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The Midwest Innovation Road Trip

March 7, 2024

48 Michiganders set off on a three-day road trip to Indianapolis and Columbus to build community and accelerate the growth of Michigan’s innovation ecosystem. It was a fact-finding and benchmarking mission as well as a chance to bring together stakeholders from all areas, industries, and parts of the ecosystem that are focused on building Michigan’s competency and growth through new startups, founders, and innovative technologies.

MICHauto Executive Director Glenn Stevens Jr. and Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah were part of the delegation. The state’s automotive industry was built by inventors, founders, and innovators and it continues to thrive today by the technologies that are driving growth – electrification, fuel-cells, automation, and Industry 4.0 developments.

To fuel this growth, Michigan must have a business climate that fosters research and development and an environment where new founders and ideas can thrive. Policy will help drive this, as will a commitment to building out the intersection of our traditional industries and the new founders in our industry and state.

A special thanks to Chamber Board member Dug Song and Kelly Kang of Song United for helping to organize this trip, and to tour guide Jeanette Pierce of City Institute. Lessons were learned, innovative ideas came to life, and relationships were strengthened among the Michigan stakeholders.