Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti start-ups score $145K in microloans

Three promising startups from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area have received microloans from the Michigan Microloan Fund.

FamilyMint, Fusion Coolant Systems and Shepherd Intelligent Systems will split $145,000 in loans. The division of that money was not released, but average microloans from the fund come to about $50,000. The money will help the startups continue to develop their technology and move their businesses forward.

Ypsilanti-based Fusion Coolant Systems is developing a new lubrication system that will streamline the manufacturing process and make it more environmentally friendly. The CHiP Lube system is used during the cutting process and is not toxic like most other cutting lubricants.

The two Ann Arbor-based companies are FamilyMint and Shepherd Intelligent Systems. The people behind FamilyMint created an online budgeting tool that helps kids learn how to manage and save money with parents acting as the bank. Shepherd Intelligent Systems is commercializing software developed at the University of Michigan that helps better manage mass transit, particularly bus systems. The software, which the Ann Arbor Transit Authority tested last year, provides real-time information on bus location, arrival predictions and other information directly to riders' smartphones.

The Michigan Microloan Fund is managed by Ann Arbor SPARK. It has $1.8 million under management and has made loans to 45 businesses across the state. The fund, created to help fill seed capital gaps created by the financial crisis, makes anywhere between 24-48 loans annually.

Source: Ann Arbor SPARK
Writer: Jon Zemke

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