Jim Richter wears more than one hat in Metro Detroit's entrepreneurial ecosystem, and he regularly throws those hats into the regional economy's growing defense sector.
Richter is the CEO of Gravikor, a Delphi spin-out that is working to commercialize welding technology that is both lighter and stronger than traditional welding. It aims to take this technology to refurbishing military vehicles, such as the Humvee. These sorts of military vehicles are constantly overweight, which causes everything from lower fuel economy to increased wear and tear on parts. The Ann Arbor-based startup's technology is promising to make these Humvees lighter and give them the ability to add or subtract armor easily.
Richter is also the president of the Michigan Research Institute. The non-profit research incubator, which is based in Ann Arbor, works to help bring more cutting-edge technology into the marketplace. Often that means creating startups that help create more jobs. The defense and aerospace sectors are both areas the Michigan Research Institute has helped create new, local businesses in.
Richter answered a handful of questions about Metro Detroit's growing defense sector means to the local economy and where the best opportunities for it are.