When you think of technology hotspots, you probably think of California, Washington, or New York. Michigan isn’t necessarily top of mind for its tech sector. General Motors and Ford both have headquarters in Michigan, earning the state its reputation as the automotive state of the country. However, some of the biggest companies in Michigan are tech companies.
Several of the largest tech companies in Michigan have been around for a long time. They focus on niche technology sectors, such as automotive or health tech. Also, some successful tech startups like Duo Security originate from Great Lakes State. After all, IT is among the top 10 contributors to Michigan’s GDP.
Which Tech Companies Were Founded in Michigan?
Many large-scale tech companies have had their beginnings in Michigan. These companies continue to have their headquarters in the state. Here are some of the largest tech companies in Michigan:
The company with the oldest roots in the state is Whirlpool, a multinational home appliance manufacturer and marketer with headquarters in Benton Harbour. The Upton Family founded it in the early 1900s. In just a few years, the company’s employee pool has reached almost 78,000, which is quite impressive.
Whirlpool is among the Fortune 500 companies, with annual revenue of $21 billion in 2021. The company also has 70+ manufacturing and tech research centers worldwide. Domestically, Whirlpool has nine manufacturing facilities in the US. Over the years, the company did a lot of work for society, making it a socially responsible tech company in Michigan.
Stryker is the second oldest and largest tech company in Michigan, founded in 1941 and headquartered in Kalamazoo. This multinational medical technologies company currently has 46,000 employees, with many subsidiaries working all around the world.
Stryker offers advanced tech-powered implants, surgical equipment, and navigation systems in the medical industry. It also provides implants used in different surgical procedures, as well as communication systems, patient-handling equipment, and multiple medical devices. Stryker’s products are popular among doctors and healthcare facilities in more than 100 countries. The company recorded a net profit of $656 million in the second quarter of 2022.
Founded in 2012 in Ann Arbour, Michigan, SkySpecs’ primary motto is to promote sustainable use of energy using modern tech solutions. The company utilizes advanced robotics to operate and maintain wind turbines.
SkySpecs became famous for its cutting-edge condition-monitoring drone technology that keeps the wind and solar fleets running for a long time. Currently, more than 200 employees are working for the company, with renewable assets present in 30 countries all over the world. They have recently secured an $80 million capital raise from Goldman Sachs.
Nexient was established in 2009 in Ann Arbour, Michigan. The company offers affordable software development services from its innovation hubs located in Silicon Valley and Midwest. Nexient’s agile developers design innovative software for businesses to help them thrive in this digital age.
Orbion Space Technology
Orbion Space Technology was founded in 2016 in Houghton, Michigan. The company works on providing satellite communication equipment in the US. It develops plasma propulsion systems development for small satellites. Orbion feels proud to have more than 200 years of experience in Hall-effect thruster (HET) technology.
This one of the largest tech companies in Michigan has a team of 40 full-time scientists and engineers. Out of them, 7 hold Ph.D. degrees in electric space propulsion and spacecraft electronic systems.
In 2019, Orbion Space Technology successfully raised $9.2 million in Series A funding amid high demand for Aurora plasma thruster systems. The leading company for this funding was Material Impact.
What are the Biggest Tech Companies Located in Michigan?
The tech companies based in Michigan are diverse regarding the tech niche they focus on. Michigan’s largest tech companies are based in engineering, software, security, logistics, and medical technology.
The selection criteria for these tech companies is their number of employees.
SolvIT – 200+ Employees
SolvIT is a global tech company that provides various technology solutions. The solutions on offer range from technical support to software development. Founded in 1999 in Rochester Hills, Michigan, the company was formerly known as Security Inspection. According to Indeed, SolvIT’s annual revenue is anywhere between $5 to $25 million.
The tech company enables other businesses and enterprises with innovative solutions. They are famous for their online portals, software, and mobile applications. The company also provides infrastructure cloud hosting and other managed IT services.
It wasn’t always as diverse in its operations as the company initially focused on network security consulting. But it has since expanded to offer different tech services and move with the times.
Liquid Web – 750+ Employees
Liquid Web is a web hosting provider based in Lansing, Michigan. With more than 750 employees, it is one of the best hosting companies in the world. But what sets this hosting provider apart is its VPS servers, dedicated servers, and cloud integration. In addition, it’s managed hosting offering is an industry leader.
In 2019, Liquid Web was recognized as an “Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing US Company” for the 12th time. So far, only 33 companies have succeeded in being a winner of the list 12 times.
The company targets small, medium, and large businesses with its web hosting infrastructure. While headquartered in Lansing, it also has locations in other cities, including Ann Arbour, Michigan.
Plex Systems – 750+ Employees
Plex Systems is another software company that got its start during the dotcom era. With more than 700 employees, the company is a major tech employer in the state. Founded in 1995, it started as an automotive parts manufacturer called MSP Industries Corporation. However, Apax Partners acquired the company in 2006 and changed its name to Plex Systems.
Based in Troy, Michigan, the company now focuses on Software as a Service (SaaS), the Plex Manufacturing Cloud. It primarily supports manufacturing operations, integrating the sector with cloud computing.
Their primary products include enterprise resource planning and manufacturing execution systems. In addition, they also offer quality management systems, customer relationship management systems, and supply chain management software.
Dakkota Integrated Systems – 1,000+ Employees
Dakkota Integrated Systems was founded in 2001. The company designs many manufacturing processes focused on the auto industry. It provides the technology for equipment manufacturing. The engineering systems include IP cockpit modules, suspensions, fascia systems, overhead systems, bumpers, cooling modules, etc.
Dakkota Integrated Systems is essentially a cross between manufacturing and technology. The tech company develops assembly operations, mainly for automotive manufacturers in Michigan and elsewhere. It had a peak revenue of $1.1 billion in 2021.
StockX – 1,200+ Employees
StockX is an online reseller marketplace famous for its sneaker reseller business. However, the company has recently dabbled with products such as computer hardware and smartphones.
It was founded in March 2015 by Dan Gilbert, Greg Schwartz, Josh Luber, and Chris Kaufman in Detroit. By 2019, the company had over 800 employees and was among the top reseller marketplaces for sneakers. They are popular for limited edition sneakers that sell for very high markups.
Headquartered in Detroit, MI, the company primarily facilitates auctions for authentic branded and designer sneakers. For the process, they collect processing and transaction fees. In the last few years, it has received funding from investors like Battery Ventures, Eminem, and Mark Wahlberg.
In 2021, the company reached a valuation of $3.8 billion after a series of funding rounds. It saw immense growth during the pandemic when e-commerce sales skyrocketed.
Altair Engineering – 3,000+ Employees
Altair Engineering was founded in 1985 and is one of the oldest tech companies in Michigan. Its primary offerings include software, particularly for the manufacturing sector. From systems modeling to the Internet of Things (IoT), this tech company offers a broad range of products and services.
The company’s founder James R. Scapa is now the Chairman after serving as CEO. In the 90s, they produced software solutions such as HyperWorks and HyperMesh. These solutions were primarily used in the automotive industry.
Today, the company offers products based on the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Its clients and partners include big names such as General Motors and government agencies such as the Department of Defense.
Altair Engineering went public only recently, as its Initial Public Offering (IPO) took place in November 2017. With its IPO, the company raised over $156 million. It acquired several companies before it went public, increasing its assets, services, and employees.
Atos | Syntel – 11,000+ Employees
Atos Syntel, a subsidiary of Atos, is a multinational tech company that provides integrated technology services. It was initially Syntel Inc. but was later renamed Atos | Syntel when the French IT company Atos acquired it in 2018.
The company had a revenue of almost $11,210 or €10,839 million in 2021. It primarily provides business technology services through its different divisions. With digital solutions like enterprise software, cybersecurity, data analytics, and automation, this tech company provides a wide range of services to other large enterprises.
Atos, the company behind this Michigan-based tech business, has been on an acquisition spree for some time. However, Syntel was its most significant acquisition after acquiring many other IT companies or IT subsidies of big companies like Xerox and Siemens.
The Largest Private Tech Companies in Michigan (The Tech Companies You May Not Know About)
Michigan’s largest private tech companies include Atos Syntel and Dakkota Integrated Systems. Although these companies employ thousands of people and have revenue in tens of millions, they are not listed on any stock exchange.
Both companies are relatively less known in the business and tech world, mainly providing solutions for other enterprises. As B2B organizations, these companies don’t offer direct-to-consumer products, which explains why so little is known about them.
Some more private tech startups headquartered in Michigan include:
It is a logistics and warehouse company offering specialized supply chain management and tech-operated temperature control logistics services. Lineage Logistics employs over 10,000 employees and started in 2012 in Novi, Michigan. The company offers services in different niches, including supply chain management, warehousing, and food delivery and processing.
Lineage Logistics also focuses on upgrading its processes and structures according to the latest technological advancements. In 2021, the company raised $1.9 billion in equity from its current and new partners.
It is one of the most popular platforms among US row crop farmers, offering operational data insights. FarmLogs started in 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company has 50 to 100 employees working as of now. The industry niches in which FarmLogs operates are big data, software, and agriculture.
FarmLogs recently raised $22 million in Series C funding led by Naspers Ventures (new venture). The existing ventures were also a part of the round, i.e., Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, and Hyde Park Venture Partners.
The company uses modern technology to enhance the safety of cities. It also helps make towns greener and more accessible. May Mobility started in 2017 in Ann Arbor with 100 to 250 employees. It offers automotive, autonomous vehicles, and various travel services to clients.
In 2019, May Mobility raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Toyota Motor Corporation and many other ventures.
The Largest Publicly Traded Tech Companies in Michigan
The largest stock-exchange-listed tech company based in Michigan is Altair Engineering. It’s listed on NASDAQ as ALTR. It’s a leading software and cloud solutions company that has been operating in Michigan since the mid-1980s.
Some other publicly-traded largest tech companies in Michigan include the following:
The company offers advanced financial and data analysis services to organizations belonging to different industries. OneStream Software is a large publicly traded company founded in 2010 and currently headquartered in Rochester, Michigan, United States. It has around 1000 employees, working diligently to make the company a big name in the market.
In 2021, OneStream announced that it had raised $200 million in Series B funding at a $6 billion valuation. D1 Capital Partners led the round along with other ventures.
This publicly traded company was founded in 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Duo Security offers security software services, including authentication-as-a-service solutions that use an individual’s smartphone as a 2nd factor of authentication.
The company had a value of $2.35 billion and was bought by Cisco in 2018. Duo Security currently has around 800 to 1000 employees but is willing to expand in the coming years.
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, LLamasoft offers services to large organizations to design and enhance their supply chain network. It is an offspring of Coupa Software company (that acquired it in 2020) and has two subsidiaries.
These are Opex Analytics and Barloworld Limited, working in the same niche. Llamasoft currently has 500 to 1000 employees. The parent company, Coupa Software, reported an annual revenue of $725 million for 2021.
It is an online marketplace selling sneakers and many consumer electronic products, including game consoles, computer hardware, and smartphones. StockX’s headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan.
Forgotten Tech Companies
Michigan’s relationship with technology goes back decades, with many companies that came, conquered, and then vanished, either through mergers or acquisitions. The most significant of such companies is Burroughs Corporation (founded as the American Arithmometer Company).
The company Burroughs Corporation was founded in 1884 and manufactured business equipment. Its developments helped bring computing technology to the business sector with products like printers and typewriters.
It also produced mainframe computers that empowered businesses. The company moved to computer technology beginning in the early 1950s, and by the 1960s, it had become one of the top computer companies in the US.
Their computer architectures were one of the first to support high-level programming languages, ushering in an era of computer program development. Many computer scientists and tech historians regard the company’s work as revolutionary and groundbreaking.
Burroughs Corporation merged with Sperry Corporation, a similar tech company, to form Unisys in 1986. However, Unisys has headquarters in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The Burroughs name has been revived as Unisys sold its Payment Systems Division to a company from California. They incorporated their payment business as Burroughs and offered payment and transaction management technology. This new company with the same name is also present in Michigan.
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