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DETROIT — Weeks after reopening Detroit’s iconic train station, Michigan Central is marking another major milestone, announcing that Newlab in Detroit has surpassed 100 member startups. Michigan Central, an open platform for innovation, and Newlab, a global venture platform, have partnered to build an ecosystem dedicated to shaping the future of mobility and are working to re-establish Detroit as a global leader in innovation.

The Newlab at Michigan Central building opened in April 2023 — a key piece in the 30-acre Michigan Central innovation district — with an initial cohort of 25 startups. To date, Newlab at Michigan Central’s membership has grown to 106 member companies and about 675 individual members representing the mobility, transportation, logistics and climate tech sectors. These startups come from all over Michigan, across the country and around the world – choosing to help lead mobility innovation from Detroit.

“Newlab at Michigan Central has grown even faster than expected,” said Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central. “This is proof of the power and potential of the economic engine that we are building here in Detroit, and the realization of Bill Ford and Ford Motor Co.’s vision to create an open platform ecosystem that draws on our region’s incredible talent and legacy of innovation to help solve many of the world’s challenges.”

The 270,000-square-foot facility offers state-of-the-art prototyping equipment and labs and sits within a special Transportation Innovation Zone, offering unparalleled real-world conditions and fast-tracked permitting for urban mobility pilots, helping startups safely test their tech in the real world faster and accelerate commercialization. It also is home to more than 20 venture capital firms, providing investors a seat at the cutting edge of technology and startups with access to capital. These facilities and their unique infrastructure for testing new technology have allowed Michigan Central and Newlab to attract world-class startup founders.


A look at what Michigan Central and Newlab have achieved together in just one year:

  1. Rapid growth in startup membership:
  • 106 member startups: Newlab at Michigan Central opened with 25 startups on April 25, 2023, and has since grown 320% in a little more than a year.
  1. Startup membership remains diverse:
  • 41% are mobility-focused and 19% are energy-focused: The majority of startups at Newlab at Michigan Central are creating technology that will advance the mobility and energy sectors.
  • A diverse community: 53% of the startups at Newlab at Michigan Central have at least one female, black, and/or LatinX founder or CEO, helping address underrepresentation of women and people of color in tech.
  1. Venture capital raised and deployed:
  • $688.58 million raised: Member companies of Newlab at Michigan Central have collectively raised $688 million in venture capital.
  • $150,000 deployed to underrepresented founders: Michigan Central and Newlab launched the Founder Fellowship program in collaboration with the State of Michigan. The Fellowship supports a cohort of five climate tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds with resources they need to scale their startups.
  • $1.3 million deployed via the Scale Fund: Michigan Central started the Scale Fund to help startups scale and pilot in Michigan and, together with Newlab, have chosen 12 startups to receive an award to date.
  1. Successful pilot programs:
  • Fast-tracking technology: 22 pilots have already been completed in Michigan, with 10 active or planned pilots. Among them:
    • Automated Trucking Hub: This pilot focused on advancing autonomous trucking technologies by testing technologies that could address what’s known in the industry as “the last 5 feet.”
    • Mythos AI at the Port of Monroe: This pilot deployed autonomous marine hydrography technology to enhance port operations and eventually unlock autonomous shipping routes through mapping depths of bodies of water, thus helping large ships avoid being grounded and delaying commerce.
    • America’s first public EV-charging road: Michigan Central, the City of Detroit, and MDOT unveiled the nation’s first public electric road using Newlab member Electreon’s technology.
    • Advanced Aerial Innovation Region: Newlab at Michigan Central is currently developing several pilots around this initiative to enable drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), pushing the boundaries of aerial mobility innovation.
  1. Strengthening Detroit’s mobility legacy:
  • By fostering a community of innovators in the heart of Detroit, Newlab at Michigan Central has reinforced the city’s historical legacy as the birthplace of the auto industry while paving the way for future advancements in transportation tech.


These achievements highlight Michigan Central and Newlab’s commitment to supporting deep tech startups and driving forward the next generation of mobility solutions in Detroit and Michigan.

“It’s been inspiring to see the rapid growth at Newlab in Detroit and of the Michigan Central cultural hub. It proves that the work we are doing together is creating a truly differentiated place to build a business and founders are responding,” said Newlab CEO Cam Lawrence. “Here’s to 100 more startups!”

About Michigan Central

Michigan Central is a 30-acre technology and cultural hub in Detroit, where leaders, thinkers, communities, and creators come together to accelerate bold ideas and technologies that shape our collective future. By providing access to world-class infrastructure, tools, and resources, Michigan Central inspires innovators and community members to collaborate on real, ground-breaking solutions to global problems. Since opening in April 2023, Michigan Central has grown into a diverse ecosystem of more than 600 employees from over 100 companies and startups working at the intersection of mobility and society. The Station at Michigan Central opened as the centerpiece of the district in June 2024 and has already attracted tens of thousands of visitors to celebrate and explore the historic transformation of Detroit’s iconic former train station into a global destination. Learn more at

About Newlab

Newlab is a global venture platform for critical technology startups building our sustainable future. Through their global network of innovation hubs, Newlab significantly reduces the barriers to commercialization by aligning industry, infrastructure, and investment. Named Fast Company’s Design Company of the year, Newlab includes more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, partnerships with corporate and civic entities, and a network of active investors—all working together to commercialize critical technology. To date, Newlab has executed over 100 pilots and supported its 300-plus member companies in raising over $5.8 billion from venture capital firms, with over $2.3 billion of successful exits and a collective valuation of over $20 billion. Visit to learn more.