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Steve Jacobs

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I am a member of Automation Alley and I have an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Velocity Data Centers is funded by private investors. It hasn't taken any institutional money and has no debt.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Michigan has a business savvy governor that has helped businesses become competitive nationally.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
We need to streamline and provide consistency with the zoning, site planning, construction requirements. Each municipality has it's unique interpretation, creating a steep learning curve and slows business growth and progress.

Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
I would offer the streamlined construction processes from Texas and Arizona as mindsets that would be helpful.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Current entrepreneurial programs do a great job connecting entrepreneurs to capital and job markets. But this is only one part of the help an entrepreneur needs. Networking, marketing, awareness, business-to-business and business-to-customer connections and access to buyers are all very important elements too. The organizations that try to help are not equipped to help with these other (as equally important) aspects of starting a new business.

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