| Follow Us:

Investment : In the News

50 Investment Articles | Page: | Show All

Detroit magnate Dan Gilbert is the new Forbes cover story

In its new cover feature, Forbes magazine has coined downtown Detroit "Gilbertville," a place that's now attracting the coveted Millenial generation to work downtown. This story on Dan Gilbert and his city empire makes for a fascinating read.

Excerpt:

"As you’ve likely heard, over the past four years Gilbert has become one of Detroit’s single-largest commercial landowners, renovating the city with the energy and impact of a modern-day Robert Moses, albeit bankrolled with his own money. He’s purchased and updated more than 60 properties downtown, at a total cost of $1.3 billion. He moved his own employees into many of them–12,000 in all, including 6,500 new hires–and cajoled other companies such as Chrysler, Microsoft and Twitter to follow. He recruited 140 tenants, though most are tiny startups and other entrepreneurs his venture firm helped finance.

His empire rests on luring the kind of young, educated, technologically savvy employees that every employer in the nation craves. To get them he must compete with the golden glow of places like Palo Alto and Manhattan. Gilbert’s genius is to see Detroit–the most dilapidated, forlorn urban environment in North America–not as a hindrance but rather as a unique opportunity to build the kind of place that Millennial workers crave: authentic, inspiring, edgy and cheap.

And it’s working. “We turned down 21,000 kids who raised their hands and said, ‘I want to work in downtown Detroit,’ ” says Gilbert, who got 22,000 résumés for 1,300 internships this summer. “ They were from everywhere. Of all the metrics you’re looking at, that’s the one that makes me the most optimistic."

More here.

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.

Rumors of the Rustbelt's demise are premature

The common wisdom is that while the coasts ascend the Midwest will continue to decline. SF is Nirvana, Detroit is a wasteland. But wait a minute. Funny things like facts and nuanced analysis get in the way of such sweeping attitudes. Go figure.

Excerpt:

"Still, the notion of “loser” for Wayne and Cuyahoga County sticks, despite evidence to the contrary. But why? Why the constant “poor post-industrial people” sentiment, if not a low-grade captivation that comes with “ruin porn” rubbernecking?

Well, if an ideal exists—you know, the experts beckon: be the “new” city, the “hot” city, the “creative” city—then a study in contrasts is necessary. The Rust Belt, with its connotations of smoke stacks and demographic decline, fits the bill."

Read the rest here.
 

A call to make metro Detroit "Drone Alley"

California can have it's silicon, Motown has got the makings of a automated technical hub. Or so says Politico.com in their interesting essay suggesting that metro regions focus on what they do best then working overtime in policy, investment and experimentation to own that space. Personally driverless but be a better bet than drone, but the point is well taken.

Excerpt:

"But policymakers shouldn’t be trying to copy Silicon Valley. Instead, they should be figuring out what domain is (or could be) specific to their region—and then removing the regulatory hurdles for that particular domain. Because we don’t want 50 Silicon Valleys; we want 50 different variations of Silicon Valley, all unique from each other and all focusing on different domains.

Imagine a Bitcoin Valley, for instance, where some country fully legalizes cryptocurrencies for all financial functions. Or a Drone Valley, where a particular region removes all legal barriers to flying unmanned aerial vehicles locally. A Driverless Car Valley in a city that allows experimentation with different autonomous car designs, redesigned roadways and safety laws. A Stem Cell Valley. And so on."

Read more here.

Michigan's venture capital growth outstrips national trends

As Michigan becomes a knowledge economy, venture capital firms and deals are coming its way. 

Excerpt:

"Despite a diminished national fundraising climate during the last five years in which total capital under management nationally decreased by 3.5 percent, total capital under management among Michigan-based firms increased by 45 percent, from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion, essentially the reverse of the national trend.

Other key survey findings in Michigan's venture capital growth from 2009-2013 include:
  • 44 percent increase in number of venture capital firms in Michigan, compared to a 6 percent increase nationally.
  • Nearly a doubling in the number of venture capital professionals in Michigan, compared to a net 13 percent decrease nationally."
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.

Michigan more economically competitive, but there's room to improve

Heading into 2014, overall Michigan is gaining on other states, but a new study out by the Michigan Chamber Foundation says it still has a ways to go.

Excerpt:

"Overall, the Northwood University Competitiveness Index ranked Michigan 39th this year, up from 47th in 2012.

Northwood University  conducted the study, which looked at more than 200 variables grouped into five categories: general macroeconomic environment, state debt and taxation, workforce compensation and cost, labor and capital formation and the regulatory environment."

More here.

Renaissance Venture Capital Fund thrives on Michigan investments

The Detroit-based Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is getting landmark returns through investing in Michigan companies.

Excerpt: 

"The  Renaissance Venture Capital Fund(RVCF) is a Michigan based venture capital fund.   The company has announced today that their initial investment of $16.7 million has led to a total of nearly $300 million in 20 new Michigan companies.   This means that they are seeing a ratio of $17 venture capital investment coming into Michigan for every dollar invested by the RVCF.   This led to the creation of hundreds of high-wage jobs that pay an average of $80,000 per year."

More here.

Rust Belt states are a good investment for high-tech innovation

In making their case that venture capitalists are taking an ever-greater interest in Rust Belt innovations, Detroit's TechTown gets held up as a promising feature of the conomic landscape.
 
Excerpt:
 
"One of the plan's greatest benefits could be a chance for smaller cities or cities with negative reputations to showcase their accomplishments to the country's stakeholders, said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of startup incubator TechTown in Detroit.
 
Noting that the Michigan city is "light years ahead of where it was five years ago," she said Detroit has a goal of transforming its image similar to how Pittsburgh has on the national level."
 
Read more here.
 

Farmington equity firm director writes about cutting-edge tech investment

Jeff Bocan of Farmington's private equity firm Beringea talks about his time at the National Science Foundation's I-Corps, a program at U-M designed to fast-track research from the lab to the real world, and how the government can help foster greater entrepreneurship by funding cutting edge R&D
 
Excerpt:
 
"I have just completed a tour of duty as a venture capital faculty member at the National Science Foundation's I-Corps (short for NSF's Innovation Corps - a program designed to fast-track research from the lab to the real world), delivered in partnership with the University of Michigan. I-Corps is like the scientific version of PBS' Antiques Roadshow -- NSF-funded technological gems that have largely been tucked away in the labs of America's research institutions are being dusted off, given a heavy dose of commercial polish and have been unearthed to unlock the potential to create a lot of value for the technologists, their universities and society in general."
 
Read the rest here.
 
 

Metro Detroiter says angel investors should get small business tax credits

Should angel investors get tax credits to invest in small businesses? Critics say they don't deliver for the price spent. David Weaver, founder and chairman of Great Lakes Angels in Bloomfield Hills says they do.

Excerpt:

"But there are two ways that tax credits can increase the amount of funding available for start-up companies. They keep more money in the pockets of existing angel investors—money that can be plowed back into a company an investor has already funded, as it continues to grow, or that can help the investor support another company that might otherwise go unfunded. And credits can help create new angel investors—people who otherwise would put their money in financial instruments, real estate, art or some other more-proven asset if a tax credit didn't make investing in a start-up worth considering."

Read both sides of the argument here.


Birmingham brings big value to investors

It looks like Birmingham is becoming one of metro Detroit's hottest real estate markets for investors. Hmmm. Could it be the increasing density of its developing 24-hour downtown and walkable neighborhoods?

Excerpt:

"Birmingham land has more value than anyplace else in metro Detroit," said Bob Pliska, managing director of the Sperry Van Ness office in Birmingham.

"There's a high value for small parcels of land because everything is built up, and it's in the center of everything. It's Birmingham."

Read the rest here.

TechTown's influences and accomplishments heralded

There's been whole lotta talk about innovation in Metro Detroit but what does it take to incubate that innovation on the ground? Wayne State's TechTown gets spotlighted for its efforts and impacts.

Excerpt:

"To date, TechTown is an emerging economic force in downtown Detroit. It has introduced approximately 8,000 Michigan residents to “an entrepreneurial culture” through its public events and walk-in sessions. It has invested more than $700,000 directly into new ventures and has helped clients raise more than $14 million in venture capital.

Wayne State, which manages TechTown, located a few blocks from its midtown Detroit campus, has put some $2.7 million into TechTown between 2007 and 2011, providing about 23 percent of its programmatic funding. Its College of Engineering has provided prototype services and lab space to TechTown companies. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences provides translation services, while the Law School conducts small business clinics, and its School of Medicine has provided researchers and tissue samples. The university has partnered with TechTown to secure federal and state research grants."

Read the rest here

Michigan's angel tax incentive considered

State tax incentives for angel investors get a mixed response from economists and investors. But the need to stimulate successful entrepreneurship is strong. Michigan recently ended its program but supposedly has something new in the works. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the impact and how other states have fared with their incentives.

Excerpt:

"When meeting with potential investors, the owners of the Rochester Hills, Mich., business touted the state's special tax break for angels—a term used to describe wealthy individuals who provide capital to start-ups. The Michigan incentive at the time allowed angels to seek tax credits of 25% on their 2011 investments in qualified start-ups."

Read the rest here.
50 Investment Articles | Page: | Show All
Share this page
0
Email
Print
Signup for Email Alerts