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Tech & Entrepreneurship

A HUB FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Traverse City was recently listed as fourth on the list of ‘Most Popular Micropolitan Areas (Small Cities) for Startups.’ Investors, such as the Northern Michigan Angels and Boomerang Catapult, have now injected about $15 million collectively into 50+ local startups. A supportive entrepreneurial environment, combined with a commercial airport (ranked 3rd for most economic impact in the state of Michigan) with more than 17 direct flights linking the region to major markets, expansion of our gig fiber network, and the designation of a Qualified Opportunity Zone, gives Traverse City the assets to make it especially attractive for talent working in technology and entrepreneurship.

Traverse City ranks in top 4% of Economic Strength Rankings for Micropolitan Areas in 2022

A GREAT PLACE TO INNOVATE

Tech Career Hub

20Fathoms offers learning, networking, and career growth opportunities for tech professionals at all stages of their careers. The workshops, professional development courses, and career guidance resources are provided by local employers and tech experts.

TCNewTech

TCNewTech is the Grand Traverse Region’s monthly pitch event, attracting 300+ attendees to connect and talk specifically about technology and entrepreneurship—an audience larger than any technology meetup in the state of Michigan.

20Fathoms

20Fathoms is a membership organization for the region’s entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators. To date $75 million has been raised by 20Fathoms startups and 140 jobs have been created.

tccodes

Programmer, Software Developer, Computer Engineer – it does not matter what your title is or whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started, coding is dynamic and staying relevant can be a challenge. The tccodes learning community is here to help. Their goal is to deliver highly interactive events led by local experts creating expertise, mentorship opportunities, and career development.

Boom Town: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Sets TC’s New Trajectory – TRAVERSE CITY BUSINESS NEWS

Traverse City’s natural beauty and quality of life have made it a multi-season destination for years. Recently, though, the area’s entrepreneurship support network and access to capital have made it a hotspot for innovation and growth.

The Center on Rural Innovation created the Rural Edge video series to highlight the people who are changing the narrative about what’s possible in rural America. Watch the video about Traverse City and meet the change agents and innovators who call it home.

Michigan : The State of Tech & Manufacturing Innovation– MICHIGAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

A GREAT PLACE TO start a business

$9M+ INVESTMENTS
BOOMERANG CATAPULT
40+ PORTFOLIO COMPANIES
Northern Michigan Angels
incubate at
20fathoms
pitch at
TCNewTECH

Access to Capital?

Don’t let the ‘rural’ put you off. One of our own homegrown companies ATLAS Space Operations is headquartered right here in Traverse City, and can boast to be one of Revolution’s portfolio companies. Check out theses sources of funding for small businesses and startups growing in Northern Michigan.

Local Capital: Angel Investors Empower Entrepreneurs

Starting Up?

Looking to develop your early-stage business? Just starting out with an idea with grand plans to scale? There are plenty of local resources available to you when venturing out into the field of entrepreneurship.

Building Momentum: Innovation & Technology in the Grand Traverse Region

Ready to Scale?

Are you ready to grow your business? Check out the many local resources available to help take your business to the next level:

Fun Fact! Did you know you that the Traverse Area District Library offers patrons access to 3D printing technology? Want to print a prototype? Just Click Here!

MEET FIRSTIGNITE

FirstIgnite, a northern Michigan-based startup connecting companies, consultants, and investors with global academic experts and university research, won the 2022 Scale Up North Emerging Business Award.

8 Dreamy Beach Towns for Entrepreneurs ” – LivAbility

A Local Entrepreneur, Doing Business Globally

Ken Davies, and his family moved to Traverse City in 2017. When the 20Fathoms startup incubator and coworking space opened in 2018, Ken was the first to move in. Still working remotely for Microsoft, Ken began to think more seriously about starting his own company.

“I knew what I wanted to do but working at 20Fathoms gave me more confidence to actually do it. I was surrounded by other entrepreneurs who took the risk and they survived… I talked to Casey Cowell [Founder and Principal of Traverse City investment firm Boomerang Catapult], and he said, ‘You should do it.’ I upgraded to a private office at 20Fathoms and got started on Birch. Boomerang Catapult’s investment gave us additional confidence and allowed us to start hiring in Traverse City… We’re planning for continued growth, including here in Traverse City.” ~ Ken Davies, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Birch Infrastructure

Birch Infrastructure is a member-owned, public benefit company delivering renewable, carbon-free power.

Ken Davies

A CULTURE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Traverse City has a history and legacy of building great businesses. Its diverse local economy has seen many transitions over time, originating in the 1850’s with the start of the Sawmill at the mouth of the Boardman River. In the 1950’s John Parson and Frank Stulen patented the first CNC – or Computerized Numerical Control – technology right here in Traverse City. In 1985 they were awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Reagan for automated machine manufacturing, the same year that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple received the medal.

Meanwhile, Michigan Technological University’s research hub in Traverse City offers a TechMBA program, and Traverse City’s own Northwestern Michigan College offers a range of innovative programs, all adding to the talent pool of entrepreneurs. The Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, is advancing the blue economy in northern Michigan by placing Traverse City on the map as a destination for freshwater innovation.


The Traverse City Downtown District is a unique location that brings together many of the most attractive aspects of both urban and rural locations, namely population density and commercial activity in close proximity to quality recreation and the natural environment.

Start or grow your business in fast growing, year-round economic hub, rich in commercial, cultural, and recreational amenities.


SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL TECH COMPANIES

Girls Rule the World

This episode of our Michigan’s Creative Coast Podcast features Katie Horvath, CEO of big data company Naveego (now Aunalytics). It tells the story of how Katie grew up wanting to take on the world and became the first female CEO of a big data company, which started up in Traverse City.

MEET YOUR NORTHERN NAVIGATORS

MEG ZAMMIT

Hi, I’m Meg. I have lived in Traverse City for almost 20 years via way of Detroit and Melbourne, Australia. Helping people move here is a passion of mine because I know firsthand how easy it is to fall in love with our area.

WHEN CONSIDERING A MOVE TO OUR AREA CONSIDER WHAT THE LIFESTYLE WILL BE. ANY LOCATION YOU TO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN HAS ITS OWN SET OF CHALLENGES, BUT IF YOUR PASSIONS AND HOBBIES ARE MET (SKIING, HIKING, SWIMMING IN FRESHWATER, ESCAPING BIG CITY LIFE ETC.) THEN TACKLING THESE CHALLENGES IS WORTH EVERY SECOND.

Connect with me about finding your neighborhood, navigating the real estate market, and securing your dream home.

JENNIFER SZUNKO

Professionally, I’m an entrepreneur with a background that includes hotel convention sales, cruise, wine, magazine and book publishing, wholesale automotive, and social media. I have a passion for learning, creative collaboration, and being a connector of people which is why I was Executive Director of TCNewTech until 2022.

I HAVE SEEN INCREDIBLE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE AREA, BUT THE BEAUTY, FRESH AIR, AND THE FRIENDLINESS OF THE PEOPLE HAS STAYED THE SAME.

Whether it is the sailing or skiing or golfing or running communities, I can always find a friend. My spouse and I both love good food, wine, and walking into one of the many restaurants or pubs in downtown Traverse City to be greeted by old friends (and new) – cheers!


Banner image by Allen-Kent Photography.