PlanetM Landing Zone is celebrating its two-year anniversary of bringing global mobility startups to Detroit this week. With acquisitions, companies expanding operations in Detroit, and major public-private partnerships, the Landing Zone has proven to be vital to growing Detroit’s automotive and mobility ecosystem.
A group of 64 attendees attended this week’s Mobility Meetup, highlighting the recent successes of the Landing Zone members with a panel of automotive and mobility leaders from member companies. The evening’s panelists included Kevin Mull, connected mobility services at Bosch, Jessica Robinson, executive director at Michigan Mobility Institute, and Ashok Sivanand, CEO of Integral. The Chamber and MICHauto’s Devon O’Reilly, director of entrepreneurship and PlanetM Landing Zone moderated the panel.
Discussions included the future of the Landing Zone, the value of being a participating member, and the significance of investing in Detroit.
“I’ve been able to build relationships here with people I never would’ve met otherwise,” said Mull about remaining in Detroit. “People are really waking up to what’s happening in the city.”
In the two years since the launch of the Landing Zone, members including startups, leading automotive and technology companies, and venture capital firms have achieved significant milestones here in Detroit.
Integral, a startup member that has graduated out of the Landing Zone, grew to more than 30 employees and secured a permanent office space in Detroit, remaining in the city. Sivanand emphasized that it was important for the company to establish itself in this market, with their customers in the suburbs, and automotive and mobility peers downtown.
“We got to know PlanetM and that was the missing piece of the puzzle for us,” said Sivanand.
Other member successes include Bosch’s acquisition of fellow Landing Zone member SPLT in 2018 and Derq’s partnership with MDOT to successfully pilot predictive artificial intelligence technology at one of the most dangerous Detroit intersections that includes the international tunnel to Canada, Jefferson and Randolph. Derq accomplished this with the help of a PlanetM Grant, the City of Detroit, DTE Energy.
The next Mobility Meetup will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 11. For more information, contact Devon O’Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org