Recent grants bolster the work of ‘hardtech’ business accelerator at LTU’s Southfield campus

What’s happening: Work at the Centrepolis Accelerator has been bolstered by a $100,000 grant from the Song Foundation, an Ann Arbor-based foundation. The grant will support overall activities at the hardtech and manufacturing business accelerator based at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

What it is: The Centrepolis Accelerator is unique among Michigan’s tech startup accelerator ecosystem in that it focuses on “hardtech” startups; it’s a small business accelerator built specifically for physical product developers and small and advanced manufacturing startups. There are the business assistance services and networking opportunities of a more typical accelerator with the added bonus of having access to Lawrence Tech faculty and students, a state-of-the-art manufacturing technology lab, and more.

What they got: The $100,000 grant comes from the Song Foundation, which was founded in 2019 by Dug Song, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Duo Security, and Ann Arbor city council member Linh Song. Dug Song is notable for founding the IT security firm Duo Security in 2010, which was later sold to Cisco Systems for nearly $2.4 billion in 2018.

Where it’s going: “We are grateful to the Song Foundation for this generous gift, which we will quickly put to work helping hardtech entrepreneurs develop and manufacture their products in Michigan, creating quality jobs for their companies as well as providing impact to the local manufacturing supply chain,” says Centrepolis Accelerator CEO Dan Radomski.

Twice as nice: The Song Foundation grant was the second grant Centrepolis received in less than a month, having won a $150,000 Stage Two Growth Accelerator Fund grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Investment and Innovation earlier in October. The SBA award, however, has a more specific intent, with it being awarded to support Centrepolis in offering grant services to develop physical products for tech companies in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.