Travel App Developer Mobiata Finds the Correct Culture for Startup Innovation in Ann Arbor


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why Kazez relocated to Ann Arbor. He knew that Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and other big tech companies recruit from the University of Michigan, and that there is a great pool of talent among new and recent graduates.

One of the first Ann Arbor people he connected with was Jason Bornhorst, who in 2009 founded TechArb, a U-M student company business accelerator. Bornhorst joined the company and arranged for Mobiata to be housed, rent-free, at TechArb.

 “It’s working out way better than I could have ever imagined,” Kazez says. Here, he’s found people with the right kind of attitude, although he is always looking for more engineers who are just as excited as he is about the user experience.

Here’s a story Kazez relates with obvious relish: he has a competitor named WorldMate, which Kazez says made a big deal out of having eight engineers working on an iPhone itinerary app. Mobiata’s itinerary app, TripDeck, was developed by “two and a half people” (Kazez worked on it only part-time) for three months. “I believe we were almost 100 percent inline with the WorldMate itinerary app,” he says.


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