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176 N Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

Andrew & Ryan Landau

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
PowerVoice launched in private beta on November 27, 2011. We officially launched on January 24, 2012. Over the course of two months we have formed marketing partnerships with over 30 advertisers including Starbucks, Gap and W Hotels. We connected with our existing business relationships to find customers for the initial launch.

Where did you find your first employee?
One of PowerVoice's most important assets are the individuals who make up the PowerVoice team. To find our first employee we connected with dozens of individuals who are involved in the Detroit entrepreneurial community. Through these connections we were able to find our first employee. We are very luck to have such a great team.
Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?  
This week PowerVoice launched our first internship program. We are looking for smart, ambitious, individuals who are looking to be part of our metro-Detroit based startup. Our hope is that our interns will grow with the company and that they will eventually turn into full-time employees.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
PowerVoice has been lucky to form an amazing team of seven investors/advisors to help us grow. These individuals have generously provided us their time, advice, and resources to get PowerVoice off the ground. When looking to find investors for a startup, our advice is to not only find individuals with money, but more importantly, find investors who can offer their expertise, guidance and leadership. These non-tangible assets will pay huge dividends as the business grows.  

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Andrew: Metro-Detroit has a plethora of advantages for ambitious entrepreneurs. You have the resources of a large city, yet there is a sense of cooperation and collaboration that you would rarely find in a city the size of Detroit. Metro-Detroit is quickly becoming an entrepreneurial hub of the Mid-West and businesses can use the low cost of living, access to great minds and eternal optimism of Detroit to get a leg up for their business.

Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
Ryan: One company that I really admire is ePrize. They have an great mindset and culture that I would like to instill in PowerVoice. One of their policies is, 'I am innovation'. I believe this is an important mindset that all companies should build into their DNA. Innovation is the key to growth. Organizations should think out of the box and become more creative.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Andrew: We need to change the perception about the lack of opportunity in Metro-Detroit. There is an entrepreneurial renaissance happening in Michigan and I encourage all entrepreneurs to get on board. In Detroit, it's not about waiting, but rather leading. It's a strategic move to be in metro-Detroit and I'm looking forward to see the evolution of our city.  

Ryan: I believe we need to congregate entrepreneurs to a similar location. For example, Josh Linker and Dan Gilbert have renovated the historic Madison building in Detroit and are using this a central hub from entrepreneurial talent. Entrepreneurs  are more successful when they're able to collaborate and leverage each others unique strengths.

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