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Pilot, testing grants reduce costs for startups; provide vital connection to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem

By Posted on September 21, 2018

Amanda Roraff
PlanetM Operations Manager
State of Michigan | Michigan Economic Development Corporation


History teaches us that timing is everything.

And today, timing couldn’t be more important when it comes to opportunities in mobility, especially for startups.

Michigan is in a race: an intense competition not just with other U.S. states, but with every other region of the world seeking to be the unquestioned global leader, defining the new frontier in the mobility age.

Our pitch is simple: The place that put the world on wheels is the preeminent locale at the vanguard of autonomous-vehicle technologies, one of the many defining breakthrough mobility innovations in the age of AI, cybersecurity, ridesharing, VTOL, driver analytics, smart cities, electrification, and drones.

In the spirit of innovation, PlanetM is making more than $1 million available to startups. The grants offer an efficient and cost-effective path to test new mobility technologies on Michigan’s world-renowned test tracks, and pilot them in a real-world environment on Michigan roadways. Often, these grants provide invaluable funds to startups by reducing costs related to research and deployment.

Equally significant, the grants are a pathway into Michigan’s mobility ecosystem where industry, public sector and entrepreneurialism coalesce into one of the most exciting spaces of innovation occurring anywhere in the world.

Read on for information about the PlanetM Startup Grants.

Two types of awards:

  • Pilot Grant — Funds for piloting mobility technologies on Michigan roadways. Amounts vary, minimum of 25% match is required by participant. Seeking innovative mobility pilot projects of varying sizes that provide mobility solutions in Michigan communities.
  • Testing Grant — Funds for testing mobility technologies at Mcity and The American Center for Mobility. Amounts vary, minimum of 25% match is required by participant.

Both grants aim to support advances that solve transportation challenges, and further elevate Michigan as a leading state for testing and deploying mobility startup technologies.

WATCH video to learn more


  • Pilot Grant – Oct. 1, Feb. 3 and June 2
  • Testing Grant – Accepted on a rolling basis


  • Mobility startups less than 10 years since founding, fewer than 100 employees, non-public, net value less than $500 million.



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