Ann Arbor start up M-Bot
, which develops and markets portable, vision-enabled robots, recieved $250, 000 funding and accelerator support from Ann Arbor SPARK
and Hennessey Capital
The company's robots are designed to meet the security needs of military, law enforcement, security services and first responders. Small and light weight (about 10 pounds), they are designed to go into dangerous environments --collapsed buildings, fires, hostage situtaions-- and collect important information. Easy to control and highly maneuverable the robots will cost less than $10K each.
Vin Varghese, M-Bot's CEO and president, says "SPARK's support will enable us to grow our sales and marketing force. We've already brought in one person and hope to add more soon."
Providing marketing and sales expertise, SPARK’s Business Accelerator will help M-Bot implement its go-to-market strategy and recruit key employees as it grows.
Scott Olson, executive director of Ann Arbor SPARK’s business accelerator says, “Innovation-based companies like M-Bots need business acceleration support to shorten the time required to attract capital, identify customers or obtain other vital resources.”
M-Bot currently has five fulltime employees and was founded in 2005 by a U-M graduate and pair of university professors and a former Ford executive.
Varghese says the company already has several commercial orders and will be able to start filling them by the end of April. "The investment has helped us with product release and started us thinking about expanding our technology side over the next year."
“The move from prototype to production is a large step for many companies, including M-Bots, and most of the time, capital availability is a challenge,” said Mike Semanco, Hennessey Capital president & COO. “Hennessey Capital views M-Bots’ management team and its product offering as a future Michigan success story.”
Source: Ann Arbor SPARK and Vin Vanghese, M-Bots