Automation Alley Invests in U-M Spinoff Software Company Ulendo

Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 Accelerator in Troy was part of a $1 million seed round investment in Ulendo, a University of Michigan spinoff software services company.
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Auto worker at job
Ann Arbor-based Ulendo creates software tools that improve the productivity and quality of manufacturing machines. // Photo courtesy of Ulendo

Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 Accelerator in Troy was part of a $1 million seed round investment in Ulendo, a University of Michigan spinoff software services company.

Other participants in the round were Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, and Jackson-based Lean Rocket Lab.

Ulendo creates software tools that improve the productivity and quality of manufacturing machines at a low cost. The company’s advanced software helps companies monitor, control, and improve the performance of their manufacturing process.

“Automation Alley’s participation in our fundraising round is supercharging the sales of our first product, vibration compensation software that doubles the speed of 3-D printers,” says Brenda Jones, CEO of Ulendo.  “This funding enabled us to recruit a 13-year veteran of the additive manufacturing industry, Jay Murray, as our VP of sales.”

The Industry 4.0 Accelerator program was established in 2020 with $1.3 million originally funded through the MEDC. Investments currently are available for early stage companies looking to commercialize products, services, or technologies within the Industry 4.0 sector. Through its structure, the accelerator services connect participating startups with more than 30 corporate partners, including OEMs, Tier One, and Tier Two suppliers.

“Many of our partners have long been impressed with the visionary leadership and level of innovation from the team at Ulendo,” says Tom Kelly, CEO of Automation Alley. “The company has proven itself over the past several years to be a pioneer in advanced software for manufacturing machines.

“We are investing in Ulendo not just because we believe in its future — but also because we believe their technology and expertise will enable our members to prepare for the demands of Industry 4.0.”

Ulendo is the 5th investment in Michigan companies from the accelerator. Previous investments include Andonix, which develops worker safety systems that provide operation intelligence directly from the shopfloor; Autaza, a developer of AI-enabled computer vison systems; PPAP Manager, a cloud-based solution that streamlines and automates the Production Part Approval Process; and UnitX, a company focused on automating defect inspections at high throughput and high repeatability using deep learning and robotics.

The Accelerator has received hundreds of applications from startups in more than 30 countries and currently provides various levels of support to help more than 60 companies market themselves in Michigan.

Startups vie to become part of the accelerator because of the multi-pronged training, education, and exposure it offers both internally and from corporate partners. The accelerator also helps startups gain traction in Michigan’s manufacturing ecosystem and bring innovative technologies to market.

To learn more about the Industry 4.0 Accelerator or to apply, visit here.