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Media Genesis

1441 East Maple Road
Troy, MI 48083

Antoine Dubeauclard

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
The High Tech Mega Grant is the standout program that we received in our Michigan operations. We've used a variety of services throughout the 15-year span of the firm but for the most part we haven’t seen many incentives or other benefits.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
We had three notable first customers; Chevrolet web development for vehicle launches with Campbell Ewald, General Electric and Owens Brockway, Illinois. Most of these came from existing relationships of the partners.

Where did you find your first employee?
The company started with a few employees, so employee number one is a bit of a hazy discussion. Initial staff was found through job postings. The old fashioned way. In time we began to invest heavily in culture building and recruiting.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Yes, numerous times. For a number of years we brought every-one on as a intern/trainee for a period of three to six months and then hired as full time salaried employees. Now we seek to maintain a ratio of interns of approximately 10 percent.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We really haven’t turned to anyone. We don't have outside investors, and we have minimal debts other than those where there is hard asset collateral (i.e. our building). So we bootstrapped it. It hasn't been easy. We do have great banking relationships, but all the growth has been self-funded. Our ventures are a different story and they are mostly funded by angels and some venture capital. Some more mature ventures are starting to see more institutional funding, but at present most of it is through angel investors, friends and family and venture capital.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
It's a small community, so it's easy to very quickly get connected with very influential people and companies. This is true in a variety of ways, one can quickly jump on a non-profit board and make an impact or get the critical mass needed to start a business. There is also a shared bond with most people in the business community. It hasn't been easy so there is more collaboration and a sense of a common goal. Some of that gets actualized in grand shared visions such as the vision for a vibrant economy and culture in a new Detroit.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
There is still a need for inclusiveness. Newcomers and people who make up the bulk of the population need to be harmonized. New Detroiters need to think of suburbs as part of Detroit and likewise suburbs need to internalize their identity as Detroiters. In most major cities, the identity is not solely with a suburb, borough or whatever, it is as part of a metropolitan area. We have tremendous strength when we combine these aspects of the region. We quickly become divisive when we start parceling the cool or politically correct based on where they live in the general metro area.

Heck, here are two things. That's the rule breaker in me. New business ideas need to be vetted more on what could be vs what has been. It's a culture shift. One that exists more in the coasts where the economy is forward facing. Here we look to our past a lot, and that is both a great legacy and a great burden. Our way of approaching new ideas is rooted in the manufacturing mentality, capital intensive, heavily vetted financially, sensitive to a proven team and with all the right tools. These values inhibit new economy growth. They're good business in many ways, but we need more speculation and to move away from the safe bets into the disruptive solutions that will forever change industries.

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