Press Release


Automation Alley Invests $300,000 in Local Technology Companies

5/6/2010 - Published by Automation Alley,  ( )
Troy, Mich., May 6, 2010 – Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, is proud to announce that it has invested $300,000 to assist three Southeast Michigan companies develop their emerging technologies.

Automation Alley’s seed funds, investments under $250,000, are being used to encourage the commercialization of competitive-edge technologies by accelerating the growth of technology-based businesses.

“By providing seed funding to Southeast Michigan’s technology companies, we are investing in the future of our regional economy and the growth of global innovation,” said Ken Rogers, executive director. “Automation Alley will continue to fund entrepreneurial endeavors and encourage the dialogue on developing advanced products and services.”

Cargo Solutions Group LLC received $250,000 from Automation Alley. Cargo Solutions is an advanced automotive manufacturer of personal transportation consumer products specializing in pickup truck cargo management systems. The Sterling Heights company is also exploring hybrid power train solar re-charging system integration as a second phase project tied to the cargo system. “Automation Alley’s investment in CSG represented a critical final element of our production financing round, allowing us to close a comprehensive investment deal with several partners,” said Paul Chapman, President and CEO of CSG.

A follow-on investment of $25,000 was awarded to CircleBuilder Software LLC (, a private, rules-based community, networking and outreach management Internet service that connects individuals with organizations. The Franklin, MI based company enables faith-based organizations (and other cause related organizations) to increase communication, participation, membership, volunteerism and giving through its Web-based service, including emails, shared calendars, blogs, social networking, photo sharing and more. CircleBuilder was one of 30 startup companies exclusively selected and presented at the Angel Venture Fair at the Union League in Philadelphia on April 6.

Founder and CEO of CircleBuilder, Howard Brown, who won 2010’s Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship “Elevator Pitch” competition said, “The team and stakeholders at CircleBuilder are pleased and thankful for Automation Alley’s follow-on second investment. As part of a bridge funding round from Automation Alley and other investors, CircleBuilder is able to execute its ‘go to market’ ‘distribution strategy to continue to build market share and revenue.”

Clean Emission Fluids, Inc., located in Detroit, received a follow-on investment of $25,000. Run by Oliver Baer, CEF has developed a patent pending biofuel and clean diesel system called FAST, Fluids Affordably Stored. Clean Emission’s FAST solution uniquely stores and blends variable-ratio biofuels and fuel additives through a deployable infrastructure specifically designed for clean diesels, to lower the price at the pump and reduce the North American transportation industry’s dependence on petroleum. The technology also provides a “Blend of Choice” offering the best biofuel based on vehicle type, air temperature, driving patterns and more, to lower overall operating costs. Clean Emission Fluids’ equipment qualifies for certain biofuel and clean diesel tax credits and may be financed or leased to customers that qualify.

Entrepreneurs can meet with Automation Alley staff and receive business plan consulting, referrals and expert advice. To date, Automation Alley has invested approximately $5 million in 25 technology-driven companies across Southeast Michigan and growth of those resulted in 1,015 direct and indirect jobs. For additional information or to inquire about applying for seed funding, visit or contact the Resource Center at (800) 427-5100 or

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a technology business association driving the growth and image of Southeast Michigan’s economy through a collaborative culture that focuses on workforce and business development initiatives.

Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley has expanded to include more than 1,000 businesses, educational institutions and government entities, covering an eight county area and the City of Detroit. Automation Alley promotes regional prosperity through business attraction services, exporting assistance, workforce development and technology acceleration.


Media Contact Information

Contact NameCharles DeVries
Contact Phone(248) 457-3200