The TechTown technology park and business incubator acceleration program was established in 2000 by Wayne State University, General Motors and Henry Ford Health Systems. The 100,000 square foot facility is home to 250 emerging companies. Fourteen of those companies received more than $1.35 million in entrepreneurial capital infusion during 2010.  These images were commissioned for the incubator's annual impact report.


Program Administrators

Executive director Randal Charlton [top] and general manager Leslie Smith.


Program Participants

Dr. Catherine Jen and Dr. Joseph Artiss in Wayne State University's Science Hall [top]. The researchers are the co-developers of  Mirafit - a fiber-based dietary supplement that facilitates weight loss by blocking fat absorption.


By utilizing up-to-date metering technology, Walker-Miller Energy helps traditional and alternative energy consumers maximize energy-use efficiencies. The company's founder, Carla Walker-Miller consults with a business associate in front of an unoccupied home in Detroit's historic Boston-Edison neighborhood [top]. Carla's company has received federal funding to retrofit unoccupied homes in historic neighborhoods with modern energy conserving technology. By doing so, the value of the disused home is buoyed - as is the value of neighboring homes.


Clean Emission Fluids CEO and co-founder Oliver Baer inside one of his company's mobile biofuel refueling modules. The modules offer flexible, portable, scalable fueling options for the ever-evolving fuel-energy infrastructure.


Forever Fresh is a line of disposable undergarments. Tanya Allen founded the company in 1989. Since, the company has secured contracts with the state of Michigan and Walgreens. Tanya [top] is pictured in the shipping and receiving area of her manufacturing facility.


Photographer's Notes

This was a fairly expansive project photographed over several weeks and at several different locations. Since it was going to be presented as a series, I wanted to do something to tie the images together.

TechTown's official color palette is red, green, off-white, and gray. With that in mind, I contacted my subjects ahead of time and asked that they wear clothing that matched that palette. This bit of planning helped unify the images as a series. Also, it was done with their final usage in mind. Since they were going to be used in a official document, I wanted the colors in the images to correspond with the official colors that were likely to be used in the finished impact report.

I also was mindful of this palette in post processing. I tried to emphasize colors that accorded with the palette and mute colors that did not.

I'm going to be posting technical notes on some of the photos from this series on my flickr.com stream. The first post is for the exterior shot that appears at the top of this page. Give it a look, if you are so inclined.

Also, feel free to "Appreciate" this project on AdWeek.

- Noah

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