Ann Arbor Spark announced Wednesday that three Michigan companies have received a combined $110,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, bringing the total amount invested through the Fund to over $1.69 million.
GreenSand Corp., iQ-Telematics and MyBandStock Corp. received the funding to support commercialization of their core products.
GreenSand, located in Lake Linden on the Keweenaw Peninsula, plans to recover a copper-containing mining waste called stampsand that is located on the Lake Superior shoreline near another Keweenaw community, Gay, for use as roofing shingle granules, fillers for building materials, and underlayment material for construction projects.
The end product, branded as G-Sand, delivers dimensional characteristics, copper content to prevent algae growth and availability in sufficient quantity that makes it a valuable substitute for other mineral products that are used in the roofing industry. Microloan funding awarded to GreenSand Corp. was via the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.
In response to the complications that arise from human error in driving, and the limited abilities of Bluetooth and other hands-free devices, iQ-Telematics, located in West Bloomfield Township, has developed iQ-Gateway. It is an intelligent, adaptive, active safety system that monitors man, machine and environment in real time and compares current conditions to empirical driving data. When a dangerous pattern emerges, iQ-Gateway actively prevents accidents by controlling the sources of driver distraction. Microloan funding awarded to iQ-Telematics was via the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.
“The Michigan Microloan Fund Program award enabled us to meet critical immediate needs, including securing patents in the United States and Europe, and to roll out marketing activities,” said Mouhamad A. Naboulsi, president of iQ-Telematics. “We’ve also leveraged the microloan funding to attract attention from other investors.”
MyBandStock, located in Ann Arbor, has developed an online points system that enables a wider spectrum of fan interaction, intended to foster closer relationships with an artist’s primary source of revenue: their fans. MyBandStock.com is a web platform that offers music fans digital access to their favorite artists by either purchasing or earning “shares” via a reward system on the site. Microloan funding awarded to MyBandStock was via the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Local Development Financing Authority.
“The microloan has allowed us to get to market more quickly and prove our core product assumptions,” said Bobby Matson, founder of MyBandStock. “Without funding from the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, we would not have been able to sustain our operations to this point.”
Since the Michigan Microloan Fund Program was established in July 2009, 42 companies have received over $1.6 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.
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