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169 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

"Homecoming" event spotlights Detroit's economic progress to the nation

Detroit showed itself off to advantage at a recent event attended by the nation's movers and shakers.

Excerpt:

"In May, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said the bank would invest $100 million over the next five years in the city. Other companies, foundations and the state of Michigan pledged more than $800 million over 20 years to help protect the city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts from possible sale...

Residential vacancy in the city's downtown and midtown neighborhoods is low as office space has begun to fill up, driven in large measure by dozens of buildings acquired and renovated by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert. As part of the event Thursday, premium grocer  Whole Foods  said it was searching for a second location in the city after opening its first store last year.

"It's much better after the bankruptcy than before," investor  Warren Buffett  told an invitation-only crowd.

Last year, the chairman and chief executive of Omaha, Neb.-based  Berkshire Hathaway  said Detroit had huge potential for investors, saying he would be open to buying business in the city. On Thursday, he said in a staged conversation with Mr. Gilbert that he once considered buying the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit across its namesake river to Canada and wouldn't rule out future investments in the city."

More here.

Macomb Comm. College to manage $2.7M Innovation Fund for entrepreneurs, start-ups

The funding pie is growing larger for Detroit-area entrepreneurs, especially those who agree to take on community-college students as interns.

Excerpt:

"Up to $100,000 will be made available to startup and emerging businesses in the Detroit area through the $2.7 million  Innovation Fund, part of  J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s  $100 million investment in the region.

According to a release from  Macomb Community College, which will manage the fund, grants of $25,000, which don't have to be repaid, will be awarded to startups "that are taking the initial steps to get their very early stage idea ready for market introduction."

In other cases, up to $100,000 will be made available to "advance the progress of emerging companies toward larger-scale equity funding." Those awards would have to be matched 100 percent by the company...

Companies that receive funding will be required to provide employment opportunities to MCC students through internships."

More here

"The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation" show to premiere on CBS

The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation show featuring thinkers and doers is set to premiere on CBS's Saturday morning lineup, beginning Sept. 27.

Excerpt:

"Hosted by Mo Rocca of CBS' "Sunday  Morning," will be a weekly celebration of the inventor’s spirit - from historic scientific pioneers throughout past centuries to the forward-looking visionaries of today. Each episode tells the dramatic stories behind the world’s greatest inventions - and the perseverance, passion and price required to bring them to life. Featuring the "what if it never happened," "the innovation by accident" and a strong focus on "junior geniuses" who are changing the face of technology, this series will appeal to young viewers and their families.


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Michigan tops in employment recovery post-recession; promising economic future ahead

Michigan has regained much of the ground it lost since the recession's nadir in 2009, and its future bodes well, according to a recent national report.

Excerpt:

"Results of the Business Facilities annual report rank Michigan among the top states in employment recovery since the end of the Great Recession, automotive jobs and automotive manufacturing strength. Further, the report lists Detroit and Grand Rapids as among the top regions in the country for economic growth...

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Michigan has plummeted from a five year high of 14.2 percent to the current 7.7 percent. The 6.5 drop in percentage points is more than any other state. Michigan’s unemployment rate in June of 2009 stood at 7.2 percent."

More here and here

Local inventor's trash bag hanger to be sold at Wal-Mart, manufactured in Ferndale

If you're picking up trash and don't have a trash can handy, this cool new gizmo keeps your bag open, eliminating the need to bend down to stuff trash in your limp sock of a bag.

Excerpt:

"Wal-Mart agreed last month to sell theportable, reusable trash holder invented by a Michigan man online and in stores nationwide.

John Cundy, a 49-year-old clay sculptor for General Motors, came up with the idea for the inventionabout three years ago when he was helping cleaning up a mess left behind at a high school track meet. Walking around toting a garbage bag, he said he realized there had to be a better way...

The Trash-Ease, which is being manufactured in Ferndale and Traverse City, has gone through six iterations. It hangs a 13-gallon trash bag just about anywhere, on bleachers, picnic tables, even kitchen counters."

More here.

Detroit Custom Coach outfits food trucks, vans, and limos with new interiors

Here's a company on a roll outfitting coaches with luxe new interior swag.

Excerpt:

"As the owner of  Detroit Custom Coach LLC, he knows a few things about building out food trucks. For the past four years, he's been fabricating custom food trucks — such as the newly finished  Eskimo Jacks  ice cream sandwich mobile — as well as turning limos and vans into rolling dens of luxury...

It's a good line of work that allowed Ramos to turn former competitors into clients. His first business was a shuttle service called  Night Moves Transportation. But when Ramos realized he could charge more to rent a party bus, he decided to build one...

Recently a client hired DCC to turn a van into a rolling humidor, complete with high-end TVs and sound system. And while that was a big job, the most extravagant vehicle in DCC's portfolio is a custom project for  Jim Beam.The bourbon distiller wanted the passenger shuttle running at its distillery in Clermont, Ky., to look like an old 1930s truck delivering barrels."

More here.

Register soon for Michigan Shifting Gears career transition program

If you're looking to get back into the job market or change careers, this program may give you an in.

Excerpt:

"Michigan Shifting Gears, an intensive career transition initiative sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, kicks off its next three-month session on  Wednesday, September 3, 2014.  Registration for the  Fall 2014 session, taking place in Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City is open now through  Friday, August 22.

The program is designed to help experienced professionals, returning veterans, stay-at-home parents and others facing a career crossroads fine-tune their skills to fit the needs of small businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups, and non-profits.  Launched in 2009 by Ann Arbor SPARK and Sensei Change Associates, Michigan Shifting Gears is a unique opportunity for seasoned professionals and other transitioning job seekers to learn how to put their talent and experience to work in "new economy" career opportunities."

Click here for more information and to register.
 

Michigan is "Most Improved State" in national pro-business states report

Michigan is gaining a business-friendly reputation, an important aspect of attracting entrepreneurs and investment from other states and around the globe.

Excerpt:

"The American Economic Development Institute and Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. today named Michigan the Most Improved State for 2014 in their annual Top 10 Pro-Business States report. Overall, Michigan ranked no. 3 among the nation’s top 10 most populous states and no. 2 among the eight Great Lakes states...

The state’s improved rank pushed it ahead of other top population states, including Georgia (ranked 22), Ohio (23), Texas (27), New York (30), Pennsylvania (39), Illinois (49) and California (50). Only N. Carolina and Florida finished ahead of Michigan at no. 11 and 15, respectively.

Michigan advanced 21 spots in this year’s Pro-Business States report, up to no. 18 from no. 39 in 2012."

More here

U.S. Treasury Dept. says Michigan leads nation in optimizing federal funds for small business growth

Second only to California in the amount of federal funds received via the State Small Business Credit Act, Michigan is parlaying this cash infusion into industry diversification and job creation at a commendable rate.

Excerpt: 

"Since 2011, Michigan has distributed $79.4 million from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a federal program established a year earlier in the aftermath of the Great Recession and modeled after a state of Michigan program to bolster the collateral position of manufacturing companies. Federal funds dispersed to small business and local lenders have been used to finance more than $420 million in new private investment and create 4,600 jobs in Michigan, according to MEDC estimates."

More here.

Contests become launchpads for Detroit startups

In the last few years, entrepreneurs are increasingly making pitch and business plan competitions part of their game plans. And more than ever, nationally televised contests are filming in Detroit. 

Excerpt:

"A number of competitions mirroring the style of hit TV show "Shark Tank" have sprung up in Detroit,  where a downtown start-up tech scene  has taken root...

Mark Kiel's company, which developed software to interpret data about gene mutations in DNA sequencing, was founded two months ago, but he has already raised $47,000 in capital.Kiel, 37, won his money from MiQuest, the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize and Greenlight Best Overall Pitch.

Ann Arbor-based Genomenon has won three business-pitch competitions — allowing Kiel to bypass the traditional route of hitting up family and friends or wooing an angel from a venture capital firm."

More here.

Rockbridge Growth Equity fills Gas Station TV with new investment

In an e-world, consumers can now get their fill of TV at the gas station, all brought to them by Birmingham-based Gas Station TV.

Excerpt:

"Rockbridge Growth Equity pumped new capital into Gas Station TV, a company that provides pretty much exactly what you would think -television at gas pumps.

Consumers have likely seen Gas Station TV network without even realizing it. It’s currently in 42 states, and at more than 2,600 stations, featuring content from AccuWeather, Bloomberg TV, ESPN and CNN."

More here.

Failure is in the eyes of the beholder at Failure: Lab events

In a refreshing twist on the arguably cliched "failure breeds success" stories told at conferences around the country, at Failure: Lab events, entrepreneur presenters leave it up to the audience to make what it will of their failure stories.

Excerpt:

An entrepreneur told a Detroit audience about how he had failed as a father, husband and businessman.

In the crowd sat a riveted Jordan O'Neil. At least until the speaker intoned in the inevitable "but," followed by his tale of second-chance success.

"He basically told a story that grabbed the full attention of the 800 people in the crowd because it was so different," O'Neil said. "What if he had dropped the mic and walked off the stage — just left it there?"

Thus was born the idea for Failure: Lab. He gathered three friends and developed what would become an event featuring six speakers sharing 10-minute failures — straight with no "lessons learned" chaser. The audience is left to glean the meaning and encouraged to share its thoughts on social media as well as notecards that are collected afterward.

It's working, at least in O'Neil's home state of Michigan. During the past year, Failure: Lab has come to theaters in Grand Rapids, East Lansing and Detroit, and its return Friday to Grand Rapids is sold out. Now, his team believes stumbling self-help for the 21st century can succeed beyond its comfy confines — they're planning shows in New Orleans, Mexico City, Brooklyn, New York, and possibly Baghdad."

More here.

Business-friendly Ferndale experiences boom in new enterprise

New businesses are flocking to Ferndale, and existing ones are expanding. This boomlet is in no small part because of the city's treatment of businesses as customers, according to Ferndale Mayor David Coulter.

Excerpt:

"Three years after Michelle Lewis opened her first  Painting with a Twist  franchise in downtown Ferndale, business was so good that she needed to double the studio's size to 5,000 square feet on West Nine Mile Road. 

Lewis' story isn't an aberration downtown, where 14 businesses have expanded into larger space during the last two years or are opening this year, according to Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of theFerndale Downtown Development Authority.

In 2000, vacancy in downtown Ferndale was well over 30 percent, she said. Today, the core downtown is just 2 percent vacant, and the outskirts of the downtown are just 4 percent vacant."

More here.

Calling all tinkerers: Entries open for Maker Faire Detroit

Apply now if you want to get your invention / pet project into the hands of visitors at the next annual Maker Faire at The Henry Ford Museum, July 26-27.

Excerpt:

"We particularly encourage exhibits that are interactive and that highlight the process of making things. Here are just a few of things we'd like to see at Maker Faire Detroit:
  • Student projects
  • Robotics
  • Arduino projects
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Space projects
  • Conductive materials projects
  • Kit makers
  • Interactive art projects
  • Textile Arts and Crafts
  • Rockets and RC Toys
  • Green Tech
  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
  • Electronics
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Puppets
  • Bicycles
  • Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines"
More here.

Southeast Michigan population, business investment on the rise

Southeast Michigan's economy is trending upward, as shown by the most recent population and business investment increases.

Excerpt:

"Southeast Michigan's population grew in 2013, while investment in Oakland County small business tripled, according to statistics released by regional leaders Monday.

Banks approved $22,719,100 in traditional loans for established small businesses last year, according to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's office. That's more than three times the amount loaned in 2012: $7,050,195.

And the Oakland County Business Center helped 19 startups gather $39,159,531 in capital in 2013, an increase of more than 286 percent from 2012 when 12 new businesses accessed $13,669,878 in capital formation."

More here.
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