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Three More Companies Get Microloan Funding

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Three more Michigan companies have received a combined total of $140,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, bringing the total amount invested through the Fund to over $1.4 million.

Detroit Electric, Ergun Technologies and Local Orbit received the funding to support commercialization of their core products.

Detroit Electric, based in Detroit, is the oldest electric car brand in the United States. It has been reborn, providing high-quality, practical and affordable electric vehicles to help meet the demand for realistic alternatives to conventional petroleum-based cars. The company received money provided to the Michigan Microloan Fund Program from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.

“The Michigan Microloan Fund Program loan will provide some important necessities during the early stages of our expansion in the United States,” said Albert Lam, Detroit Electric founder and chairman.

Ergun Technologies, based in Ypsilanti, developed Own. Own integrates cash registers and the Web, giving retail operation owners real-time remote access to all their stores. The Michigan Microloan Fund Program loan received by Ergun Technologies was funded via the Eastern Washtenaw Microloan Fund.

“The microloan will help us meet anticipated customer demand,” said Verdi Erel Ergün, president of Ergun Technologies. “Funding from the Michigan Microloan Fund Program supports our approach of new markets and helps us protect our intellectual property.”

Local Orbit is a Web platform that adapts innovation from Amazon and eBay to the needs of local food chains. It simplifies the process of buying food directly from local farmers for restaurants, institutions and consumers. The Michigan Microloan Fund Program funding that Local Orbit received was via the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Local Development Financing Authority; this is the second Michigan Microloan Fund Program loan granted to Local Orbit.

“The initial microloan helped Local Orbit launch its first three pilot sites,” said Erika Block, founder and CEO. “This second loan will enable the company to hire a full-time community manager as well as invest in continued software development to enhance and scale the Local Orbit platform.”

Since the Michigan Microloan Fund Program was established in July 2009, 39 companies have received over $1.4 million in subordinated loans.

Microloans available through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program range from $10,000 to $50,000. To qualify, companies must be a small business located in Ann Arbor or eastern Washtenaw County, have ownership or license to innovative technology, and be privately held.

For more information about the microloan programs managed by Ann Arbor Spark, visit www.annarborusa.org/funding-incentives.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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