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June 29, 2009 - Image 3

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-06-29

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Monday, June 29, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
SHAKESPEARE IN THE ARB

3

STUDENT BUSINESS
'U' entrepreneurs thrivein A2

Student-run
TechArb hosts 10
start-up businesses
By TORREY JOSEPH
ARMSTRONG
Daily StaffReporter
A group of University student
entrepreneurs has created an inno-
vative business incubator in down-
town Ann Arbor to share ideas,
advice and resources with other
enterprising students.
The incubator, called TechArb,
is composed of thirty students run-
ning 10 small start-up businesses
and will occupy the basement of
Tally Hall, a vacant building on Lib-
erty Street, until August.
TechArb, aims to pool resources
and create a centralized community
for student entrepreneurs, according
to co-founder and College of Engi-
neering senior Jason Bornhorst.
Bornhorst is also co-founder and
group manager of Maize Ventures,
a networking group for student-run
businesses. He pursued the space
for TechArh with other student

entrepreneurs after his previous
business, CampusRoost, Inc. - an
online social network built around
student housing - became diffi-
cult to operate once normal classes
resumed inthe fall of 2008.
TechArb was created when Ann
Arbor venture capital firm RPM
Ventures and Ann Arbor real estate
company McKinley, Inc. allowed
Bornhorst and a few students from
RPM's 10-week summer entrepre-
neurial internship program to use
the space.
Brett Wejrowski, College of Engi-
neering senior and co-founder of
Maize Ventures, was participating
in RPM's internship when he joined
the incubator.
"I was going to school and trying
to run a small web development busi-
ness at the same time, and trying to
find like-minded people," he said.
Wejrowski and others pitched
in to build permanent furniture
and set up a network to prepare the
space for use.
"In one week's time, we went
from a grassroots thing to people
actually working and running
companies down here (in the base-
mentt" Bornhorst said."The really

cool part is that there was no one
developer - just a bunch of people
and ideas - and it developed."
Several of the businesses have
had success and exposure since
joining the incubator. Mobil33t,
an iPhone application developer,
recently released DoGood - an
application that encourages people,
to do random acts of kindness. Since
its release on June 8, the application
has been downloaded more than
10,000 times.
Other businesses include
MyBandStock.com, a venture that
allows music fans to invest directly
in their favorite artists, and Shep-
herd Intelligent Systems, a public
transportation tracking website
conceived and developed under the
name Magic Bus.
Carrier Mobile, Phonagle LLC,
Troubadour Mobile and Quazie.net
are also start-up businesses that spe-
cialize in mobile phone applications.
Bornhorst and Wejrowski said
that the incubator is a temporary
endeavor, as the space's free lease
will expire in August 2009. They
hope to find University and com-
munity support in the fall, either in
the form of snace, money or other

University students and Ann Arbor community members perform-"Twelfth
Night" as part of the annual Shakespeare in the Arb series in Nichols Arboretum.
resources. ing hours spent in the basement
"The big unknown is how to and creating a list of the business's
portray its value to the community accomplishments since joining the
and to the University - how to sell incubator would be required for Uni-
it and translate how its helped us versity support, amongotherthings.
into actual numbers," Bornhorst "I firmly believe that this kind of
said, adding that losing the space thingis exactlywhatthe community
and shared resources in the fall needs," Bornhorstsaid. "We've done
would be disastrous for some of the a good job of making entrepreneur-
small businesses that are a part of ship cool, but we need to do a better
TechArb. job of snapping (small businesses)
Bornhorst said that allocating up once they start and giving them
a hdrt for the ineuhator, rallv- thespace and resources thevneed."

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