JPMorgan, Macomb College award $225K to small business

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Another chunk of JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s $100-million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery has been awarded to area small businesses.

Through a partnership with Macomb Community College, JPMorgan is giving a total of $225,000 in funding to “early-stage” companies in Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The five awardees include medical technology companies, a software company and an agricultural company aimed at boosting availability of fresh, local produce in Detroit.

Five companies were selected from a pool of 14 applicants.

Brio Device, an Ann Arbor-based company that has developed a new class of intubation devices, which are employed to insert airway breathing tubes, was awarded $100,000. Sterling Heights-based VizBe got $50,000 for developing new software aimed at helping people set personal and professional goals.

Three other companies each were awarded $25,000.

One of those companies, Detroit-based Recovery Park, is working to provide “fresh, local specialty produce to local restaurants while employing advanced technology to support sustainable year-round growing and employing Detroiters with barriers.” The company works with others in Michigan to develop new greenhouse lighting technology to mimic natural light.

Life Magnetics, a Detroit company specializing in isolating ribonucleic acids from a blood sample, and Ann Arbor’s Stridepost, which developed a family organizer designed to help teach children responsibility and accountability, were each awarded $25,000.

Companies eligible for the Innovation Fund had to have been located in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw or Wayne county.

“The Macomb Innovation Fund not only contributes to southeast Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosphere, but also directly links metro Detroit’s rising entrepreneurs and educational opportunities to Macomb Community College students,” said James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College. “This real-world education provided by our region’s economic drivers positions our students and business community with a distinctive advantage.”

JPMorgan Chase announced in 2014 it would invest $100-million in Detroit over five years. The company has invested in housing, small businesses and development throughout the city.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau