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David Weaver

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
We have offered numerous angel investor educational programs over the years with the most recent one on due diligence. They mostly have come from the Angel Capital Educational Foundation. Great Lakes Angels is the founder of the Angel Capital Association.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business here?

I would suggest they immediately connect with one of the closest Smart Zones and the people at MI-SBTDC for assistance on where to go to form their business and how to develop a business plan for planning your future and fund raising, if needed.

What do you see in Metro Detroit that other people who live outside the area don't?
I was in Pittsburgh for 2.5 years working and came back to the area and was amazed at all the activity at the start-up stage. We have so many talented people that are here from the major universities and from the auto industry that we can be a significant global force when we all pull together. This is still the hub of Michigan and we need to raise above the external poor view of Michigan and Detroit. We are a proud people and don't need to play second fiddle to anyone.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
I see a lot of ethnic diversity here for one thing and a very high and disproportionate ratio of engineers than any other region of the county with the same population. We have so much talent in our own backyard.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
We do need to reinvent the economy. Pittsburgh moved from a dominant steel city to a high-tech city and we can do the same and need to become less dependent on the auto industry.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Now, with a governor that has direct roots in entrepreneurship and all the new funding activities around the state we can grow faster and stronger. Although it will still take mentors to help guide and educate new company founders on how to get established and be successful.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
At this time, I think we have it going for us and no significant changes needed.

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