As places such as Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, Israel, have emerged as epicenters for transportation-related startup companies, leaders in Michigan want to ensure the state keeps pace in the fledgling mobility economy.
Six startups will collectively receive more than $450,000 in grant money from the PlanetM, the mobility-minded division of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the recipients Wednesday at the 2019 CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
From tire technology to unmanned aerial systems, the startups are building products and software that span the transportation realm. In some cases, the companies are homegrown in Michigan. In other cases, the grant money will help companies from elsewhere start pilot projects in the state.
"We take advantage of our natural strengths and assets, and we build upon that by ensuring that we've got the talent, work force and the infrastructure that supports all this cutting-edge mobility work that is happening," Whitmer told the gathering of industry executives.
This marks the third round of grants doled out as part of PlanetM's Mobility Grant program. In previous rounds, the organization provided $224,000 for three recipients in December and $440,000 to five companies in May. Previously, PlanetM delivered $80,000 to Derq, a startup from Dubai testing software that can detect red-light runners.
Collectively, PlanetM has now provided about $1.2 million in grant money to 15 companies.