Buycentives, CIMple Integrations and Local Orbit Awarded Microloans

Feb 17, 2010, 11:38 ET from Ann Arbor SPARK

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Three Michigan companies recently received a combined total of $95,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program.  Buycentives, CIMple Integrations, and Local Orbit received the funding to support commercialization of their core products.

Ann Arbor-based Buycentives helps manufacturers deliver customized sales incentives to online car shoppers during the shopping process.  Via information provided by the consumer and parameters controlled by the manufacturer, Buycentives' decision engine generates a personalized incentive in the form of a serialized certificate that can be redeemed at any automotive dealer during a purchase.

"At our early stage, the microloan provides a critical source of working capital," said Buycentives founder David Goldschmidt.  "The Michigan Microloan Fund Program money will help us with customer acquisition and position us for further funding opportunities." 

CIMple Integrations, located in the Lansing area, is developing scalable, secure, reliable products that enable companies to realize the vision of the smart grid by leveraging enterprise services based on the Common Information Model, with services targeted at meeting the business needs of utilities. The company's focus is to become the leading provider of system integration software products in support of Advanced Metering Infrastructure and smart grid initiatives.

"This loan provides an important kick start to our development program by providing the capital necessary to acquire servers, enter into partnership agreements, and hire the talent needed to get our proof of concept product off the ground," explained Gerald Gray, founder of CIMple Integrations.  "Without the loan, this product would still be nothing more than a good idea on a presentation slide."

Local Orbit, an Ann Arbor company, connects restaurants, institutions and individuals with local farmers and food producers in one convenient online location.  The company is building a marketplace that combines web-based business and community building tools with the best features of farmers markets and full-service grocery stores to streamline the process of purchasing local food.

"The loan is significant not only for the cash - which is enabling us to complete key work we need to launch our software service - but because we can leverage the funding to attract additional investment," said Erika Block, Local Orbit founder and CEO.  "We're already seeing an impact as a result of the funding."

The $1.5 million Michigan Microloan Fund Program currently includes three distinct microloan funds.  Through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, $225,000 is available to start-ups via the Eastern Washtenaw Microloan Fund, $1 million is available through the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund from the 21st Century Jobs Fund administered through the Michigan Economic Development Corp, and $275,000 is available for companies located in the City of Ann Arbor via funding from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Local Development Financing Authority (LDFA).  

Since the Michigan Microloan Fund Program was established last year, 18 companies have received $706,500 in subordinated loans.

Microloans available through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program range from $10,000 to $50,000. To qualify, companies must be a small business located in Michigan, have ownership or license to innovative technology, and be privately held.

For more information about the microloan programs managed by Ann Arbor SPARK, visit


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