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"Grain" feature film begins shooting in Detroit

The cameras are zooming in on a very intriguing plot unfolding in Detroit this month.


"Grain will film in the city of Detroit at various emblematic and historic locations. It was awarded an incentive of $238,588 on $727,406 of projected in-state expenditures and is expected to hire 77 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of eight jobs.

The film is set in an indefinite near future, where the existence of sustainable life is threatened. Together, a genetics expert and a general chaos scientist join forces in the Dead Lands to find fresh seeds, changing everything they thought they knew in the process."

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.


"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

More alternatives for alternative transportation

The University of Michigan recently awarded its MobiPrize to six standout entrepreneurs, including Ann Arbor's A2B Bikeshare, in the field of alternative transportation. These companies are offering everything from cost-efficient bike sharing to microcars for your commute and peer-to-peer ridesharing as a form of public transit. It would be good to see all of these surfacing on Detroit-area streets. 


"Bike sharing is popular in major cities around the world, but many government-funded programs have actually proven to be financial burdens.

"It's really expensive to use a kiosk system, there has to be something better," said Angsgar Strother, founder of A2B Bikeshare, which wants to give smaller cities the benefits of bike sharing without the cost.

Strother's approach involves eliminating the kiosks and docking pads of traditional bikeshare models and replacing them with a touchscreen console on the bike itself...

A2B is currently operating a pilot in Lansing, Mich. With a fleet of 20 bikes, members pay $40 per "season" (typically about four months) which gives them the first half hour of every ride free, plus a $2 for each additional half hour."

More here

Home sale prices up for 18th consecutive month in Metro Detroit

The spring and summer home-buying season resulted in double-digit price appreciation in all parts of the Detroit region.


"The median selling price of homes in metro Detroit climbed for an 18th straight month while the total number of homes sold continued to cool in August, according to figures released Monday by Realcomp.

The median selling price for homes in Metro Detroit rose 13.3 percent on an annual basis to $153,000. Total sales by units fell 10.4 percent to 4,888 homes, according to Realcomp, the Farmington Hills based Multiple Listing Service for southeast Michigan.

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Get your fun on in Detroit this fall

With everything from cider mills and a beer festival to films at the Old Redford Theatre to fall color tours, your fall weekends are booked through December.


"Every fall, you have to set aside some time to stare at some leaves. It’s just what you do. You can check out plenty of fall color tours  here, including metro Detroit-area highlights like Kensington Metropark, Stony Creek Metropark, and of course, Belle Isle...

Fall is a glorious time for beer in the mitten, and the annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival is a major highlight. This year boasts over 450 craft beers from 60 Michigan breweries, and aside from the booze, Eastern Market will also be teeming with plenty of local eats and  music."

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.


"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.

More here

Metro Detroit to be testing site for "smart" freeways, talking cars

The days where every car and driver are out for themselves may be numbered. The road is being laid for cameras, sensors, and car-to-car communication systems to improve traffic safety, and Metro Detroit is the hub of these new technologies.


"Southeast Michigan will lead the nation in drastically improving traffic safety and flow because of an expanded public-corporate project.

The Michigan Department of Transportation, General Motors, Ford and the University of Michigan will install a network of cameras and sensors along 120 miles of metro Detroit freeways that will propel development of safety technologies that help cars communicate with each other.

The MDOT announcement over the weekend coincided with the 2014 Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Detroit, where about 10,000 auto and technology industry leaders are gathering to discuss autonomous vehicles.

The collaborative venture expands a 2-year-old project already under way in Ann Arbor. It also should establish southeast Michigan as the hub of autonomous vehicle know-how.

When completed, it will be the largest deployment of its kind in the U.S., GM CEO Mary Barra said."

More here.

Michigan ranks 4th in nation for best breweries

You can't do much better than Michigan for good beer tasting or even getting on tap to start your own brewing operation.


"The Great Lakes State may not be a prolific hops producer, or contain one brewery for every man, woman, and child (they do have about two for every 100,000 adults, according to the Brewers Association). But mittens were meant for holding cold brews, and Michigan happens to host some of the best damned breweries in the country...

Beer in Michigan is a way of life, an economic booster that’s helping Detroit pull out of the apocalypse and a soul cleanser up in the UP, where long winters are made better with a growler from Ore Dock. And if that’s not convincing enough, consider this: in Ann Arbor and East Lansing, when the chaos of a tailgate clears, you’ll see as many empty bottles of craft beer scattered about as you will tallboys with holes punched in the side. In Michigan, beer love starts early."

More here.

GM installs bikeshare program on corporate campus

You know that bikesharing is here to stay when an automaker is using them for transportation on its grounds.


"Even auto maker  General Motors  Co. is warming up to the car's two-wheeled nemesis. The company on Tuesday launched a system of 50 bikes on its sprawling 330-acre campus in Warren, Mich.

The 19,000 employees and contractors who work in its 61 buildings are often hard-pressed to find a parking that is close by, a spokeswoman said. And its shuttle buses don't stop at all the buildings, often forcing employees to walk long distances.

GM hopes the program will help it understand the increasing appeal of cycling to consumers who eschew driving for other means of transportation.

"We have to understand that to remain viable," the spokeswoman said."

More here

Raise your glasses! Pop-up biergarten fundraiser set for Sept. 20 on Belle Isle

On Sat., Sept.  20, the Belle Isle Conservancy  Emerging Patrons Council is creating a pop-up beer garden to raise funds for the installation of bike racks on the island. The beer garden will be located on the grounds of  the White House, the oldest building on the island, built in 1863.

Click here for more details.


Ford Motor Co. headquarters to install state's largest solar array

As the Beatles sing it, "Here comes the sun," to Ford Motor Co. headquarters, which will house the state's largest solar array.


"The solar array  will also serve as a parking cover to 360 spaces, equipped with 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. These covered spaces will be available to all employees, Ford spokesman John Cangany said today...

The solar canopy will generate up to 1.038 megawatts of electricity -- enough juice for 158 homes annually -- and will be the largest solar array in Michigan. It will eliminate an estimated 875 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually."

More here.

The Wall Street Journal tours the home of eponymous fashion retailer Linda Dresner

Always ahead of the fashion curve, boutique owner Linda Dresner talks business, fashion, and home design philophy with The Wall Street Journal. 


"For 25 years, she owned an eponymous fashion boutique on Park Avenue in Manhattan, along with a shop in Michigan, still in operation not far from her home in Birmingham. Brands such as Dries Van Noten and Junya Watanabe are available in designer department stores all over the country today—not to mention on the Internet—but back when Dresner began in the business, in the late 1970s, she startled her Midwestern clientele with astonishing clothes by such designers, brought back from Milan and Paris. "I was one of the first to have Saint Laurent. I still have some of my original clients."

Of her plans to hold a first party at her new home, a benefit for Detroit's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAD), she says,

"Curators love Detroit; they think it's like early Berlin."

More here

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP ranks in nation's top 10 for IP patent work

As part of Detroit's reinvention, the patent business is growing. And the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's opening of a branch in Detroit a few years back doesn't hurt.


"Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP ranked among the top 10 law firms in the country for intellectual property patent work in BTI Consulting Group’s report entitled  BTI Intellectual Property Outlook 2015: Changes, Trends and Opportunities in IP & IP Litigation. Honigman was also named on the list of Most-Favored IP Departments, in which one of the primary factors is customer service."

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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.


"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.


"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.
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