Annual event celebrating Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation in STEAM is October 1–8

Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 is back for 2021

Tech Talk at the Michigan Theater. (Credit: Ann Arbor SPARK)
Tech Talk at the Michigan Theater. (Credit: Ann Arbor SPARK)

ANN ARBORAnn Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 will be held October 1 through 8 online and in various in-person locations throughout the city.

a2Tech260 is a week of events celebrating Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation through experiences, conversations and connections that strengthen and expand the region’s vibrant ecosystem.

The events, most of which are free to attend, are tailored to a variety of interests and audiences, including entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, job seekers and the general public.

“The innovation taking place in Ann Arbor truly is astounding in terms of both the diversity of ideas that take root and grow here as well as the partnerships and collaborations that allow companies here to scale up quickly,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. “a2Tech360 is a fun and engaging way for anyone across the globe to discover Ann Arbor’s high-tech companies and ecosystem.

“Additionally, the event illustrates why this region is consistently ranked as a top place to live and one of the most innovative communities in the world.”

This year’s a2Tech360 programming kicks off with the FastTrack Awards on Friday, October 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the University of Michigan Golf Course. The annual FastTrack Awards honors fast-growing ‘gazelle’ companies headquartered in Washtenaw and Livingston counties and is a chance to meet and mingle with business and community leaders.

This event, presented by Ann Arbor SPARK, will be delivered in-person and virtually.

The original catalyst for a2Tech360, A2 Tech Trek and its companion event, Mobility Row, close out the week from 1 to 5 p.m. on October 8, at the SPARK Central Innovation Center. Also that day is Ann Arbor SPARK’s Tech Talk, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Michigan Theater.

  • Heroic Futures on Saturday, October 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. At this virtual event, Bold Futures and Hero Nation present workshops and presentations that empower students to identify and address social impact issues. This event is co-hosted by Washtenaw Community College’s Entrepreneurship Center, University of Michigan’s optiMize, and Hero Nation.
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents: A Machine to Live In on Sunday, October 3, at 4 p.m., at The State Theater. A Machine to Live In is a sci-fi documentary about the utopian imaginary, set in the Brazilian hinterlands.
  • Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum’s TechTwilight, on Saturday, October 2, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. This year’s TechTwiligh, in collaboration with Ann Arbor SPARK and WonderFool Productions, provides a technology-inspired community art experience.
  • Michigan Angel Summit on Monday, October 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel. At this event, offered both in-person and virtually, attendees will learn valuable information for people considering angel investing and those who have been investing in entrepreneurs and startups for years. It features keynote guests, Scott Shane of Comeback Capital, and Commissioner Hester M. Peirce of the U. S. Security and Exchanges Commissions. This event is presented by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • Digital Summer Clinic Spotlight on Monday, October 4, at 12 p.m. Attendees to this virtual event will spotlight the 48 college students and recent grads who found paid internships with 24 startups through the Digital Summer Clinic internship program — a partnership between the Center for Digital Engagement at Eastern Michigan University and Ann Arbor SPARK. This event is presented by Digital Summer Clinic.
  • Mobility Summit on Tuesday, October 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel. The Mobility Summit, offered both in-person and virtually, gathers mobility visionaries from across the globe to share, learn, and inspire. The 2021 theme is Restructuring Mobility Investment. This event is presented by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp Celebration on Tuesday, October 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the SPARK Central Innovation Center. Entrepreneur Boot Camp is an intensive program to help entrepreneurs of early stage, technology-driven companies quickly determine if they have a viable business opportunity and focus on crucial next steps. At Boot Camp Celebration, the participating entrepreneurs present their progress to the community and a panel of esteemed judges who will choose the best to win a $25,000 prize. This event, offered in-person and virtually, is hosted by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • A2.AI is on Wednesday, October 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Junge Family Champions Center. A2.AI is focused on how machine learning and applied artificial intelligence enable businesses to make more informed and actionable decisions with their data. This event is presented by RXA.
  • 2031: What the Future Holds on Wednesday, October 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. What the Future Holds delivers an insightful tech forecast as global thought leaders discuss trends and revolutionary products in healthcare, IoT, AR/VR, mobility, and other driving industries that have a foothold in the region. This virtual event is co-presented by Ann Arbor SPARK and the University of Michigan Office of Tech Transfer.
  • Tech on the Edge on Thursday, October 7, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the 242 Community Church. Tech on the Edge celebrates the technologies, innovation, and talent of companies on the “edge” of the Ann Arbor area by showcasing their unique products and projects. This event is presented by MI – HQ.
  • Women In Tech on Thursday, October 7, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at The Circ Bar. Women in Tech speakers will discuss their experiences navigating the tech industry and propelling their careers as leaders in the field. They will also share how to build up career experience, maneuver a room of doubters, and discover your personal success story. This event is presented by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • Tech Talk on Friday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 12pm, at the Michigan Theater. From origin stories to behind-the-scenes accounts of the fascinating technologies being developed here, join us for storytelling as we hear from the brilliant minds behind the Ann Arbor region’s innovative companies. Presented by Ann Arbor SPARK, Tech Talk is free and will be delivered both virtually and in-person.
  • A2 Tech Trek on Friday, October 8, from 1 to 5 p.m., outside the SPARK Central Innovation Center. Ann Arbor’s largest, public, tech-inspired event will offer in-person and virtual experiences this year! Whether you’re a job seeker, student, professional, or someone curious about the Ann Arbor tech community — everyone is welcome to explore the high-tech businesses that are growing here. Tech Trek is presented by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • Mobility Row on Friday, October 8, from 1 to 5 p.m., on Liberty Street between Division and Fifth Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Leading-edge connected and autonomous vehicles will be on display, virtually and in-person at Tech Trek’s annual Mobility Row. Attendees will gain insight and inspiration on how we move through the world now and in the future, and how advancements in mobility will define and change transportation in the years ahead. Mobility Row is presented by Ann Arbor SPARK.
  • Invest360 Investor Showcase, presented by Ann Arbor SPARK, is a virtual event adjoined with the Michigan Angel Summit, Mobility Summit, and Tech on the Edge. Bringing additional depth to a2Tech360, Invest360 leverages our regional strengths in information technology, mobility, and healthcare and provides exposure to a curated group of companies to the greater investor community.

Invest360 is embedded in the programming of the Michigan Angel Summit, Mobility Summit, and MI-HQ’s Tech on the Edge. During each of the three Invest360 information technology, mobility, and healthcare sessions, one company will be chosen, by a panel of judges, to receive a $50,000 check.

These three chosen companies will then pitch in person, at the conclusion of Tech Talk at noon on Friday, October 8, at the Michigan Theater, where a “People’s Choice” vote will select the foremost Invest360 company who will receive an additional $50,000.

a2Tech360 is presented by the Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority with support from KLA.

For more information on each of the a2Tech360 events or to register, please visit www.a2Tech360.com.