Ann Arbor Named Five Star Community by University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research

Oct 22, 2010, 08:00 ET from Ann Arbor SPARK

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ --Ann Arbor has been recognized for its work to foster entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research (iLabs). The city was honored as a five star community along with 55 other communities across the state.

"Ann Arbor continues to deliver the resources and support that emerging businesses need to thrive," said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK. "From access to business accelerators to quality of life, Ann Arbor is the ideal city to locate and grow a business."

The eCities research surveyed over 100 communities in Michigan who are home to 128,242 entrepreneurs who earned $3.4 billion in annual income. These communities also had $1.2 billion in commercial development last year and account for nearly half the state's commercial property.

"The focus of this project is assisting local communities by identifying best practices and methods that they can implement which will aid with job growth strategies, economic diversification, and development of entrepreneurs," said Tim Davis, director of iLabs.

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 30-item index to encourage entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan's regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation.


About Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from startups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in the Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Works!/ETCS, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, the Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit