Detroit firms land Michigan Microloan funds

Detroit-based companies have taken two of the three loans available in the latest financing round from the Michigan Microloan Fund.

NextCAT and CYJ Enterprises will split $115,000 in loans, along with Ann Arbor-based Ix Innovations. These loans provide scarce seed capital that small businesses need to take the next step in their product development or advancing their business plans.

NextCAT is utilizing technology developed at Wayne State University to push forward the development of biodiesel. This technology allows biodiesel producers to use less-expensive raw materials for production, simplifying the process.

"We enable the next generation of biodiesel processing," says Chuck Salley, president of
NextCAT. "We let producers knock a buck a gallon off the price of biodiesel."

The start-up employs six people and an intern. It hopes to make six more hires and have its pilot demonstration product working by the end of the year. The borrowing will allow that to happen by helping to cover the legal and administrative fees to form the company and create the demonstration pilot.

CYJ Enterprises will use its microloan to fund the commercialization of its first product, e-CYREN, an emergency management system designed to help child and adult care providers quickly and effectively communicate with families before, during, and after emergencies.

The $1.5 million microloan program, administered by Ann Arbor SPARK, will make anywhere from 2-4 loans of a few thousand dollars each per month for 2010. That's another 24-48 fledgling local businesses receiving financing during a time when loans for small businesses have been almost non-existent since the economy crashed.

Source: Chuck Salley, president of NextCAT
Writer: Jon Zemke
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