While most kids are wasting their time mastering Xbox, high schoolers Albert Foo and Sharath Anand are developing a new fire-fighting technology, one that extinguishes interior flames from outside the building. So far ExtinBreachR has landed them top science fair awards and a couple of small grants. But they've got bigger plans.
Some might call it an accidental career, but when a passionate hobby becomes a successful business it seems more like an inevitability. Anuja Rajendra's zeal for fitness and Bollywood-style dance inspired BollyFit, both a lifestyle and growing brand.
Recycle Here! is packed every Saturday and there is curbside recycling in Rosedale Park, East English Village and Palmer Woods/University District, servicing nearly 50,000 households. Matthew Naimi says that's only the beginning of the Bee Green movement.
If there's a canary in the coalmine for downtown vibrancy, it's a thriving grocery store. Lafayette Market and Cafe in downtown Pontiac opened its doors at the end of 2012 and is reaching beyond the loft-dwellers that live above to connect with the surrounding community.
What started as a noble experiment in support of local artists, creatives and vendors has turned into a vibrant success. Not only has Ferndale's Rust Belt Market been both a home and launching pad for new businesses, it's in the process of becoming an event destination.
In the 14 months that the author has lived in Detroit after moving here from Philadelphia, he has assembled a spirited team of innovators, specialists and changemakers. Jason Lorimer sent us this opinion piece. We're happy to run it.
An impressive group of creatives, business owners, real estate and logistics innovators, and festival promoters made up our speaker series panel last Wednesday. Matthew Lewis took notes, Oren Goldenberg captured the event on video.
It is becoming widely known that immigrants in Michigan contribute enormously to the state's economy. Ajooni Sethi walks us through a preview of what could be a landmark initiative to help attract and retain Detroit talent.
There is a new generation of manufacturers emerging in Detroit. Watches, bicycles, pickles and other environmentally friendly processes and products are being created. Jon Zemke takes a closer look at Shinola, McClure's and Fusion Coolant Systems in this Model D special edition.
Growing up in the metro area, Joe McClure spent much of his childhood making pickles using a family recipe, passed on for generations. He tells Jon Zemke why education and the Detroit brand are critical to the success of his business in this special edition Q&A.
In the last few years, there has been a visible influx of creatively based, high growth businesses opening in, moving to or setting up an office in the greater downtown Detroit area. Jon Zemke tracks the exciting progress in this special report.
He knows as much about fast companies and creative talent as anyone in town, so Jon Zemke gave Matt Clayson a call for a quick Q&A about "Gazelles" jumping into the local entrepreneurial landscape. Take it away, guys.
The risks to startup culture are a two-way street. Not only must you convince investors to make a calculated leap of faith, you also need talent that's willing to commit sweat equity to an uncertain future. The Adams Entrepreneur Fellowship Program is looking to make the second half of that equation a little easier while applying a slow-food strategy toward fostering local entrepreneurship.
Most employment analysis involves looking at trends and forecasts that are nearly 2 years old. But what if real time data could be provided to educators and economic development programs? The Workforce Intelligence Network has developed such a system, helping provide a clearer picture of the current job landscape. Their first report reveals some of the reasons for Michigan's "skills gap."
Paul Jacobs, CEO of Southfield-based mobile apps firm jacApps, thinks that talent rather than experience is critical to building success in today's ever-evolving mobile technology industry. Jon Zemke chats with Jacobs about the challenges of and strategies for attracting the best and brightest to his growing company.
Anyone who thinks that food trucks are just a passing fad hasn't been paying attention. Around the country mobile eateries are gaining more and more popularity. But where to get those trucks? That's the question the Mac Shack's Dan Gearig has set out to answer with his new food truck fabrication biz, Red Beard Customs.
Our Growing Companies video crew stops into the newish manufuacturing facility of McClure's Pickles on the Detroit-Hamtramck border. Business looks to be booming on the assembly line. Take it from here DETROIT LIVES!
Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial ecosystem is experiencing a "brain gain," as startups relocate here. Concentrate's Patrick Dunn chats with a trio of companies about why they decided to make the move.
Water, water everywhere... Did you know that Macomb County has one of the highest concentrations of marinas and registered boaters in the U.S.? Changing attitudes about our natural resources have inspired local leaders to launch a comprehensive "Blue Economy" Initiative, aimed at nurturing, developing and capitalizing on Macomb's liquid assets.
Detroit social innovators and entrepreneurs were day tripping in Ann Arbor last Friday, preaching what they practice to students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Matthew Lewis reports from the first row.
She is the owner of Canine to Five, a business on Cass Avenue offering day care, grooming and cage-free attended overnight boarding, and a co-founder of catalytic indie merchant group Open City. Take a bow, Liz Blondy.
This unique New Center company has 20 employees for watch assembly, and its bicycle division expects to produce 2,000 bikes annually. Leather goods will also be produced. Dennis Archambault gets the grand tour.
Ryan Santangelo is what folks in the biz call a serial entrepreneur. First he launched the firm Dynamic Media. Then Secure Media Systems. His latest effort is SafeToSleep, which is bringing infant monitoring into the new millennium. And all three businesses are thriving in Sterling Heights, a place he calls the Silicon Valley of Michigan.
When you've been to the Super Bowl six times what else is there to do? For defensive tackle and Birmingham native Mike Lodish the answer was peanut brittle.
In the world of computer data hosting redundancy is a way of life. Ann Arbor's Online Tech has taken that philosophy to a new level, putting in place two CEOs. But far from duplicating each other's efforts, the dual company leaders have found that they complement and strengthen each other's talents.
It's no surprise that folks in the Ann Arbor area are an inventive bunch. Having one of the top universities in the country in your backyard helps. So, what's in the works? How about a telescope that listens to outer space? Or cars that learn how to avoid crashes? Or, best of all, head phones that won't tangle in your pocket?
Rumors of the printed word's demise have been greatly exaggerated. While it's true that digital publishing grows every year, books and those who sell them will be with us for a very long time. Enter Above The Treeline. Offering a wide range of online catalog services the Ann Arbor-based company has found an important and profitable bookselling niche.
You might find financial services and art culture strange bedfellows, but at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services in Farmington Hills it is de rigueur. MBF workers aren't only inspired and challenged by their art gallery-like surroundings, they are encouraged to become active participants in Metro Detroit's arts community.
When shopping in your favorite downtown store, ever wonder what's upstairs? For decades, the answer has been "not much" for many Michigan cities. Take a look at how that trend is changing across the state, in communities like Manistee, Portland and Detroit's Eastern Market, where local property owners are redefining downtowns by reviving upper floor residences.
Its founder sees the Mt. Elliott Makerspace as nothing short of a place for transforming lives, hoping to break cycles of poverty and racism, and to hand people tools for determining their own future. Amy Kuras has the story.
For more than 20 years Dr. Robert Buxbaum's Ferndale-based company has been designing technologies that filter hydrogen. That may not sound particularly exciting to the everyday Joe but when you consider that he has contracts with the U.S. and U.K. Navies and believes his product could have prevented the Fukushima meltdown you understand how focusing on something very small can have a very large impact.
This downtown company's century old tradition of investing in people, equipment and new technologies is impressive to say the least. DETROIT LIVES! takes us for a behind the scenes look at what makes Inland Press tick.
A distinct neighborhood with character, Detroit's West Village is an East Side residential gem, filled with early 20th century houses and apartment buildings. Now, commercial development is beginning to pop up. Matthew Piper gives us a quick tour.
There is little doubt that Davy Rothbart is an Ann Arbor original. As the founder of FOUND magazine, he has turned the written remnants of others into a springboard of creative opportunity. Books, movies, road tours, radio, and even an Off-Broadway musical are all part of the mix that is the FOUND empire. And now Rothbart is celebrating the magazine's 10th anniversary here in Ann Arbor.
Over the last decade and a half Media Genesis has not only weathered the ups and downs of the softward industry but thrived. Now, the Troy-based firm is lending a hand to start-ups, some that might even be viewed as potential competitors. Why? Reread the title of this story for the answer.
Detroit is home to the third highest concentration of design professionals in the U.S., seemingly attracts entrepreneurs by the minute and has one of the best platforms for turning ideas into companies. Curtis Johnson tells us why TechTown is one of the catalysts for this growth.
We are a community with a history for making things. And that tradition goes beyond auto plants and IT firms. How about a machine that measures mental concentration? Or an update to the 19th Century Stirling Engine? Or an innovation that may change the entire glass-blowing industry? Whether it's in garages, school workshops or makerspaces, Metro Detroit inventors are concocting some pretty cool stuff.
Has the investment community's Ground Zero moved from New York and Palo Alto to Detroit? Quite possibly. Lauren Bigelow, CEO of the Growth Capital Network, gives budding entrepreneurs a how-to on approaching financiers coming from around the country to the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in Detroit next month.
Join Global Detroit to meet authors and immigration attorneys Stephen Yale-Loehr and Laura Danielson at a cocktail event, talk, and book signing this Thursday, 5 - 7 p.m., at the Westin Book-Cadillac.
With daily newspapers and national magazines taking to the web just what qualifies as a blog anymore? While the labels may be fuzzy, there's little doubt that citizen journalists and local bloggers have stepped in to fill whatever gaps the traditional media has missed.
The monthly SOUP dinner entertains ideas on how to make Detroit a better place. Now heading for new digs in Detroit's North End, director Amy Kaherl tells us how you can help, and breaks down other hot news in her report.
Food writer Noelle Lothamer gets a sneak peek at classic Spamish ala carte dishes like empanadas, tortilla de patatas, montaditos, salmorejo, and croquetas. Marvin Shaouni snaps some tasty pictures.
Finding work in today's job market is tough enough. For at-risk teens, it can seem impossible. WorkZone, a program created and run by Ozone House, helps young adults to develop job-seeking skills and hone them through training and paid internships.
Detroit artistry was a clear winner at the 2012 version of ArtPrize, held this past weekend in Grand Rapids. Tommy Allen was on the scene taking notes and pictures, and meeting creative neighborhood catalysts, Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope.
Ideas for a non-motorized future are rolling forward, cycling businesses are forming and improving the quality of life. This looks like another "wow" Detroit enterprise trend gaining traction. Dennis Archambault reports from the fast lane.
Detroit's Village people, envied for their gorgeous homes a stone's skip away from the river, have long wished for their own retail district. Good things are starting to develop this fall, there and in other key neighborhoods, says Claire Nelson.
Kelli Kavanaugh is co-director of the annual Tour de Troit and co-owner of retail bicycle shop, Wheelhouse Detroit. She believes that non-motorized transportation is the future of the Motor City. So do we.
Half a dozen Saturdays a year Ann Arbor's population practically doubles, as U-M football brings in Big Ten gridiron fans. Some see the game day influx as an inconvenience. Others see it as an economic opportunity.
Let's face it, pumping gas is a drag. Not just the price, but the physical act of standing around watching the little LCD monitor add more debt to your credit card. Well, one man's boredom is another man's business opportunity. Enter GSTV, a successful Birmingham company that wants to put a TV at every gas pump.
More than just hookah bars and falafel joints, Metro Detroit's Arab-American economy has become a vital and increasingly intertwined part of our community. From halal pizzerias to hijab boutiques, a new generation of business owners is helping to blur our cultural and geographic lines.
It's an app app app world. Metromode's Jon Zemke quizzes some of Metro Detroit's CEOs on which business apps they can't live without, which apps others should use, and which locally produced apps are worth checking out.
So what happens to startups and other small enterprises after they're fully baked in an entrepreneurial incubator? That's what we set out to find in this special report from three Michigan cities - Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo.
In only its second year, the Detroit Design Festival has become one of the city's top must-see, must-do happenings. That sounds great, but organizers Matt Clayson and Melinda Anderson tell Walter Wasacz its longterm potential is even greater.
Parvis e glandibus quercus. Translation: "Tall oaks from little acorns grow." It's a sentiment that couldn't be truer for Ypsilanti's Oak Street, a three block neighborhood that has attracted some of the city's best and brightest. Constance Crump gives us a tour.
Before moving to Detroit in 2010, Brian Connors lived in Beijing, where he created a language school and a 24-hour, American-stlye diner. We should be glad he's brought his energy and ideas to our town, says Jay Walljasper.
This new initiative will conduct training sessions in Cody Rouge, North End, and Southwest Detroit, predominantly Arab-American, African-American, and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods. Ajooni Sethi connects the dots.
After the fall of many of Southeast Michigan's urban trees to the emerald ash borer and other misfortunes, a group of sustainability-minded individuals were left standing. Concentrate talks with Urbanwood, a partnership that's now a national model of recycling trees into green products.
Detroit is filling up with growing companies, and we're scouring the city in search of as many we can find to broadcast on Model D TV. DETROIT LIVES! takes its cameras to Nextek Power Systems for this episode.
She started making a difference in Johannesburg and London, came home to attend U-M Law before returning to work in Africa. But Felecia Andrews found her calling where she began, in her native Detroit. Jay Walljasper makes the introduction.
Meet urban agriculture pioneers the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, a group advocating for food justice for Detroit’s majority African-American community. Writer Tunde Wey takes it all in for Model D.
A conversation with Kresge Foundation program directors on the value of working with communities, and why small changes have the potential to make big impact toward college completion in America.
Michigan's electric vehicle industry is poised to churn out more and more of the long-awaited, zero-emission vehicles. As the market grows, the AnnArbor-based Clean Energy Coalition and its partners are leading a statewide effort to make sure Michigan communities are ready for the rush.
When Ann Arbor's most prolific Modern architect, Robert C. Metcalf, completed his first commission, it was on the forefront of energy efficient design. Now, sixty years later, our standards have evolved and the house is being lovingly revived in a way that improves the efficiency without compromising the design.
Business diversity plus urban density give Midtown an advantage in creating commercial opportunities and jobs. Guest commentator Scott Benson of Midtown Inc. gives us a tour of the ecosystem.
What happens when you give 24 college students a few million dollars to invest in start-ups? They double their investment value within a few years. The Wolverine Fund is one of three venture capital programs created by the University of Michigan to give students an insider's view of investment and entrepreneurship.
Get ready for the next Detroit SOUP dinner party and micro granting event Aug. 3 by reading about last month's steamy exercise in hyperlocal social entrepreneurship. Let Amy Kaherl be your guide.
Starting with five of her friends as customers, today Mistry has a client roster of 37 households for her curbside recycling business. And hold on: she does it by bicycle. Tunde Wey catches up to tell her story.
We asked for more coffee and, well, we got it. It's brewing in Corktown, downtown, Midtown and Hamtramck. And we know there is room for more. Noelle Lothamer comes up with a tasty list of recent openings (or soon to open).
One of our panelists for Thursday's Model D Speaker Series on the Detroit music scene is Steve Nawara of Beehive Recording Co. We snagged this rockin' video from the Urban Innovation Exchange just in time. Moving pictures by DETROIT LIVES!
Since Ann Arbor will be jam-packed with Art Fair goers and coverage this week, it seems only right to check up on the Ypsilanti-based Shadow Art Fair, which opens Saturday. Created five years ago as both a reaction to and comment on A2's venerable happening, it has defiantly resisted the call of "bigger and better." Concentrate's Richard Retyi digs in with the organizers as to why.
Mac & cheese with that fill up? Not quite. Vinsetta Garage may be the latest Metro Detroit culinary hot spot but it's also a triumph of repurposing and redevelopment. From 1900s service station to hip eatery, this Berkely rebuild demonstrates how a vintage building can become a modern neighborhood destination.
Leadership training, career exploration and goal setting are all part of the Mercy Education Project. Melinda Clynes reports.
Sarida Scott Montgomery is a self-identified "city girl," who grew up on Detroit's East Side and Northwest side. Jay Walljasper introduces us to a Detroiter with degrees from U-M and UC-Berkeley who is also a Detroit Revitalization Fellow.
Drawn to being part of growing, active communities, and to a life that’s more about giving back than getting ahead? Well, budding entrepreneurs and social innovators, Matthew Piper says D:Hive can take you where you need to be.
Entrepreneurship isn't what it used to be. The scene today is explicitly about social engagement and collaborative leadership. This special report finds examples in three key Michigan places where new models for growth are being created and nurtured.
The University of Michigan's TechArb and Center for Entrepreneurship are fostering a new class of student entrepreneurs, from a food truck operation to a note-taking app developer to a maker of unmanned aerial vehicles. As such, these young founders are deciding between business, books -- or both.
Yousif Ghafari is the living embodiment of the American immigrant success story. He was born in Lebanon, earned multiple college degrees in the U.S., and spent decades building a business from scratch. The result has been wealth, community status, political connections, and a reputation for philanthropy. Needless to say, Ghafari has some strong opinions about the role of immigrants in our region's success. Dennis Archambault gets the story.
Detroit was the first major city to have a publicly owned transit system. If the Detroit Bus Company succeeds, it may also be the first to offer a viable privately owned alternative.
The Internet has started to shift the music industry's top-down corporate record label control toward indie artists who can deliver their own music to the masses. But what about t-shirts, posters, and other fan-demanded merchandise? Enter local start-up Whiplash, which provides shipping, fulfillment and logistics for small sellers of every stripe.
Applicants with backgrounds in fields spanning real estate, finance, urban planning, entrepreneurship, law, accounting, health care, civil engineering, community organizing and tourism development were selected for two-year fellowships. Welcome, all.
Where do local mad inventors and DIY creators go to plan and conceive their next off-the-wall invention? Whether it's custom mopeds, road-ready cupcakes, or gladiatorial assault courses, hackerspaces have become ground zero for folks who are compelled to create. Dave Lewinksi captures this rare species of iconoclast in its native habitat.
What's on the menu? Connecting people, proposals and projects to some real cash money, that's what. Amy Kaherl tells us what we missed at the last Detroit SOUP.
It's who you know. Or rather, who knows you. Ann Arbor companies have a wide variety of tools for finding the talent they need. And while social media and professional networks play a part in filling their professional ranks, for senior level positions it's a word-of-mouth world.
Executives need jobs too. In today's fractured economy it may be hard to muster sympathy for displaced bosses but the truth is building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem requires plenty of top talent management. So, how do you retain and recruit the execs you need?
Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been a popular way for folks to buy produce from local farms. But what if that same strategy were applied to local artists and art collectors? Funny you should ask.
Meet the director of the Brightmoor Alliance, a coalition of organizations dedicated to delivering social services to the community in Northwest Detroit.
If you're out there innovating and doing things you're not going to succeed every time. So how do we turn failure into a badge of honor rather than a mark of shame? WSU's vice president of econ development shares his thoughts.
Wesley Taylor says he lives in Ann Arbor but does in Detroit. As an artist-musician-entrepreneur he has found places where the two communities connect ...and others where the barriers need to come down. Given the incredible scope of his work and ambition, Taylor may be just the guy to make that happen.
Vectorform is Metro Detroit's stealth company, a Royal Oak-based tech firm that does its work on the down low. That work includes phones apps, games, and technological innovations that have a global reach. It has satellite offices in New York, Seattle, Germany and India. But shhhh, that's just between you and us, okay?
Working out of the Furniture Factory in the Cass Corridor, Allied Media Projects' small staff is all about innovation, interaction and collaboration. There's a lot happening, reports Matthew Piper.
One quarter of our regional population is African-American but only 2 percent of our gross regional product comes from African-American owned businesses. The America21 Project aims to change that number, says Global Detroit's Sarah Szurpicki.
Behind every start-up entrepreneur is a risk-tolerant investor. In Detroit, that’s likely to be the Detroit Development Fund, which has provided loans for small businesses like Astro Coffee and Good Girls Go to Paris. Dennis Archambault adds up the details.
In the conversation about mass transit and whether or not we develop a county-wide service one type of rider often gets overlooked - kids. What do limited transportation options mean for students without easy access to after-school activities and programs? What about the car-less volunteers who can't reach those who need help the most?
From ArtPrize to the seed accelerator Momentum to the web business incubator Pomegranate Studios, Grand Rapids-based Rick Devos has created an impressive farm team of entrepreneurial enterprises focused on strengthening Michigan's economic ecosystem. His latest creation, StartGarden, gets both professionals and the public behind projects with the potential to blossom into successful businesses.
Dig into our second installment in a loose series on global visionary leadership and how we can apply it to Detroit. Zak Rosen talks to a man who was part of the urban sustainability movement before the term even had traction.
Our new headquarters has some great bones -- architecturally and historically. It's also on a great Midtown block that includes neighbors the Green Garage and Bronx Bar. Cheers from us to you.
It doesn't take a hop of faith to believe in the excellence of Michigan-made brews. After all, we're fifth in the nation for beer-making. But beyond the rich flavors and frothy heads there's a real art and science to craft beer. Metromode's Dave Lewinski takes you behind the scenes at some of Metro Detroit's favorite breweries.
Amy Kaherl is the organizer of Detroit SOUP, a monthly fundraising dinner to support local projects. She also orchestrates "shenanigans" for the Detroit City Futbol League and the Marche du Nain Rouge. And she spins as DJ Amy Dreamcatcher.
For the past few months we've been working with Detroit media partners and the Knight Foundation to create a new collaborative resource for innovation called UIX. People get ready, it's time to roll out some evidence.
Math professor by day, burrito maker... by day. Mark's Carts has not only attracted interesting on-the-go cuisine to downtown, it's inspired unconventional owners as well. Concentrate's Tanya Muzumdar chats with Dr. Paul Kessenich, owner of Darcy's Cart, about juggling his academic responsibilities with the demands of food cart culture.
Two rooms at Seva restaurant were packed wall to wall with innovators, entrepreneurs and others for the launch of UIX, which will profile Detroit people and projects over the next three years. Leah Johnson talks to some folks in the creative mix.
From jingles to mash-ups, family-owned Yessian Music in Farmington Hills has been creating soundtracks for commercials, theme parks, movies, and high profile events for 40 years. This year's Super Bowl, which boasted five different ads with their work, demonstrates the ever-growing global reach of this homegrown firm.
Fida Mourtada and his wife Zainab have been married almost as long as they have been in the transportation business together. Today, Mourtada and his wife run Seastar, a freight forwarding company that specializes in ocean, inland & air transportation. While the couple has been able to successfully manage their own business, the road to this point in their success was a long one.
Dr. Chad Audi never thought his professional career would be spent providing needy families and individuals with hope, and an opportunity to get back on their feet, but once he saw how the Detroit Rescue Mission Missionaries changed the fate of one poverty stricken woman, there was nothing else he could imagine doing.
From restaurants to casinos, downtown Detroit offers plenty of entertainment options. But for a long time, the city had lacked an upscale cigar bar where some of its 160,000 or so workers could relax at the end of the day. The new La Casa De La Habana lounge changed all that roughly two and a half years ago when it opened its doors for the first time in historic Harmonie Park.
As a prominent civil rights attorney, Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner, and the founder of the new Arab American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, attorney Nabih Ayad is one of the leaders of the movement for equal rights and protections for Arab Americans and people of all backgrounds.
While metro Detroit is home to several Muslim clothing stores that cater to the region's high concentration of American Muslims, it's hard to imagine there could be one trendier than Hija.Bee of Dearborn Heights.
Sean Simpson isn't just the co-founder of a lean, mean start-up, he lives his life like his start-up. As one of the brains behind Autobike, a company working to make a smarter, more intuitive gear shifter, Simpson chucked the 9-5 grind of corporate engineering to enter the burn-the-candle-from-both-ends world of entrepreneurship. He couldn't be happier.
We started talking about "gazelles" and ended up meeting a panel filled with them at last week's Model D Speaker Series. Seven young entrepreneurs talked about why they started up their businesses in Detroit -- and why you could be next. Walter Wasacz took digital notes.
When Pfizer left Ann Arbor it was hard not to view the glass as half empty. Five years and 16 start-ups later, that perspective has started to reverse. And in many ways, the transition from one large company to many more entrepreneurial efforts is exactly what our community and state needs to establish a healthier long term economy.
Thousands of miles separate, but Israel and Michigan operate in a parallel universe. What happens when you cross Michigan's established manufacturing base and high-tech mindset over to Israel's 3,000-plus tech start-ups? The Michigan Israel Business Bridge yields an array of academic and entrepreneurial matches.
Mike Burns is a born entrepreneur, and at 58, he could easily run rings around guys half his age. Or fly rings around them, as the case may be (he pilots WWII era P-51 Mustangs). More importantly, Burns is an entrepreneur who believes in doing business in Michigan. It's why he sources nearly all the components to his iPad accessory, the HandeHolder, locally. And it's not just a recession thing. It's part of his overall business philosophy.
Join Model D Feb. 29 at the newly renovated M@dison Building, home to Detroit Venture Partners and a growing family of companies, for a conversation about getting from startup to second stage. Registration begins now.
Dr. Tamam Mohamad is a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist from Wayne State University. He received his medical degree from Damascus University School of Medicine in 2003 before coming to the U.S to do his internship and residency. He currently practices at the Detroit Medical Center, where he is the Director of the Cardiac Care Unit and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine for six different specialties.
Youssef (Joe) Bazzi has been known around the Dearborn community as “Mr. Generous,” after opening up his Byblos Banquet Hall in 2005. Since then, Byblos has quickly become a prime location for events such as weddings, dinners and parties with its fancy interior décor and its wide menu of food options.
Grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning is a normal part of the day for millions of people, but for one Dearborn, Michigan father-son duo, coffee has been a way of life. It's been that way for over 46 years for Abu Dawood Qazzaz, who founded the Qazzaz Coffee Company in Kuwait before moving to Dearborn, Michigan in 1994.
Dearborn Heights resident Mohamed S. Hamieh has received a patent for his invention of a seat that is expected to protect those involved in auto accidents from whiplash injuries. Hamieh, an engineer at Ford Motor Company, says about one million auto accidents occur annually that are related to whiplash.
Establishing a sustainable and vibrant market for local food is a challenging mix of production, distribution, community engagement, and entrepreneurship. Detroit's Eastern Market is meeting those challenges head on. With 100 years of history and experience, this innovative institution is breaking new ground with its focus on developing a stronger regional food system while encouraging the success of smaller growers.
It's been said that the candle that burns at both ends shines twice as brightly. There's little doubt that entrepreneur Vince Chmielewski embodies the spirit of that saying. Working a full time job at U-M and running a successful web design firm on the side (not to mention growing family duties), you can't help but wonder when he sleeps.
The two-hour program was filled with lively, quotable conversation by a diverse group of presenters willing to step outside the box to talk about entrepreneurship in Detroit. It was a "wow" kind of afternoon at U-M's Ross School of Business. Walter Wasacz reports from the student section.
When it comes to building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, Kurt Riegger, COO of OcuSciences, argues that there's no lack of ideas or innovations in Ann Arbor. Talent with enough experience to execute on those ideas may be another question. Riegger has launched, funded, and advised 26 companies, and chats with Concentrate about what our community needs to succeed.
Working from home is one thing. Running a successful business with employees out of your house is another. Lynne Golodner not only found a way to stay at home and grow her PR firm, Your People, she attracted a like-minded staff. Metromode asks her how she does it.
Our cameras were rolling as the ideas continued flowing at last Friday's Idealab in Ann Arbor. Tom Hendrickson captured the presenters on stage and tracked them down backstage for this episode of Model D TV.
The student-run MPowered is U-M's startup for startups. Living up to its name, it has not only prodded the university into offering more classes in entrepreneurship, it has also attracted a community of business-minded students through its 1000 Pitches Summit and annual Career Fair. This year they debut "Startup Weekend," a 54-hour event which seeks to create a web or mobile applications business in a weekend.
Ann Arbor-based ForeSee Results has seen growth every quarter of its existence. That's a pretty impressive track record for this U-M spin out. CEO and co-founder Larry Freed talks about his home grown approach to hiring, our area's startup climate, and what we need to keep and attract more young talent.
Rifino Valentine chucked his Wall Street trader job to follow his dream: to open a distillery in Detroit. Today, Valentine Vodka may not call Motown its home but it is a successful top shelf brand that's starting to expand beyond Michigan's borders. Metromode chats with Valentine about why Ferndale was the right fit for his company and how the city could become ground zero for high quality spirits.
By most accounts, entrepreneurship is considered the province of the young and tech-savvy. Not so fast, says ex-TechTown exec Randal Charlton. Last month he launched Boom! The New Economy, a start-up oriented toward 50-plus entrepreneurs.
Both men are the owners of Mid America Shoes and Accessories, a worldwide footwear distributor founded in 2001. Their philanthropy extends beyond Africa, into Detroit, other states and various continents where free shoes are shipped out to assist those living under poor conditions.
Kimbrough Cleaners doesn’t advertise, and a Google search will net you exactly one review. The storefront is inconspicuous – except that the exposed side exterior, painted in tag-me white, is remarkably free of graffiti. Kimbrough Cleaners’ loyal clientele and white wall are a testament to proprietor Chris Chae’s meticulous service and reputation for community involvement.
Orena Perry, Vinetta Lloyd and La Donna Upshaw all have one thing in common: their love for Detroit. That is what brought the three women together to form Brazen Inc., a small business that specializes in fundraising for organizations and event planning among other things.
The Detroit Seafood Market opened in July 2010 in what is known as the Paradise Valley, Harmony Park area in downtown Detroit on 1435 Randolph, where prior to that, the Detroit Fish Market has been at the same location. With a new owner, the restaurant has emerged as a favorite in fine dining.
Billy Batson would have been proud of Adrienne Lenhoff. He was the newsboy in an old-time comic book who, when trouble arose, would shout the name of the wizard “Shazam!” — and he would turn into superhero Captain Marvel, an invincible Superman-type character. Lenhoff, a public relations, marketing and social media wizard, was so impressed with Captain Marvel that she named her company Shazaaam when she founded it 10 years ago.
The charter school system, Global Educational Excellence (GEE), has helped pave the road to success for several working professionals who hold advanced college degrees in southeast Michigan. “I want to see every child graduate from GEE and earn a minimum of a four year degree,” said GEE co-founder Mohamad Issa.
Join us for a frank and honest discussion about gentrification and what it means for Detroit. We plan to engage this topic head-on at our Dec. 14 speaker series event at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center.
Apply Groupon-like marketing strategies to fine art and, voila, you get the highly successful 1xRun. The brainchild of 323 East Gallery and Ohm Creative Group owners Dan Armand and Jesse Cory, this Royal Oak-based company is bringing art (much of it local) to the masses (much of it international).
One excels at style. The other, substance. But when it comes to nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem, both matter. Jon Zemke attends Silicon Valley's quarterly Founder Showcase and our own annual business plan competition, Accelerate Michigan, and finds a clash of both cultures and community.
Kenneth L. Scott is putting a different meaning to entrepreneurship in the city of Detroit. His business initiative called Community Resource Forum (CRF), backed by the mantra “You Have Questions, We Have Answers,” is organizing a string of community fairs in the city to help those who are struggling to find resources to cope in the current economy.
Straight from the kitchen to the shelves, Ellis Island Tea is brewed daily in a brand new, state-of-the-art commercial kitchen. Brewed with passion, love, and tradition, founder Nailah Ellis is sure you'll taste the quality in every batch.
MA Engineering is a consulting engineering firm that generates more than $2 million annually. Based in Birmingham, MA Engineering’s work includes projects exceeding $60,000,000. The firm offers professional mechanical and electrical engineering services. MA Engineering has worked on projects in various industries including the building or renovation of churches, hospitals, banks, hotels, medical offices, restaurants, residential areas, senior homes, libraries, parking structures, grocery stores and schools.
Papaya Fruit Market has become one of the most popular grocery stores in the Dearborn area because of its strong selection of both domestic and imported quality items, which adds a new twist to a successful formula. With locations in Detroit and Dearborn, fresh, unique produce is easy to find for locals in the area as well as others who drive from the suburbs to stock up on their favorite items.
Itai Ben-Gal is in it for the long run. An anomaly in start-up culture, the co-founder of iRule isn't actively pursuing acquisition but is instead looking to build a company that lasts. That's meant a focus on local investment. And not just friends and family. Ben-Gal's start-up counts Compuware as one of its angels.
The mantra for many an entrepreneur is: Where there's a need, there's a dollar to be made. So, what do you get when twenty five thousand cars are looking for a parking space at the same time? A business opportunity. Concentrate's Jon Zemke chats with Taylor Bond, co-founder of the game day parking finder ParknParty.
As the home of the largest concentration of Arab Americans outside of the Middle East, the metro Detroit area has more than its fair share of authentic Mediterranean-style restaurants. But there are still many areas where a home-style plate of shish tawook or appetizers of creamy hummus and crisp tabbouli are hard to come by.
Uber-creative Midtown entrepreneur Claire Nelson is taking her inspiring aspirations out of a physical W. Canfield space to concentrate on even bigger Detroit-based projects. Meanwhile, City Bird elevates its neighborhood business model. Everybody wins, reports Ashley Woods.
Jerry Paffendorf is an idea man. Not the typical idea man with grand ambitions and little execution who thinks his ideas would be great for other people. Paffendorf actually turns his dreams into reality. Jon Zemke asks all the right questions.
Excellence should be accessible to all. Bashar Kallabat has decided to run his business according to this motto. Kallabat is the co-owner and operator of Heidi Bashar Salon in the Somerset Collection. He is also a nationally renowned hair stylist.
Two years ago Soulbrain MI Inc. invested $30 million to start a plant from a 10-year-old vacant building in Northville, bringing all the tanks and pipes as well as necessary hardware and software from Korea to install in the plant. Today, Soulbrain engages in the research and development and pilot production of advanced materials for the production of lithium ion battery, and is an international leader in this advanced technology.
Is Detroit a forbidden city for Korean companies?
"Definitely Not" replies Won Ghee Yang, the President of Hyundai Mobis Detroit that opened an assembly plant in west side of Detroit in June of 2010.
Jake Sigal has always been impassioned about music, since he was a kid banging on pots and pans growing up in Columbus, Ohio.
Vaughan Taylor wants to establish Motown 2.0, an interface of music and social media that changes the business landscape for musicians. And he wants to do it in Ann Arbor. Jon Zemke talks promotion, hip-hop, and Michigan's start-up culture with the rapper/entrepreneur.
Magnificent when it was built nearly 100 years ago, magnificent the David Whitney building remains today, a testament to enduring Detroit modernism. Francis Grunow sets the historic scene for Model D's Next Big Thing event on Oct. 21.
Attorney Lorenzo García is a recognized and active member of the Detroit Hispanic community. As Co- Founder of Turfe & García, PLLC, García specially enjoys helping Latino clients with varying types of legal matters.
The city of Dearborn is one of the best places to buy meat, produce, flowers and more in metro Detroit, but the goal of brothers Dr. Fouad Turfah and Kamal Turfah for their newest business is to combine all that and more into a brand new shopping experience for local families.
In a few months the owners of Dearborn’s Roma Bakery will share their reputable products with a new community when they launch a second location in Ann Arbor. Although it hasn’t opened yet, many Ann Arbor residents already have a history with Roma Bakery, which was initially established in 1948 under the ownership of Italians who sold it after more than 20 years.
Shatila Bakery was one of only two Middle Eastern pastry shops in Dearborn when it opened its doors at its original Schafer Rd. location in 1979. Decades later, even as other bakery shops have come and gone, the company has gone through numerous re-inventions and has become one of the biggest brand names to come out of the Arab American community in Dearborn. Getting there, however, was not that easy.
These four panelists say they came to do various kinds of business in Detroit with eyes wide open and because they want to matter. Now they are changing the entrepreneurial landscape, one idea, one action at a time. Inspired, Ashley Woods reports.
Capturing the news is one thing. Connecting what's going on with how investors can react to it is something else. Jason Raznick's Benzinga has carved out a successful niche in Metro Detroit's start-up culture and, like his business, the CEO isn't afraid to call things as he sees them.
Rogelio Aguilera, founder of Real Electric Inc., is a recognized member of the Detroit Hispanic community. Born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, Aguilera came to Detroit in 1972 in search of opportunity.
Maybe it's the vast expanse of Michigan's beachfront property. Or maybe it was just winters of wishful thinking. Either way, fashion designer Magdalena Trever decided to launch a swimwear line in the Mitten. Now, her eye-catching knit bikinis are getting gobs of attention.
We have spent a lot of time in TechTown over the last few years, documenting the evolution of one of Detroit's key redevelopment catalysts. Dial in to this episode of Model D TV to see what's happening now -- and what's next.
“It’s great to have a California or tuna roll but I think it can go further,” said Crave co-owner Khalil Ramadan, who is business partners with his brother Alex. Crave of West Dearborn features Mediterranean herbs and spices infused into sushi rolls and other items. There is also a bold variety of poultry, seafood and beef delicacies including lemon grass filet and citrus chicken to look forward to. It opened seven years ago and has been voted best sushi bar in metro-Detroit every year since while still managing to hold the title of best restaurant in Dearborn four years in a row.
Some residents in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County might feel comfortable going to their local hospitals for diagnostic check-ups. But since 1980, many patients have been comfortable taking an alternative route — getting their medical testing done by the top diagnostic company in the area, Basha Diagnostics, without having to step foot in a hospital.
By some accounts Brian Cook is running the largest independent team-specific sports blog in the U.S. MGoBlog pulls in 200K readers per month, a passionate community of fans, and the kind of demographics that make advertiser's mouths water. So, how does the site's iconoclastic voice and style fit in today's media landscape, and what are its implications for the future?
Earlier this year Model D and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business presented IdeaLab, part of a two-day conference called "Revitalization & Business: Focus Detroit." Beginning today and continuing over the next few months, we bring you video evidence of what came out of this exciting collaboration.
Unlimited Recycling, Inc., founder Maria Marin-McInturf is a successful business owner committed to her mission. Her company is a “One-Stop-Shop” specializing in waste management and recycling services for universal, industrial, hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The high demand and awareness in waste reduction and universal recycling has given the company an opportunity to expand services into the solid waste industry, and now offer dumpster rental and roll-off services.
Pam Feinberg helps patients access medical, social and practical care necessary to live as healthy and independently as possible. The Jewish News
highlights Feinberg and her successful health consulting business, Feinberg Consulting.
There are a few food items that are as identifiably "made in Detroit" as the horseless carriage, seven-layer cake, Coney Island hotdogs and a certain extra-fizzy ginger ale among them. Then there are bagels.
A trendy, hip boutique is making luxury affordable with its reasonable prices. At Royal Dutchess in West Bloomfield, dresses, blazers, tops and other high fashion garments can be found marked at $30 to $80. The deals set it apart from most swanky stores. Co-owner Leslie Binno said in today's economy people want to look good without spending a lot on an outfit they won't wear twice. Another bonus is the first-class service. "We are like their personal stylist. It's more than just coming in here and shopping. It's a one on one thing," Leslie said. "We want everyone to walk in here feeling like royalty, and walk out feeling like a duchess."
In what has to be the smallest sliver of a Venn diagram that includes the insurance industry, upscale bowling, and movie theater chains, sits Paul Glanz. As the CEO of both Proctor Financial and Emagine Entertainment, this native metro Detroiter is nothing if not entrepreneurial.
Richard Sheridan has seen it all. The burst of the tech bubble, downsizing, basement start-up anxieties, and, finally, success. Today his Menlo Innovations is a company that wins accolades for its work philosophy and clients for its bottom line. Jon Zemke talks to Ann Arbor's go-to guy on entrepreneurship about what it takes to build a successful company. Hint: coffee may play a role.
When driving down Woodward Ave in downtown Detroit it might be easy to miss the little coffee shop on the corner of State St. named Chez Zara, but for the Detroiters who work in the area every day, this French style shop located inside of the Kresge Building has gradually become a favorite hot spot since opening its doors in early 2010.
It is no surprise that Jessica Hernandez has made a successful career in music and in business. She's a young talented member of a new generation of the Hernandez family, who are highly recognized within the Hispanic community for their different businesses and continuous involvement in the development of the Southwest Detroit community.
The new Gemmayze restaurant and lounge opened in Royal Oak in May 2011 by three Lebanese American business partners with the mission of bringing the soul and flavor of one of Beirut's trendiest neighborhoods to Michigan. The restaurant features Lebanese food classics and more along with a full bar and lounge for entertaining and special events.
Jeffrey Farber has been in the "pill" business since he was a teenager, spending many of his summer vacation days counting pills at his father's pharmaceutical warehouse. The Detroit Jewish News
talks to President and CEO of Auburn Pharmaceuticals
about getting into the business, daily operations, and what it means to manufacture generic drugs.
A unique experience in Mexican food is when you choose "Mi Pueblo" restaurant in Detroit. Founder, Jesus Lopez, "Don Chuy" as he's well known, had the vision to bring to Metro Detroit a truly authentic Mexican restaurant. Besides the great food, Lopez made sure all the details would make his customers feel at home, the place is a colorful setting of archways and murals of Mexican scenes.
Benn Perry of Commerce Township wears many hats: waiter, Web designer, trainer, consultant, screenwriter, conference organizer and writer. But perhaps his biggest passion is helping people get out of debt.
Startup editor Jon Zemke jumps on what could be the story of the summer: the rapid-fire redevelopment of lower Woodward Corridor skyscrapers and other prime real estate. News is breaking seemingly every day off the desk of point person Dan Mullen, who sits down with Model D to tell us what could be next.
The founders of Ann Arbor logistics firm LLamasoft don't mince words when it comes to attracting professional talent, developing their business, or expressing their disdain for VC culture. Hire smart, be fiercely competitive, create a good product, don't be a jerk (only they didn't say jerk). Concentrate's Jon Zemke puts the partners through the paces and even gets them to talk football.
Town Tub coin Laundry offers same day pickup and drop-off service, dry cleaning, and over 24 large load washers and 70 machines. It offers a comfortable lounge, which includes big screen cable TVs and free Wi-Fi, as well as member savings programs.
Wasabi owner Chul-Woong Kang spent five miserable years working in Detroit-based Korean businesses in the mid-1990s. Fifteen years later, after vowing never to return, he is back in the city, not far from where he used to live near Wayne State campus. This time, he is his own boss, and doing exactly what he loves - making customers happy. Even if it means tracking them down on Yelp.
Moose Scheib is the living embodiment of the American dream. Born in Beirut, raised in Dearborn, the 30-year-old entrepreneur played college football, attended Columbia Law School, and returned to Michigan to start a company and raise a family. Metromode's Jon Zemke sits down with the founder of LoanMod.com to discuss foreclosures, business, and the region's Arab-American community.
What do food carts tell us about a city? A lot, actually. From local business development to street engagement, a community's ability to encourage and nurture these DIY businesses can be a barometer of its commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.
manufactures three dimensional printers that produce consumer products or medical devices. The printers are sold to companies that use them to manufacture their own products. EnvisionTEC machines have printed teeth, dental crowns, toys, jewelry, human body parts and hearing aids.
Founded in 2003 by Wissam Merhi, who began selling games out of a Sunoco gas station, the Game Headz
franchise has made waves in southeast Michigan with five locations in major Detroit suburbs. Merhi has surrounded himself with fellow avid gamers and hopes to expand by 10 franchises in the next two years as his business continues to grow.
Lamassu Productions is a privately-held film production company in Detroit founded in 2005 by Assyrian American director Andre Anton with the goal of accurately depicting the tribulations of Assyrians in northern Mesopotamia as well as other minority cultures. The company won multiple awards for Best Documentary and will be screening its film "Defying Deletion" in front of the U.S. Congress in July.
Every day more and more data is being stored in the cloud. But what does that mean for our local economy? Yan Ness, CEO of Online Tech, answers questions about what's next for his industry, what would bring more start-ups to Ann Arbor, and why he opposes policies that rely on economic incentives. Oh, and his advice for naming your next company? Stick to two syllables.
Business incubators and accelerators are all the rage. Communities see them as a vital new tool in economic development. Southfield, in its attempt to capitalize on the region's growing reputation for medical excellence, is hoping to launch its first health care incubator.
After a whirlwind three-day exploratory tour of Detroit, we catch up to
New York developer-social entrepreneur Tony Goldman back home in his Soho
office. Walter Wasacz gets an earful from the self-described street practitioner-urban theorist who has animated big city neighborhoods since the late 1960s.
It's not all about angel investing and venture capital at Concentrate. Some times you've got to focus on the little guy or gal. Which is what Kickstarter does, helping innovative ideas and people to find investment. From food to photography to music and movies, folks in Ann Arbor and Ypsi have used the crowd-sourcing financial service to get their pet projects off the ground.
C and C Law offers the services of counsel who is both a licensed Michigan attorney and a Certified Public Accountant ("CPA"). The firm specializes in immigration law, including matters pertaining to family petitions, naturalization, protected status, and deportation. Its staff is equipped to offer services in the English and Spanish languages.
Maria International Travel in Detroit has over 10 years of experience serving the Latino Community in the metro area, offering quality service, courtesy, and respect.
Zack M Ostroff Associates is an architectural firm specializing in New Custom Homes, Green Design, Remodeling and Additions, ADA Compliant Design, Decks, Pergolas and Porches, Historical Restoration, and Commercial Design.Zack M Ostroff Associates is a member of the American Institute of Building Designers and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Saj Cafe of Dearborn Heights offers a variety of healthy and tasteful entrees freshly prepared using saj bread, which is thinner than pita bread. Saj is an authentic grill top used to bake the distinctive bread and can be found in Lebanon and its neighboring countries. Saj also carries a variety of desserts, hot dishes, cold entrees, pita wraps, mini pies, breakfast and breads with zaatar and cheese toppings among other items.
Las Cazuelas Mexican Grill started as one little outpost of Mexican fare in a gas station in Dearborn, and then added this similar one in another BP station. Despite the very modest locations, the Mexican fare is fresh, well-prepared and very affordable. Many workers pick up their lunches for later as they head to work early in the morning. The menu includes a Mexican style hamburger that is very popular, as well as the expected burritos, quesadillas and tacos.
The distinctive, elegant designs from Flowers & Gifts by Renee can be seen at big events across Dearborn's Arab American community among others. The company's second location in the well known old Shatila Bakery building has become popular and helped to expand the business' profile. Flower sales also remain strong as the business has been helped by popular delivery services to continue to meet customer demand.
Recognizing that Michigan's crumbling economy was fueling a local housing crisis and foreclosure epicenter, LoadMod.com incorporated in Michigan in May of 2006 and set up shop in Dearborn, Michigan, hometown of Henry Ford, near Ford world headquarters. For the first loan modification company in America, Michigan provided the perfect testing ground in perfecting the loan modification process.LoanMod.com stands by its motto "Saving the American Dream". To achieve that vision, LoanMod.com sets out to protect homeowners, communities, and lenders from the disastrous social and economic impact of widespread foreclosures.
A year ago, First Michigan Bank had one branch, an office, and 32 employees. Now, it has 54 branches, a larger office (in Troy), 900 employees and a new name.It's an amazing expansion story: How two long-time friends combined their business and financial acumen in 2007 to operate Michigan's fifth-largest bank, with more than $2 billion in assets.
Movement, Detroit's massive electronic music festival, fires up this weekend at Hart Plaza. Model D's Jon Zemke talks to the man whose promotions and production team has been helping sustain the techno nation since the 1990s.
Gay-friendly community? Check. Locally owned small businesses? Check. An emphasis on walkability? Check. Once a working-class auto industry town, Ferndale is emerging as Metro Detroit's go-to community for new urbanist success. Metromode's Jon Zemke looks into why.
Better than a belly flop but not quite a dive, Ann Arbor businesses are starting to leverage social media as a way to connect with customers. Richard Retyi surveys who's doing what on the Internet and how it's helping their bottom line.
It's not a GLBT-friendly community without the drag queens. Though Ferndale is singled out for its pink and lavender street cred, Royal Oak is home to Five 15, a cafe, gift shop, art gallery, and party venue that unabashedly embraces queer culture. And it's found incredible crossover success with its sold-out-weeks-in-advance Drag Queen Bingo.
Owner Taher Jaber first brought his Middle Eastern cuisine specialties to downtown Detroit in 1993 and he recently opened his new restaurant, Harmonie Garden Cafe, in the midtown area of Wayne State University.Jaber has acquired a large customer base including students, doctors, professors and more looking for healthy food options in the area, and he's known for his falafel.
Day Dream Nails and Spa in West Bloomfield offers high quality services at low cost. The beauty lounge also carries a full line of skin care products and affordable jewelry. In addition to manicures and pedicures, the spa offers Botox, ultrasonic infusion, vein treatments, facial and body waxing, microdermabrasion, intense pulse light for treatment of facial redness and brown spots, laser hair removal, eyelash and eyebrow tinting and various peels including wrinkle lift, anti-aging, acne, pore reducing and age spot reduction, among others.
Along with his three sons Andrew, Norman, and Victor, as well as his nephew Lew and his late brother George, Andrew Ansara, Sr. has created a restaurant business empire in Michigan.What started with an $800 loan for the Ansara brothers in the mid-50's from their milkman has grown into a network of popular franchises including 22 Red Robin and 6 Big Boy restaurants along with signature, original Mediterranean and burger-themed restaurants.Andrew Ansara, Sr. is also a board member of the Arab American and Chaldean Council, a premier non-profit organization that is helping to rebuild Detroit and the lives of Arab and other Americans from the inside-out. Ansara, Sr. considers himself "semi-retired" but still enjoys working each weekday with his family, continuing the strong bond he had with his late brother and business partner and the rest of his family.
In an economy as tough as Michigan's, where job losses have been increasing, the conventional narrative is that it is difficult to do business here because people are struggling to make ends meet.But that is not what one Detroit entrepreneur believes. Hot Sams is a men's clothing store housed at the Compuware building in downtown Detroit.
Dr. Ricardo Seir has proudly been serving the Detroit community for over 16 years at his dental facility at Parskside Dental in Westland. When you choose a cosmetic dentistry procedure in the hands of a caring and understanding dentist such as Dr. Ricardo Seir, you'll be treated as a real person with real concerns, that may have prevented you from considering aesthetic or restorative dentistry previously.
Doctor Alma Nava, co-founder of Drakeshire Dental, was born and raised in Mexico where she studied at the School of Dentistry at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and later at the University of Michigan.
Kwang Jin America is a company manufacturing window regulators, door modules and other components. It has an assembly line in Sterling Heights, Michigan and employs about 100 Detroiters. Kwang Jin America is a well-known company that has created special training programs and takes great care of its employees. Constant communication and strong management skills have overcome cultural and language barriers between Korean managers and American workers. Kwang Jin America's approach is exemplified in its "Human Touch" program toward its employees, part of a tradition from its mother company in Korea, Kwang Jin Korea. The company plays a prominent leadership role for the 70 Korean companies in Michigan.
Sachse Construction headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan, and offers premium commercial construction services nationwide that deliver projects on time and within budget. Established in 1991, Sachse Construction & Development is a $40 million-a-year business that has built millions of square feet of retail, restaurant, airport, education, office, healthcare, industrial, multi-family and hospitality space throughout the United States and Canada.
Fink + Associates Law focuses on complex commercial and class-action litigation, plus business disputes, antitrust matters, consumer and securities fraud, environmental law, intergovernmental disputes, shareholder derivative litigation and construction contract matters.
Paul Davis, Bobby Levine, Hunt Briggs, and Nolan Orfield are your everyday overachieving U-M grad students. And then some. They've founded ReGenerate, a company that is developing technology to convert food waste into energy. Sound pie-in-the-sky? Not to the half dozen business competitions they've won.
There's little doubt about Metro Detroit's place in music history. We are a bottomless cauldron of rock n roll innovation and invention. And Movement is part of that...er, well, movement. Metromode chats with producer Jason Huvaere about electronic music's role in that legacy and the business of making it part of our region's future.
"Game changing technologies". "Thinking outside the box". "Bucking the status quo". Business is big on innovative jargon, but what does it really take to remake the economic landscape? Whether it was the automobile a hundred years ago or last year's iPad, disruptive thinking is more than just risk-taking entrepreneurship, it's the business of course-altering creation. And the financial impacts are staggering.
There is little doubt that Metro Detroit has become a melting pot of cultures and faiths. Still, finding common ground with our neighbors doesn't always come easy. A group of women, representing five different faiths, is out to prove that it is our common experiences that will ultimately bind us together as one community.
Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute has strong opinions about what will help to push Michigan forward. Our colleagues at Lansing's Capital Gains chat with him about cities, transportation, and the strengths of manufacturing in the new economy.
The computer gaming industry rakes in nearly $9 billion each year. Michigan has only a very small sliver of that pie, and part of that sliver is Quantum Signal in Saline. Concentrate chats with Matt Toschlog, who heads up the company's simulation and gaming division. He weighs in on the state of the industry in Michigan, our film and video game incentive program, and the strategic advantage of having dreadlocks.
With the successful exits of Esperion and Accuri, CEO's Roger Newton and Jen Baird could have taken the money and run. Instead, they're establishing new local ventures, reinvesting in Michigan's future, and helping to grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
If ever there was a silver lining, Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer found it. Laid off from their day jobs the couple teamed with their friend Paul Zimmerman to turn their homebrew hobby into a full-time job. It was a good gamble. B. Nektar Meadery can barely produce enough fermented honey alcohol to meet demand.
Beginning with a packed opening night reception at MOCAD and continuing the rest of the week in various locations this new festival of locally-produced art was a big, big winner. Walter Wasacz tells us why Art X is a catalyst for growth while photographer Marvin Shaouni captures the vivid scene in living color.
Whether it's in a research lab or restaurant kitchen, the ability to perfectly mix ingredients is vital for success. Dr. Mahaveer Swaroop Bhojani has got both domains down but until now has only made a career of one. Last week, however, the U-M researcher opened A2's very first Chaat House. Don't know what that is? Read on.
Talent: some have to work at it, some are just natural-born. Jewelry designer Audrey Wong Chung, whose baubles line the gift bags of Oscar nominees and Dancing With The Stars performers, is the latter. A computer science grad and former guest actress on The Cosby Show, Audrey is jewel outfitter to the stars, and she runs worldwide operations supplying her pieces to national retail brands.
While census workers did their job we did ours: produced ideas, converting them into real action. Detroit's creative juices have been flowing over the past decade. Managing editor Walter Wasacz says hang on, this is just the beginning of a long, wild ride into the unknown.
Rotary Clubs for the new economy. Non-Networking events. Whatever you call them, meet-ups that emphasize the social over the professional are attracting a loyal following in Ann Arbor ...while providing a uniquely casual way for local talent to network. Or not.
Despite his company's huge successes, John Gongos doesn't consider himself an entrepreneur. The veteran market researcher does, however, have strong opinions about leadership, developing talent, and taking a smart approach to business growth. Metromode's Jon Zemke get's the skinny.
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get."-Mark TwainAnn Arbor is home to the first (and second biggest) weather website in the country – Weather Underground. The brainchild of weather guru Jeff Masters, it's the culmination of a life-long love affair with that most temperamental of subjects.
From the smokey cocktail parties of the '60s to the caffeine and Facebook fueled world of the Internet, advertising exec Marcie Brogan has seen it all. More importantly, she has embraced rather than resisted the inevitable changes in her industry. Metromode chats with her about the state of Metro Detroit's advertising firms -- past and present.
As Ann Arbor evolves its stable of start-ups, acquisition will be the inevitable fate for more than a few. Last month Accuri Cytometers joined the list of successful exits. But how did it happen and what does it mean for the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem? Concentrate's Jon Zemke surveys the landscape.
Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb is an unabashed entrepreneur, a true believer that business is the ultimate engine for change. He also believes that corporations must have a deeper purpose than just profit. Concentrate chats with Robb about the way those seemingly disconnected impulses come together and why the next generation of business leaders should embrace them.
From underground to upscale, micro-batch to mass-market, what are the emerging opportunities for Detroit's local food scene? Come to this event with an appetite for knowledge and find out.
From an engineering job with Ford to a serial entrepreneur in the process of launching his fourth company, Bhushan Kulkarni epitomizes the immigrant success story. A passionate booster for his community, family, and the state's economic future, Kulkarni chats with Concentrate about the challenges of start-up culture and the need for more mentorship.
From the assembly line to auto plant walls to the walls of an art gallery, Tony Roko could be a metaphor for Metro Detroit's creative evolution. The industrial begets the artistic as this former assembly line worker transformed his off-the-clock scribbles and sketches into a growing reputation as a painter.
Former Model D managing photographer Dave Krieger has been busy working on one film set after another the past few years. He makes an appeal to the governor and the state legislature to keep the lights, cameras and action rolling.
Once upon a time cities were built near waterways, roads, and rail.
Today, as markets go global, airports are becoming the main artery for
most businesses. Detroit Region Aerotropolis is our attempt to
capitalize on this new reality. Metromode asks: Can we compete on the international stage?
The small scale of Michigan's venture capital community means many ground-floor opportunities for investment. Bay Area boomerangs Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend of Resonant Venture Partners wax on the need for a new generation of VC investors and peek into the realm of "dirty tech".
Texts From Last Night turned Ben and Philip Bator into accidental entrepreneurs. Now, with millions of followers, books, mobile apps and even a television show in development, these Metro Detroit natives are poised to conquer the world ...from their living room.
Our next event features frank and open conversation about family life in the city, including available neighborhood amenities and educational options. The talk is moderated by Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press.
Siobhan Lyle always wanted a place where artisans and crafters could gather, learn and share. So, she did what any good maker does: she made her own. The Blue House is Ann Arbor's go-to destination for hand-crafted hipness, building a community where do-it-yourself doesn't necessarily mean do it by yourself.
It's not quite artificial intelligence but it sure comes close. Named one of the ten "World Changing Ideas" of 2010 by Scientific American, swarm intelligence is a biology-inspired computer algorithm that's starting to see commercial application. And most of that development occurred here, in Ann Arbor area research labs.
Pro-active Detroit blog has been gaining steam since launching 13 months ago, thanks largely to the hustle of creator Margarita Barry. We ran this story last summer but here it is mid-winter and the project is still hot. Read again and get inspired.
If gung-ho could be bottled, Matt and Rene Greff would probably put it in a microbrew. Owners of ever-popular Ann Arbor Brewing and Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, the couple are practically poster children for the region's unique personality. Quirky, entrepreneurial, civic-minded, and opinionated, Concentrate talks business, politics, downtown development and, oh yeah, beer with this dynamic duo.
April Meyers is from here, wanted to stay here, and wanted to make a difference. But that's harder than it sounds when you're a recent college grad in search of work. Luckily, VISTA offered her an opportunity to do good and do it in Metro Detroit. Now, Meyers is helping establish a food pantry and community garden program at Schoolcraft College.
If anyone knows that necessity is the mother of invention it's Mike Burns. An inventor and innovator who has found success matching tech innovation to the world of running, he stumbled across his latest greatest idea: the Handeholder, an iPad accessory that's raking in orders by the thousands.
Conference in Ann Arbor had a little bit of everything: Detroit entrepreneurial star power, great ideas and, best of all, a call to action. Model D most valuable player Claire Nelson delivers the news from the academy to the streets.
Just one word: e-commerce. You thought we were going to say plastics, didn't you? The funny thing is, Rochester-based Brand Labs owes as much to plastics as it does to the Internet. Mixing old economy lessons with new economy business, Kevin Harman and Dane Downer's 3-year-old firm has found incredible success.
Ben Kazez defines the new economy lifestyle. He's the founder of a successful mobile app start-up, lives near Kerrytown, and walks to his downtown office. With promises that success won't lure him away (Mobiata was acquired by Expedia last fall), Concentrate chatted with Kazez about good food, apps, and launching a start-up.
It used to be, if you wanted to be in the music industry you had to head to the coasts. Sam Valenti IV didn't like those rules so he followed in Berry Gordy's footsteps and made a few rules of his own. Today he runs Ghostly International, Ann Arbor's highly successful and hipper than hip music label. Sam kicks off Concentrate's 2011 Speaker Series with a talk about the evolution of his company here in Ann Arbor. The event is Thursday, January 27th. Sign up today!
What's the view at the bottom of Metro Detroit's entrepreneurial food chain? More diversity, less money. Case in point, Denovo Sciences. Its young partners are full of vim, vigor and a desire to "make change in human lives". What they could use is a little seed capital for their life science innovations.
Our monthly speaker series kicks off 2011 in impressive fashion with this collaborative effort with U-M's Ross School of Business. It's a one-day conference on the elusive what's next with star power from all over the region. Read all about it and register now.
Here, there, everywhere. It's not a coincidence that Henry Balanon got into the mobile application business. For this young entrepreneur, mobility is a way of life. Metromode chats with the founder of Bickbot about co-working, phone apps, blogging, iPads and what they mean for Metro Detroit.
If anyone doubts that Metro Detroit is a hotbed of invention, entrepreneurship and creative thinking they just haven't been paying attention. Metromode once again unearthed a treasure trove of people, companies and communities that are evolving our sense of place, building our new economy, and promoting innovation at every turn. As we ring out the year we look back at a baker's dozen of stories that inspired us!
In the shadow of this past weekend's Big Chill hockey extravaganza, The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition --an American Idol-style contest for start-ups-- was held in Ann Arbor. More important than the $1 million in cash and support handed out was the collaboration exhibited by regional business leaders. Is there a new age of cooperation dawning in SE Michigan?
While the U.S. is just starting to accept that wind power can help us move toward a more sustainable future, Ann Arbor-based Accio Energy is already reinventing the technology that harnesses it. Concentrate chats with Jen Baird, the company's CEO, about Wind Power 2.0, entrepreneurship, and what's next for Michigan's new economy.
Beer here now! If anyone knows the meaning of those word it's Mike Plesz. The serial brewpreneur has been launching local microbrew pubs since 1994. His latest endeavor --Rochester's Mind Body & Spirits-- is a successful sustainability-oriented restaurant. Plesz talks with Metromode about beer, local food production, green practices, and more beer. Bottoms up!
Gritty futurists Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope are picking up speed -- and fellow travelers and builders -- in their art-meets-neighborhood reinvention project on the Detroit-Hamtramck border. Kelli B. Kavanaugh reports on what's next in the aftermath of worldwide pub for their famous "$100 House."
Not only does stem cell research offer a lifeline to patients with life-threatening diseases, it may also provide an economic lifeline to Southeast Michigan by growing our life sciences industry.
With over 100 start-ups, Bill Wagner and Dianne Marsh of SRT Solutions see Ann Arbor as a worthy contender to Silicon Valley for talent and jobs. Concentrate gets the duo's view of employee-friendly work spaces, active learning, and the TED talks.
Everyone and their granny has a blog. But how many web-based wordsmiths know how to earn a buck for their efforts? From blog-based record labels to Internet journalists to movie deals for embarrassing text messages, some Metro Detroit bloggers are turning their passions into paychecks.
Arty fashionista Sarah Lapinski's motor is always running. We see this Detroit dynamo wherever we go, her amp usually turned up to 11. She rocks, Jon Zemke rolls it out in this month's Q&A feature.
Eric Brown not only discovered his entrepreneurial muscle later in life, he also discovered his new urbanist, social media leanings. As CEO and co-founder of Urbane Apts, Brown has his finger on Metro Detroit's rental pulse, and has found success in a market that traditionally caters to home owners.
"I quit!" never sounded so sweet. Even in the state's job-strapped economy, there are Michiganders deciding to leave secure positions to forge businesses of their own. Concentrate profiles four local entrepreneurs who made the leap from employee to self-employed.
Overlooked for years, Oakland County Airport is getting a much-needed face-lift in order to live up to its title as Michigan's second busiest airport. The terminal's multi-million dollar upgrade will soon match the Fortune 500 execs, rock stars, trade missions, and elite clientele the airport caters to every day.
Candidate for MIchigan governor Rick Snyder and journalist Roger Martin
sat down for a talk about the state's -- and Detroit's -- future last
Thursday at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. We were there and bring you
highlights from the speaker series event.
Necessity is the mother of invention. In search of a bluer corn chip, Bena Burda ended up founding Maggie's Organics. Eighteen years later the company is still going strong, setting the bar for eco and social responsibility.
Lisa Kurek has the kind of can-do, grab life by the horns attitude that inspires (and fascinates) the people around her. She channels that same energy and outlook toward local entrepreneurs as the director of Biotechnology Business Consultants, helping them to achieve their full start-up potential. Concentrate gets her views on entrepreneurship, scoring seed capital, and government grants.
ePrize is arguably one of the most innovative companies in Metro Detroit, attracting a younger generation of creative professionals and techies. Metromode sits down with founder and CEO Josh Linkner to talk about creativity, entrepreneurship, and realigning the region's approach to its future.
Issue Media Group announces Research Corridor - a monthly roundup
of the latest R&D, entrepreneurship, and collaborations stemming
from Michigan's research university leaders: Michigan State University,
the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.
Detroit was settled by the French and was once known as the Paris of the Midwest. So perhaps it's fitting that, mainly because of the automotive industry, there now exists a thriving French community in the metro area.
Join us Oct. 13 at the Max M. Fisher Center to learn about innovative new initiatives fueling start-ups in Detroit. Mahendra Ramsinghani will talk about the First Step Fund, a unique partnership between Invest Detroit, TechTown and Ann Arbor SPARK to provide financing to emerging small businesses in southeast Michigan. We'll also hear from Brendan Calder, an innovation expert and venture capitalist from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
From employee to employer, Paul Bartlett made the jump many dream of but few dare to try. Kittyhawk Studios is an Internet marketing boutique that has attracted A-list clients and a stable of virtual workers. And Bartlett has done it all from the comfort of his vintage Rochester home.
Even in our high speed digital world there's still a place for old school day planners. Co-founders Sarah Nicoli and Lisa Edwards have turned their design sense and organizational know-how into Dotmine, a highly successful Ann Arbor business.
Greek immigrant Dennis Kefallinos came Detroit as a 15-year-old in the 1960s and made the American Dream come true for himself and his family. He began developing in Greektown and pushed his vision north to the Russell Industrial Center, where Model D's Jon Zemke caught up with him for this live one-on-one chat.
To establish a successful creative scene you need a critical mass of topnotch artists and performers, a dedicated local audience and savvy event promoters. Metro Detroit's got plenty of the first but struggles to effectively attract the second because there are only a few of the third. Or so says Walter Wasacz, FilterD's editor and Metromode's cultural connoisseur.
No suit, a skateboard, and an endless thirst for start-ups, Dug Song is one of Michigan's more successful entrepreneurs. Whether its starting companies or organizing social groups or running a tech incubator, Song is perpetually in motion. Concentrate's Jon Zemke caught up with him to discuss both the upsides and downsides of doing business in Ann Arbor.
Jon Citrin is not your everyday ordinary financial services guy. The 33-year-old entrepreneur has a distinctly next generation view of business that has grown his Birmingham-based office into a firm to watch. Metromode's Jon Zemke gets Citrin's opinions on building a business, creating successful internships, locating downtown, and evaluating Mick Jagger's economic acumen.
Detroit's Kyle Hall (pictured), an electronic musician whose career is taking off at home but especially in Europe and Asia, is part of a stellar lineup of talent in the first-ever We Like Music Festival at two venues in Midtown. Check out the details in FilterD,
your essential weekly guide to what's hot and cool in the metro area.
It's start-up theater! A group of young stage artists have decided to put off their move to bigger, more theatrically-inclined cities like New York in order to build a performance troupe here. Challenging the conventions of local of theater and the mass migration of their peers, The New Theater Project hopes to attract Ann Arbor audiences to the fringe.
Let's spread the love and deliver the good word: Macomb County is no slouch when it comes to embracing new economy initiatives. From trade missions to China to the Education City Initiative to the Anton Art Center, the county that too often lives in Oakland and Wayne's economic shadow is no stranger to innovation.
Real estate agent Austin Black had found success selling the city for other firms, so he decided to strike out on his own with City Living Detroit, his Midtown brokerage. He talks with Model D about the city and opportunities that lay ahead.
Offering a Word for the web solution for the
pains of website maintenance are Mike Monan and Stephen Colson, the founders of Switchback, an internet business based on Drupal technology. This week they dish with Concentrate's Jon Zemke on downtown workspaces and the wilds of entrepreneurship.
John Harding and Erik Kauppi turned their tech co-op prototype into a microloan investment and now Current Motor Company is poised to achieve electric scooter world dominance. Okay, we're probably getting ahead of ourselves on that
last part, but the duo's transition from Ford engineers into innovative entrepreneurs is a good indication that southeast Michigan has begun its economic evolution.
It's a family affair. Pete Bonner didn't just marry into the family business, he helped create it. An early pioneer in the Internet automotive business, he and his in-laws have become successful serial entrepreneurs, finding new (and profitable) ways to connect the Big Three to the web.
Internet marketing or hipster art gallery? It's two great tastes in one. Jesse Cory is the brainchild behind both 323 East and Ohm Creative Group in Royal Oak. But the split identity doesn't end there. He also shuttles between Metro Detroit and Brooklyn, NY - doing business in both. Metromode caught up with him to talk entrepreneurship, street art and Kwame mugs.
How do you get to the top of Google's first page? Catherine Juon and Linda Girard have a few ideas. It's why they started the successful website optimization firm Pure Visibility. Jon Zemke sits down with these Ann Arbor entrepreneurs to talk about sharing leadership, running a company in downtown A2, and teaching school kids more about business (among other topics).
Oakland County is a lot more international than we might think. Thanks to the work of the Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs and its relationship with the Consular Corps of Detroit, the county is now home to more than 730 foreign firms from more than 37 countries.
haunted houses, a popular renaissance festival, Theatre Bizarre, and
now LARP. Oakland County is home to a surprising number of fantastical
past times, drawing eclectic and enthusiastic crowds. But more than just
dress up, Live Action Role Playing is a full immersion experience.
Developer Randy Lewarchik is turning the century-old Elevator Building near Detroit's Riverfront into a new economy hub. He talks with Model D about the project, promoting entrepreneurship, and being part of the Detroit village.
It's less about world conquest and more about smart business. Ann Arbor firms are reaching out into the global marketplace and finding great success. Some even call the Mitten home but do little to no business here.
With nearly 20% of Ann Arbor's population speaking a foreign first language, the city's diversity is clearly rooted in immigration, international students, and global business development. So, how do we engage these strangers in a strange land? Enter SPARK's Cultural Ambassador program, an effort by local business leaders to attract and retain foreign-born talent.
Sometimes a little guidance goes a long way. U-M's Tech Transfer office, along with its new Michigan Venture Center, have started a mentorship program that turns technologists into entrepreneurs. As a result they expect to see a 20% bump in start-up launches.
Optimism, entrepreneurship, and community service. If someone could bottle David Merritt's drive they'd make a whole lotta money. From co-captain of U-M's basketball team to a budding captain of industry, Merritt has made Ann Arbor his home and inspiration his business. Jon Zemke chats with the can-do founder of IMU clothing company to find out what makes him tick.