Civionics awarded grant by the MEDC First Customer Program

Date: 
Thursday, 7 November 2013

To help early-stage companies start generating revenue, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation created the First Customer Program (FCP) using funds provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, see www.MichiganAdvantage.org. The program, which is administered by the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy at the University of Michigan assists companies with identifying first customers, gaining introductions, and closing deals.

The process used by the FCP includes: assessing the company’s technology and positioning; providing a market assessment and a listing of potential first customers; and identifying resources to help the company validate its value proposition and close its first deals. The resources identified are typically local consultants with previous startup experience and the FCP co-funds their efforts directed towards closing the Company’s first deals.

As with most programs of this type, FCP receives numerous requests for assistance and must selectively choose those to support. According to Steven Wilson, the FCP Program Director, Civionics was approved because, “Their technology is mature, ready for deployment, the markets being addressed are global in scale, and they will create jobs.”

Gerald Roston, an Ann Arbor-based consultant with significant startup executive management experience won the competitive bidding process to work with Civionics. Andy Zimmerman, Civionics’ CTO and  interim CEO, is quite pleased with Roston’s being awarded the contact. “Gerry brings a broad business perspective to our team and will certainly help us ramp up our sales in 2014.” Zimmerman also indicated that should the Civionics team and Roston work well together, there could be a longer term, executive management opportunity for him with the Company.