Transportation today already looks vastly different than it did 100 years ago, but Dataspeed, Inc. is pushing the needle further, building the future of mobility from right here in Michigan.
Founded in Troy in 2008, Dataspeed began as a mobility-based robotics company, developing technology that allows a robot to independently travel and navigate a series of terrains and situations. However, it was not long before Dataspeed’s founders faced the age-old challenge realized by early-stage startups: access to capital.Enter the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
In 2015, Dataspeed became a client of the Macomb-Oakland University Incubator, one of the MEDC’s SmartZones that offers comprehensive development and support services to startup and emerging businesses by fostering an entrepreneurial environment. Thanks to the services offered by the MEDC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation team at the SmartZone — including access to funding from the Business Accelerator Fund and assisted customer and product discovery — Dataspeed was able to propel its product development for early stage prototypes within a series of product lines, such as IMU/GPS navigation units and multi-sensor fusion controllers.
“From knowing whether your product tests well among likely customers, to accessing the dollars needed to make it a success, starting a business is not for the faint of heart, but we knew that staying in Michigan would bring us the opportunities and resources we needed to bring our company to life in a way that Silicon Valley couldn’t,” said Paul Fleck, founder and CEO of Dataspeed.