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Tech incubator opens in downtown TC

20 Fathoms
20 Fathoms Executive Director Andy Cole places sticky notes on a window overlooking Front Street in Traverse City.

A new tech incubator opens its doors in downtown Traverse City this week. 20 Fathoms will provide workspace and business coaching for eight small tech companies in fields like satellite communications and cryptocurrency mining.

Executive Director Andy Cole says local investors are eager to help new businesses get off the ground.

"Traverse City's a really small town, but it is incredibly dense with entrepreneurial and technology talent,” says Cole. “And then also has a really untapped, but important investment community."

Cole says 20 Fathoms has raised most of its $500,000 fundraising goal. Investors include the local venture capital company Boomerang Catapult and other individuals and groups making donations.

Michigan Broadband Services is providing high-speed fiber internet service to the building.

Cole said 20 Fathoms should be self-sustaining within three years. He envisions the office space as the beginning of a technology ecosystem in the region.

Right now, 27 people from eight companies have set up shop in the building.

Justin Blanchard works for one of the companies moving into 20 Fathoms.

"The more that remote jobs and work grows, people are going to be going to the areas that are like this that are beautiful, great downtown, lots of nature and trails and all the good stuff," says Blanchard.

The new business will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.