Downtown Traverse City

About 20Fathoms

Where ideas take root, innovators thrive, and businesses grow.

Welcome to the nexus of Northwest Michigan’s tech community

20Fathoms is a membership organization for the region’s entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators. Led by a team of experts who have walked-the-walk, we provide services, resources, support, and a robust network to help our members accelerate both their careers and businesses. Most importantly, ours is a supportive community with an eye for cultivating innovation and ideas, and fostering business growth.

Mark Schmude Executive Director – Client Coverage, MSCI

“I’m thankful to have found 20Fathoms. Nice space, neat people, and all the connectivity you need in Northern Michigan. It’s very well-run and I hope to be part of this community for a long time.”

What we do

We provide services that remove barriers for our members and position them to thrive and their businesses to grow.

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Advancing innovative companies by linking them to resources, funding, and expertise

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Office Space

A versatile coworking space and private offices in a professional environment with lots of amenities

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Education & Events

Relevant, high-quality events and resources to create a strong business foundation

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Healthtech Accelerator

Commercialization platform for digital health startups creating solutions for rural healthcare

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Learning Communities

Workshops and resources for advancement in software development and cybersecurity

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Talent Acquisition

National-level tech talent recruitment services for growing teams

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Led by startup and tech experts

We are business founders, startup leaders, angel investors, and tech educators. We’ve taken risks, grown, succeeded, and sometimes failed. And we love working with 20Fathoms’ members to build bridges, find solutions, open doors, and help their careers and businesses grow.

Our collective experience includes 100+ years of working in tech, transportation, advanced manufacturing, energy, and healthcare; 75+ years of helping startups; and 35+ years of teaching technology and finance courses.

Growing Traverse City’s tech hub

In 2018, 20Fathoms was founded on two interlocking goals: to provide a home for the region’s entrepreneur and tech professionals and to help strengthen Traverse City’s economy and quality of life.

Traverse City is a picturesque and growing Great Lakes beach town, but the local economy was becoming increasingly reliant on seasonal tourism and the service sector. By nurturing and elevating Traverse City’s tech and startup community, 20Fathoms is enhancing a sector of the economy that creates high-paying, family-sustaining jobs for professionals looking to enjoy a small-town, nature-focused lifestyle while still growing in their career and business.

The story behind our name

We love where we live and our name is inspired by the natural resources that surround us in Northern Michigan. The 20Fathoms office overlooks beautiful Grand Traverse Bay which is clear to a depth of… you guessed it… 20 fathoms (or 120 feet).

“Fathom” can also mean gaining an understanding of a difficult problem on the path to solving it. And in Old English, “fathom” meant “outstretched arms” which is how it became a unit of measurement.

Our name is a nod to our location on Grand Traverse Bay, our membership of problem-solving innovators, and our welcoming community of entrepreneurs and tech professionals.