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Sphere Trending

1116 Voorheis Road
Waterford, MI 48328

Maxine Lauer

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
We participate in the local TED conference and we usually participate in International Institute of Research venues. We have taken part in Fast Company seminars in the past but not recently as we have actually been really busy and our time load hasn't warranted a lot of extra participation over the last year.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first company was Agio International, the largest manufacturer of outdoor furniture. When starting Sphere Trending I simply called people I knew and did no advertising. Just face to face touch base on what the goals for Sphere Trending were and starting signing companies.

Where did you find your first employee?
Our first employee was someone I had worked with previously. Most of our employees came that way in the beginning. They were really smart and talented people that I always wanted to work with at Sphere Trending. All but two of our employees were prior acquaintances.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We haven't hired an intern yet but this summer we found one who will be a junior at Michigan State. We have already told to check with us first for a job offer upon graduation.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Sphere Trending has been totally self-funded. We have never borrowed any money to run the company.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
For us being in Michigan has been an asset. Many companies ask why we aren't in New York or LA based on our type of work and we always tell them that we visit those cities extensively but being in the Midwest keeps us grounded in the real world.

Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
It would seem beneficial if Michigan could adopt the idea of being a true business incubator focused on innovation and futuristic thinking practices that would lead the world in product development once again. The idea of incubators has been around for some time but with all the talent that Michigan has it would be the perfect spot to lead incubators for businesses that would enable new growth and expansion, no matter what the end product or service.

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