SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University will participate as part of a network of business accelerators in a new, regional effort to cement the Detroit region as the GEM—the Global Epicenter of Mobility.
A coalition of Michigan organizations led by the Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation, calling itself the GEM, received a $52.2 million grant under the federal government’s Build Back Better Regional Competition. The grant will fund six initiatives to help the region maintain its global automotive leadership.
The competition was funded by American Rescue Plan legislation and is administered by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.
Initiatives to be funded through the Global Epicenter of Mobility Coalition include workforce training, direct assistance to legacy manufacturers, and entrepreneurial support for mobility start-ups, which includes electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and other mobility and electrification technology. The coalition will work with businesses across the supply chain to recruit, train and re-skill workers to meet talent needs. The coalition of 136 members, which includes the Detroit Three automakers, the United Auto Workers union, universities, and state, local, and community leadership, aims to build a more collaborative and equitable regional economy.
Included will be a new Supply Chain Transformation Center, through which the coalition will provide direct assistance to existing legacy manufacturers to transition to the needs of broader mobility products. Also, a talent transformation project will work with businesses across the supply chain to identify talent needs and invest in support and training for workers to fill those gaps. A new Mobility Accelerator Innovation Network will help identify and support more fundable start-ups in the mobility industries. EDA funding will support foundational infrastructure, increasing accessibility and capacity of testing and proving sites, and preparing industrial sites for private investment.
Centrepolis Accelerator—unique among business accelerators in that it focuses on startup and small manufacturers of physical products, not apps or services—is part of the GEM’s Mobility Accelerator Innovation Network. This program will allow Centrepolis to provide significant services and funding to accelerate mobility and electrification hardtech companies to market.
“The mobility industry is evolving rapidly enables by autonomy and electrification, and new hardware products will be an important part of that transformation of our regional economy,” said Dan Radomski, Centrepolis Accelerator CEO. “As an accelerator that has already commercialized dozens of physical products in just the past few years, Centrepolis is well positioned to be an important part of the effort to bring mobility and electrification technology startups from the idea stage through commercial scale.”
The Centrepolis Accelerator at LTU works with hardtech entrepreneurs and small businesses to innovate and commercialize technology in a wide variety of industries, including mobility, electrification, and the cleantech, climatech, and circular economies. Since launching in August 2018, Centrepolis has supported the launch of several physical products made in Michigan as well as 366 client contracts with Michigan manufacturers valued at over $24 million. Learn more at www.centrepolisaccelerator.com.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. The Wall Street Journal ranks LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, theory and practice education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.