In an effort to attract and connect more mobility-focused startups and other emerging high-tech, automotive-focused companies, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and WeWork announced today the launch of the PlanetM Landing Zone. This first-of-its-kind space will serve as an environment where startups with connected and automated transportation technologies can connect with Detroit’s automotive and economic development network. Ford Motor Co. is the first automaker to join the partnership via its City Solutions team located on-site.This initiative will be housed at WeWork’s Merchant’s Row location in Detroit. Located at 1449 Woodward Ave., it is part of a global shared workspace company with more than 160 locations in 52 cities and 16 countries.
The PlanetM Landing Zone will occupy 40 to 50 workspaces with room to about 20 companies in the first year of operation. Currently, :DriveSmart, Spatial, SPLT and Sherpa Capital are tenants.Selected companies will have access to WeWork locations globally and a direct connection to the MEDC through its PlanetM and Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which helps connect local and global purchasers to suppliers of Michigan goods and services.
The Chamber will house staff members on-site who will provide services to these firms, that can help connect them to and grow more quickly in the market. Additionally, the PlanetM Landing Zone will provide connections to key automotive industry and service providers.“Our region must be overly competitive in next generation mobility. To complete this ecosystem, we need to attract more tech pioneers and entrepreneurs to our region,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO for the Chamber.