By Natalie Burg
Michael Healander is a geospatial mapping systems entrepreneur and native Michigander. His work took him to California, but after his technology was acquired, he moved back home to raise his kids. When Healander had his next big tech idea—mapping out and managing airspace pathways for drones—he wondered if pursuing it would take him away again.
“I saw a post about a mobility meet-up in Michigan,” says Healander, now the president and chief executive officer of Airspace Link. “I was intrigued, so I went and pitched my idea.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) event affirmed that his idea was not only viable in southeast Michigan but was uniquely suited to its growing mobility ecosystem. Soon, he had local investment and an office in downtown Detroit.
Healander’s experience is becoming common. A survey of 505 U.S. executives, conducted last year by Forbes Insights and MEDC, found that 75% of executives believe the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the value of being located in a region with a strong entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. And in Michigan, that startup culture is growing rapidly.
Here’s a look at the four characteristics that make Michigan the ideal home base for the workplace of the future:
CREDITS: Ross School Of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Gettyimages; Renaissance Center in Detroit, Gettyimages; Holland Harbor, Lake Michigan, Gettyimages.