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Stout Systems

PO Box 2934
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

John Stout

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customer was Xycom in Saline. We found it through networking.

Where did you find your first employee?
At a networking meeting.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
If you mean a college intern, the answer is no. We have effectively apprenticed part-time employees and transitioned them to contractors.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We have used our business revenues to fund our growth.

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?
I don't know whether a reinvention of the economy is completely necessary. A reinvention of Detroit's/Michigan's image via effective public relations is essential. Another factor to be more competitive: making the state more business-friendly by changing the business-tax system.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
We have a strong past history that could be restored, plus our Midwestern work ethic.

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