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Go Green Energy Consulting

400 Galleria Officentre
Suite 555
Southfield, MI 48034

Jacob Smith

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I am a graduate of the University of Michigan Stephen M Ross School of Business. My partner graduated from business school at Michigan State University. We frequently collaborate with mentors to help guide our business strategy.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customers were mostly friends and family.

Where did you find your first employee?
We hired our first employee (energy auditor) through a training school called American Green Careers that has since gone out of business.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Nope, but we work with our first intern last month and had a wonderful experience.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
So far we have borrowed 100 percent of our start-up capital from friends and family in the form of loans.

Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
We've heard that some cities in the U.S. now require certified energy audits when selling a house. Currently, most homeowners don't look at energy bills when buying a new home. Similar to the way new car buyers care about MPG, we feel that homeowners should absolutely consider the operating cost of their new home before purchasing. The current system allows blatant inefficiencies and abnormally high energy bills under the rug.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
I think that the current resources for young entrepreneurs are too heavily focused on high-risk, exponential growth, venture-capital targeted, technology-based business. Most of the grants, business plan competitions, and start-up training programs that we've seen are geared solely to these types of businesses. This widely ignores service-based and low-tech product-based businesses. We need to revitalize the mentality that anyone can start a business, whether or not you have an idea for the next Facebook.

We fix up leaky homes. A friend of ours recently started a computer repair service. Another friend is creating promotional videos for small to medium sized companies. Some other friends are fighting healthy food disparities in Detroit by packaging and selling fresh produce in convenience stores. None of these businesses could ever win a business plan competition, and they aren't glamorous enough to get highlighted in the entrepreneurial magazines. Personally, I think local leaders should be encouraging all types of entrepreneurial actions.

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