For Civionics Co-Founders, Southeast Michigan an Accessible Base to Launch Wireless Sensor Company

2/1/11

Jerry Lynch, co-founder and executive vice president of Civionics, has experience navigating high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystems. And his experience has taught him that southeast Michigan is a premier place to grow a fledging company.

Lynch’s Ann Arbor-based company makes wireless sensors that can monitor everything from the structural stability of a bridge to the energy consumption of an office building. But Civionics isn’t Lynch’s first company—as a doctoral student at Stanford, Lynch launched startup in a similar field based in the Bay Area.

“In comparison between the two experiences, it’s a world of difference,” Lynch says. “From an entrepreneur’s standpoint, having done it in both communities, I would much prefer to do it here in southeast Michigan.”

Since Lynch and Civionics co-founder Andy Zimmerman officially launched their company in August 2009, the two say they’ve benefited from southeast Michigan’s unique startup culture.

“One of the challenges of the Bay Area is that if you’re a small startup it’s a lot of times very hard to penetrate that community,” Lynch says. “So it’s there, you’re co-located with it, but it’s not accessible necessarily.”

But of southeast Michigan Lynch says: “It’s a much more close-knit community; everybody sort of bet on the success of this community and everybody has a vested interest in everybody else’s success.”

According to Lynch, an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, southeast Michigan’s startup culture allows … Next Page »

Jillian Berman is an intern for Xconomy Detroit. Follow @

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