An Ann Arbor-based business accelerator is expanding its two locations — Ann Arbor Spark Central in downtown Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Spark East in Ypsilanti — to accommodate a growing number of entrepreneurs that need space and services.
“The fact that the demand for business accelerator services is at an all-time high shows that the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is strong,” Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor Spark president and CEO, said in a statement. “Not only are more entrepreneurs choosing to grow their business here, they know that there are organizations like Ann Arbor Spark that are eager to help them do so.”
As part of the expansion, the organization will convert one of its large conference rooms at its east location for new tenants and expanded operations. Krutko said that its engagement with Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College has attracted a number of student entrepreneurs to the Ypsilanti location.
“Two student companies are currently being incubated at the facility, and a third student company recently completed the Ann Arbor Spark Entrepreneur Boot Camp,” Krutko said. “We also recently had a student company from Northern Michigan University choose to locate at Spark East.”
The nonprofit will also add 2,500 square feet to its central facility, which is at full capacity. The expansion will provide a space for “stage two” entrepreneurs, or those who are somewhere between needing incubator space and leased office space.
“Start-ups need a little more time and room to grow than what we can easily accommodate at the current Spark Central,” Krutko said.