STARTUP ACCELERATOR & SUPPORT SERVICES
Hit the ground running as you enter the world of entrepreneurship or expand your current ventures in the Grand Traverse region. Creative Coast small business development support specialists will help you grow your business here and connect you with others who will do the same.
You’re in the right place if you want to:
- Access a broad range of business accelerator services
- Receive small business consulting for Traverse City-specific challenges
- Find financial and educational resources specific to the region
- Succeed in the tech industry in Traverse City (e.g. tech startup support)
WHAT IS A STARTUP ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
Starting a business can be difficult—especially when initial growth and/or funding is limited. A startup accelerator program provides you with top-of-the-line resources to help drive your business over that initial hump. Through our business accelerator program, you gain access to a nearly endless hub of resources, workshops, networking, mentoring, and funding opportunities.
WHY RUN A BUSINESS IN TRAVERSE CITY?
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 $24 million collectively into 50+ Michigan 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
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 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.
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.
20Fathoms is a membership organization for the region’s entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators. The Launch at 20Fathoms is their program for entrepreneurs and startup founders in the Grand Traverse Region. It is designed to remove barriers and help you and your business succeed. Attend a business education class. Refine your ideas with the help of a business coach. Connect with research universities. Meet funders and professional service providers. Network with industry insiders.
Startup + Tech Hub
Created by 20Fathoms, the Startup + Tech Hub is an online community providing resources and connections for the region’s entrepreneurs, tech professionals, and ecosystem partners. The Hub showcases the breadth of the region’s resources for startup and tech professionals in one easy-to-use website. You’ll find events, news, programs, tools, a discussion board, a community of innovators, and much more
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
Determine how to get venture capital funding
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 these sources of funding for small businesses and startups growing in Northern Michigan.
Local Capital: Angel Investors Empower Entrepreneurs
Find business startup resources
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
Schedule business growth support services
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!
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.
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
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.
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.