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Emerging Urban Mobility Solutions from Michigan

On May 16, 2018, Meeting of the Minds hosted a live webinar featuring Will Foss of Derq, Paul Krutko of Ann Arbor SPARK, and Alisyn Malek of May Mobility.

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Please note: Will Foss’ slides will not be made available for download.


The Ann Arbor-Detroit region is emerging as a global cluster for hundreds of mobility start-ups, particularly as a result of University of Michigan spin-offs, the entrepreneurial ecosystem, support services available in Ann Arbor, and the recently opened American Center for Mobility where OEMs and start-ups are able to test their solutions on a private highway, intersections, and soon-to-be urban landscape to emulate city conditions.

Hear from three of the leading voices in Ann Arbor, including two of the most innovative start-ups, on how the region is carving out a global position in the mobility game. We’ll hear from DERQ and May Mobility on their autonomous mobility technology solutions and how they are scaling, growing, raising rounds, and expanding to more cities.

Derq is a Dubai and Detroit-based MIT spinoff developing Artificial Intelligence and V2X software applications that predict and prevent crashes. Derq has active pilots in Dubai and the US, where our AI technology is accurately predicting 9 of 10 collisions and near misses ~2 seconds before they happen. This additional time helps vehicles and other road users (including pedestrians) avoid crashes, saving lives and reducing the 1.2 million crash-related fatalities each year. Derq expanded to Michigan as part of Techstars Mobility in 2017.

May Mobility self-driving microtransit service makes short-distance travel safe, convenient, and personal. Last fall, the company ran a pilot with Detroit-based company Bedrock for 200 of its employees. The pilot gave May Mobility instant feedback from real-world passengers on specifics such as the speed with which the shuttle navigates corners and the reactions of passengers with no prior experience in driverless vehicles. The company is planning on growing and expanding its coverage to more U.S. cities by the end of 2018.


Will Foss

Business Development and Partnerships

Will Foss leads Derq’s North American Business Development and Partnerships and has responsibility for its US operations. Will joined Derq from Techstars Mobility, where he supported 11 mobility leading start-ups on business strategy and planning challenges. Prior to Techstars, Will was a Strategy Consultant at Monitor Deloitte and an entrepreneur inside Deloitte’s Venture Lab, where he helped build and bring to market an auto telematics business that reached 10,000+ consumers and generated ~$30M in annual revenue growth for its customers. He earned his BA and MBA from the University of Michigan.

Paul Krutko

President & CEO
Ann Arbor SPARK

Paul Krutko is Ann Arbor SPARK’s President and CEO. In his role as CEO, he leads the organization’s efforts to expand the regional economy through initiatives to support entrepreneurs and early stage companies accelerating their growth to full potential. Paul has nearly four decades of economic and community expertise. He led San Jose, California’s economic development efforts as chief development officer and founded Peloton Development, a consultancy devoted to advising businesses and municipal, regional, state and national governments on economic development and climate prosperity strategies and on creating high performing economic development leaders and teams. Paul was also responsible for downtown in Cleveland and Jacksonville, FL. He earned a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Design degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture and Art. Paul served as chair of the preeminent professional economic development organization in the world, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC and was designated an Honorary Life Member in 2013. He is Vice President of the board of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP).

Alisyn Malek

May Mobility

Alisyn Malek is the COO of May Mobility. Alisyn was formerly the head of innovation pipeline at General Motors. Prior to that role she worked as an investment manager in GM Ventures. In that role she lead investment in the autonomous space including leading the early negotiations with Cruise Automation, helping to cement GM’s autonomous strategy. She has experience as an automotive engineer, having lead a global team to develop advanced charging technology for GM’s Spark and Bolt EV products. She was also named a top professional under 35 to watch by LinkedIn in 2015 for automotive for both her work in cutting edge product development and corporate venture.


May 16, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:




Meeting of the Minds
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