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5 Detroit Incubators That Could Accelerate Your Startup

If you're looking for a way to give your startup a bit of a boost, look no further than an incubator. Incubators can help develop and grow your business, and Detroit has some great ones, especially for businesses in the tech industry. Check out the list below, find the incubator that's right for you, and enjoy the ride to growing your startup.



TechTown, a highly established accelerator and incubator in Detroit, was founded to specifically help tech businesses, hence its name. In addition to business acceleration, TechTown also has services for proof of concept, incubation and commercialization. TechTown has multiple programs dedicated to helping your business, from DTX Launch Detroit geared toward college students and recent graduates to DTX Fellows, which "places high-quality, mid-level talent into Detroit's startups and entrepreneurial support organizations." Just find the one that works best for you.


SPARK, in nearby Ann Arbor, supports the area's "high-tech and innovative businesses," and hopes to improve the local economy as a result. The only requirement to be eligible for incubation is a business must be an innovation startup or produce technology relating to healthcare, life sciences or biotechnology. In addition to serving as an incubator, SPARK has programs to help businesses, such as SPARK.ed, a weekly workshop held by an industry expert to help businesses in the early stages scale their business. SPARK also holds an annual meeting to discuss the past year's accomplishments, as well as to preview new projects for the coming year.


TIE is currently the world's largest entrepreneurial organization, and fortunately has a Detroit chapter with a number of incubators as part of its network, as well as accelerators. Part of the organization is Detroit TIE Angels, "an early stage investment group providing seed capital, mentoring and support to entrepreneurs and startups" with a focus on businesses involved in cloud, infrastructure, internet, mobility, energy and medical devices. Although it prefers Detroit-area companies, those from all over the word are still encouraged to apply. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month, where two or three companies are showcased to investors.

Automation Alley

Automation Alley is dedicated to helping businesses grow through various programs, with a focus on businesses involved in advanced manufacturing, defense, entrepreneurship, international business and talent development. If you join Automation Alley, you'll have opportunities to attend workshops, be matched with similar businesses to help growth, connect with funding resources and more. They also make investments up to $50,000 in companies working in "competitive-edge technologies," such as alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, homeland security, information technology and more. In addition, the Automation Alley Fund is a nonprofit that uses resources to provide economic opportunities and develop entrepreneurship to disadvantaged areas in Southeast Michigan.

Techstars Mobility

Techstars Mobility, aptly named and appropriately located in Motor City, "focuses on the rapidly changing mobility and transportation industry." It is interested in companies working with software, hardware and advanced materials to efficiently move people, goods and services in all modes of transportation.


This article was written by Janelle Sheetz for CBS Small Business Pulse.

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