Anya Babbitt, Harold Ford Jr. and Mark Schlissel Deliver Mackinac Moments at 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference

Check out three captivating and engaging Mackinac Moments from the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, featuring Anya Babbitt, Harold Ford Jr. and Mark Schlissel.

Anya Babbitt, founder and CEO of SPLT, discusses her journey to Detroit and the importance SPLT and other transportation solutions in a shared economy driven by innovation and technology.

Harold Ford Jr., former U.S. Representative and political analyst for MSNBC and CNBC, shares his thoughts on President Trump’s presidency and how he sees positives within the latest shakeup in Washington despite several controversies as of late. Ford’s optimism resonates with the Conference pillar regarding restoring civility in American politics.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel discussed several U of M graduates who have impacted the world through entrepreneurship and the importance of making the world a better place through research and academics.

More from the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference:

Stephanie Cutter and Ana Navarro: Closing America’s Political Divide an Uphill Battle

Techstars Helping Detroit Startups Lead in Mobility Space

With much talk about how the region will lead in the race for connected and autonomous vehicle development at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), several Techstars affiliate companies and alumni believe the answer starts and ends in Detroit.

“There are great resources here in Detroit,” said Chris Stallman, principal at Fontinalis Partners, on a panel discussing why the city and mobility go hand-in-hand.

“We see a lot of engineering and manufacturing companies in this area. We see higher rates of success with companies that think globally in the Detroit market than anywhere else,” he said.

Helping create a global ecosystem for entrepreneurs, Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars, shared exactly how the startup accelerator accomplishes its mission.

“(We do this by) connecting the startup and automotive worlds by breaking down silos and workings across the industry to build partnerships around innovation,” Serbinski said while providing an overview of Techstars. “Simply put, Techstars is bringing disruption back to its birthplace – right here in Detroit.”

With corporate partnerships including Ford Motor Co., Honda, Magna International, Verizon and others, Techstars is providing nearly 12 mobility startups per year with a significant financial investment totaling $120,000.

“Some of the strategic investments that are driving the entrepreneurial story are big here,” said Gregg Garrett, CEO and managing director of CGS Advisors. “We have true product leaders in Detroit.”

The panel also included Anya Babbitt, CEO and co-founder of SPLT, and Jessica Robinson, director of City Solutions for Ford. The panel was moderated by Lisa Seymour, project manager at Techstars Mobility.