COVID-19 Update: Flagstar Bank Accepting Applications for MortgageTech Accelerator, Comcast to Roll Out 1,000+ WiFi-connected Lift Zones Nationwide, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Sept. 17

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Flagstar Bank Accepting Applications for MortgageTech Accelerator Program
Troy-based Flagstar Bank and the Fintech Consortium are accepting applications for the Flagstar MortgageTech Accelerator Program now through Sept. 30. Qualifying applicants will be selected by Oct. 12, and the program will start Oct. 19.

The accelerator program focuses exclusively on incubating tech startup engaged in developing solutions for the mortgage sector. It’s the first and only U.S. accelerator of its kind in the mortgage industry.

Benefits of the program include access to Flagstar mentors, a roadmap design for product acceleration and development, real product-testing opportunities, 100 percent online program and access to a wide network of potential customers. Qualifying applicants also may receive seed capital funding, access to investors and expansion opportunities through the FinTech Consortium’s global network.

“Our team sees this as an opportunity to share our industry and technical experience,” says Jennifer Charters, chief information officer at Flagstar Bank. “We’re proud to offer our support for startups working to improve various points in the mortgage value chain.”

Maissan Almaskati, CEO of the FinTech Consortium in the United States, says, “This second edition of the Flagstar MortgageTech Accelerator Program demonstrates how financial institutions and startups can successfully innovate together. Flagstar’s leadership and domain expertise in mortgage finance provide a unique opportunity to startups seeking to validate their technology and accelerate their growth.”

For more information and to apply, visit here.

Comcast to Roll Out 1,000+ WiFi-connected Lift Zones in Community Centers Nationwide
Comcast has announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide.

Working with its network of nonprofit partners and city leaders, Comcast will provide WiFi in facilities they have identified to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their schoolwork. The initiative will provide not only free internet connectivity, but also access to hundreds of hours of educational and digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which, since 2011, has helped connect more than 8 million low-income people to the Internet at home.

“For nearly a decade, Internet Essentials has helped to change the lives of millions of people by providing low-income families with Internet access at home,” says Dave Watson, president and CEO of Comcast Cable. “These Lift Zones, which will be installed in community centers in local neighborhoods that our partners have identified and will run, and where students and families can get online and access the resources they need, especially while so many schools and workplaces have gone virtual.”

The COVID-19 crisis has put many low-income students at risk of being left behind and has accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. Lift Zones are intended to help those students who, for a variety of reasons, may be unable to connect to distance learning at home, or who just want another place in which to study.

The first 200 Lift Zones have already been identified. Several are open and others will open this year in more than a dozen cities.

U.S. Chamber to Host Cyber Series: Ann Arbor on Sept. 21
As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Virtual Cyber Series presented by FICO, the U.S. Chamber will host Cyber Series: Ann Arbor on Sept. 21 from 2-4 p.m., a virtual program for entrepreneurs, business owners, and forward thinkers.

The event will bring together industry experts to discuss how businesses can secure their teleworkforce and continue to operate securely in remote environments.

Among the participants are Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber; Christopher D. Roberti, senior vice president for cyber, intelligence, and supply chain security policy for the U.S. Chamber; U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, Sue Gordon, former deputy director of National Intelligence; Diane Keller, president and CEO, of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber; and others.

To register for the event, visit here.

Neogen Launches Improved Test for Gluten
Lansing-based Neogen Corp. has introduced an improved test that rapidly detects gluten in food products, raw ingredients, and environmental samples.

Neogen’s new Reveal 3-D for Gluten screens samples at five parts per million gluten in just 5 minutes. The new test streamlines the testing procedure, simplifying the experience for the user. In addition, the test offers the capability of extracting and testing food product and ingredient samples, in addition to environmental samples and clean-in-place rinses.

“Our new test for gluten makes it even easier for our food industry customers to test their food products and environment for gluten — and protect their gluten intolerant and allergenic customers,” says John Adent, president and CEO of Neogen. “Our customers can now use a single test to screen food and environmental samples for the presence of gluten — greatly simplifying that testing. This important new test further enables our customers to use the same easy-to-use testing methodology to test for the allergens of most concern to the food industry.”

Neogen says Reveal 3-D for Gluten offers the option of a specialized buffer that can be used to extract and test food samples directly, while not sacrificing the time to result, and maximizing efficiency for users of the test. This test maintains a three-line test format, including an overload detection system designed to ensure highly positive samples are accurately reported.

Brother Rice to Host Golf Outing at Indianwood Sept. 21
Brother Rice High School in Birmingham is hosting its annual Warrior Cup Golf Outing at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion on Sept. 21 at 11 a.m.

Proceeds from the event supports the Alumni Scholarship Fund and helps students in need continue their education at Brother Rice.

The day begins with registration, a box lunch, and use of the driving range and putting green. The scramble format begins with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. A barbeque dinner and prizes follow golf.

Sponsorships from $250 to $2,500 are available. To sponsor or register for the Warrior Cup Golf Outing, visit here.

Dyami Foundation’s Uncork for a Cure Goes Virtual Nov. 14
This year’s Uncork for a Cure celebration, staged virtually by the Dynami Foundation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place Nov. 14.

The event, which benefits breast cancer research, will start with a virtual symposium from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., exploring topics and advances in breast cancer care titled “Progress in Breast Cancer Care, Advocacy, and Survivorship.” This will be offered for free with registration.

The evening will feature a collective toast at 7 p.m. with remarks from the health leadership of physicians from Michigan and more.

In addition, the foundation is offering Uncork at Home, private events, fully catered, and delivered by one of Dynami’s chef partners with wine pairings chosen by Madeline Triffon, master sommelier of Plum Market.

Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 14, the foundation is presenting Dine Out and Take Out for a Cure, where participating restaurants will dedicate proceeds from a particular menu item to the ​cause​.

Area boutiques also are participating with Shop for a Cure during October.

Visit here for more information on all of the Uncork for a Cure events.

Million Girls Moonshot STEM Program Comes to Michigan
The STEM Next Opportunity Fund has awarded a multi-year grant to the Michigan After-School Partnership as part of the Million Girls Moonshot. The first-year grant is $20,000.

The effort is designed to engage 1 million school-age girls in the United States in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning opportunities over the next five years. The organizations will provide grant funding and in-kind resources to Charles Stewart Mott Foundation-funded afterschool networks in all 50 states to increase access to hands-on, immersive STEM learning experiences.

The Michigan After-School Partnership plans to use the funds to help after-school programs in the state provide STEM education. It will provide training and technical assistance to local programs, improve communication strategies to help local communities increase awareness of the great opportunities being offered, and help collect critical data to demonstrate the impact programs are having on the STEM futures of students, especially girls. By building capacity and awareness at the program and local levels, many more girls will be awarded the opportunity to explore their interests and gain critical STEM skills.

“We’re proud to join the Million Girls Moonshot movement, and plan to use this extraordinary opportunity to greatly increase STEM opportunities for youth in afterschool programs in Michigan,” says James Yake, chair of MASP. “With scientists across the globe racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and students and parents alike relying on computers and the internet to learn and work, it has never been clearer how vital STEM is to our children’s future.”

For more information, visit here.

Belle Isle Conservancy’s Polish the Jewel Luncheon to be Virtual
The 16th Annual Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon will continue this year as a virtual celebration on Thursday, Oct. 15 from noon-1:30 p.m. with keynote speaker Dr. Beth Peter, advocate for Park Rx.

Belle Isle Conservancy President and CEO Michele Hodges will co-host the program with Sommer Woods, vice president of external relations for marketing and communications for M1 RAIL. Woods also serves as the Detroit City Council’s appointee to the Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee. Attendees will receive a picnic basket of goodies to accompany the at-home experience and to use for future visits to Belle Isle.

Attendees can expect a discussion of Belle Isle’s role in the community, of the important and various meanings that the park holds to its visitors, and the importance of an equitable park user experience. Peter will add additional context by presenting the Park Rx program, which prescribes park visits as part of patient wellness plans with the idea that parks and outdoor spaces have the power to positively impact our health.

Tickets to the virtual luncheon are available here. For more information, visit here.

Residents in Southwest Detroit Can Apply for Free Lead-based Paint Home Remediation
The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department is now accepting applications from southwest Detroit households to remove lead-based paint at zero cost to homeowners.

The city is hoping to enroll 455 households into the program over five years. Priority will be given to households with children under 6 years of age or with a pregnant mother or with children who have tested positive for lead. The effort is made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s High Impact Neighborhood grant program, which concentrates efforts in a single area for maximum impact.

For more information, visit here,  e-mail, or call 313-348-0010 (313-348-5581 for Spanish speakers). Work is set to begin in October.