Working at a computer at 20Fathoms

Our Impact

Building Traverse City’s digital economy.

Growing Northern Michigan’s startup hub and accelerating innovative solutions

Local tech job creation and tech-based entrepreneurship strengthens our economy. Together with our partners, 20Fathoms provides critical resources and removes barriers to help achieve these outcomes.

Since our founding in 2018, 20Fathoms has experienced steady growth and expanded our services to tackle the broader challenges facing our local entrepreneurs and business leaders such as skilled worker shortages and access to capital. We have worked closely with regional partners, as well as state and national experts, to remove barriers and foster economic development.

Some of our accomplishments are included here.

Four graduates of our startup incubator

Four startups have graduated from our startup incubator: ATLAS Space Operations (pictured here)HealthBridge, SampleServe, and Birch Infrastructure.

The 20Fathoms startup incubator removes barriers and provides valuable resources including access to capital, affordable office space, and talent acquisition services. The rapid growth of these startups led to new jobs and investment in Traverse City.

250 people have received tech education

Software developers and cybersecurity professionals at all stages of their careers gained skills training through tccodes and tccyber.

The program was designed to not only provide high-quality tech education, but to be highly accessible, welcoming, and supportive for all learners. Due to 20Fathoms’ success, we received grant funding for program expansion and related workforce development initiatives.

Local entrepreneurs have strengthened their businesses through 20Fathoms programs

20Fathoms provides programs and resources that help local entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses:

  • A network of business mentors, investors, and professional services providers.
  • A national-level talent acquisition professional on-staff.
  • Business workshops on topics including sales, startup financing, law, marketing, and human resources.
  • A vibrant community of tech and startup professionals where interactions lead to new opportunities, investments, and solutions.

Hundreds of professionals have utilized the 20Fathoms workspace and community services

Our coworking space provides remote workers, entrepreneurs, and visitors with a professional work environment, fast WiFi, meeting rooms, and community. A 2020 office relocation doubled our space and allowed for record growth as many people sought an alternative to working from home. Options include:

Founders benefit from increased access to capital

20Fathoms is well-connected to a network of investors and other funding sources in our region and beyond, some of whom work out of our coworking space.

  • Boomerang Catapult has infused over $10 million in venture capital investment into the local economy with businesses who have gone on to raise over $120 million.
  • Members of Northern Michigan Angels have invested over $7 million in more than 30 entrepreneurial Michigan companies.
  • 20Fathoms is the only SBDC Business Accelerator Fund administrator in the northern lower peninsula.
  • The CORI Innovation Fund invests in early-stage technology businesses located in rural areas in the U.S.

10 startups graduated from the HealthSpark Accelerator

These digital health and telehealth companies are building bold solutions for some of rural healthcare’s biggest challenges.

Program participants received nearly 200 hours of instruction, mentorship, and networking. The slate of speakers included more than 70 senior healthcare leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and investors who shared their time and expertise. Notably, keynote presentations were provided by leaders from Google, Anthem, Verizon, Cleveland Clinic, Texas A&M, American Telemedicine Association, Munson Healthcare, Boomerang Catapult, and HealthBridge.

Pictured: Bre Loughlin, Founder & CEO of Nurse Disrupted, a HealthSpark Accelerator graduate

Stephen Johanson President & Founder, Starboard Solutions

“20Fathoms is a valuable ecosystem for companies in their infancy. It is a diverse group of people, skills, and perspectives. We have benefited greatly from the relationships built and ideas exchanged here.”

1/5

Laurel Manke Cofounder, Slabtown Marketing

“20Fathoms’ mentorship program has been hugely valuable. It is a regular check-up that keeps us accountable to our strategic goals and helps us zoom out from day-to-day tasks and consider the bigger picture.”

2/5

Kenneth Davies Cofounder & Chief Strategy Officer, Birch Infrastructure

“20Fathoms and Boomerang Catapult were instrumental in launching Birch Infrastructure.”

3/5

Ryan Clulo Software Engineer , ATLAS Space Operations

“These are jaw-on-the-floor events at tccodes. I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the advanced professional series. Every event I’ve attended has been valuable.”

4/5

Jennifer Szunko Executive Director, TCNewTech

“20Fathoms is a beautiful space to work in and they have sophisticated technology that makes my job easier. Beyond that, you can find community, inspiration, and friendships.”

5/5