in the Ann Arbor area (I turned down an offer from Microsoft to stay local). Anyway, like I said, I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate all your help. I definitely support people staying in Michigan/Ann Arbor after college, so if you ever need help with anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Once again, thank you *very* much, and have a safe and happy New Years.
Your help in this effort is enormously important to us and we hope that bringing presentations like this on a consistent basis to Ann Arbor --as we have for 130 years--will help you attract the kind of creative, energetic and innovative companies that we need for our economic resurgence. We live in a great town in a great state, with the finest in arts, education and entrepreneurship. With great partners like you, we will continue to work together to make the future something that we will look forward to with excitement and pride. I hope I have a chance to see you on opening night to express my personal thanks to all of you for your help.
We would like to send a thank you note to those who ran the Pfizer equipment program as all of us are benefiting from it. Shamar has been excellent at his job, helped us identify equipment, and also help carry the equipment. He never complained and has gone beyond his duties to help small Companies. We hope there were more Shamars in every program. Thanks again to all of you.
– Nalini Motwani, Ph.D, President, ApoLife, Inc.
I still like to help people out, and one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to sign up for Ann Arbor SPARK's weekly job postings newsletter.
– Nathan Bomey, Michigan Business Review
Yes we did, maybe 4 out of the 5 that we interviewed came from SPARK including the one that we are making an offer to. I received over 70 applications; I’d say that a third probably came from you guys. Thanks!!
– Courtney Erickson, Recruiting Coordinator/Accounting Associate, Xoran Technologies
I just wanted to drop you a quick note of appreciation for Mr. Shamar Herron. We have had several interactions with Mr. Herron at the pickup site for the MIED equipment from the Pfizer donation. He is perfect in every regard. He understands the science and the uses of the equipment, he is always helpful lending both intellectual and muscle power and exhibits a cheerful disposition. So please give our warmest thanks to Shamar, and know that you are lucky to have him working with SPARK. I would also like to pass along our thanks to your entire organization as this project has been very helpful getting us up and going. We are looking forward to working more with you in the future.
– George Chisa, President Simplix, Oakland Genetics