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Highland Township glass fabricators to expand facilities and services, add jobs

A Michigan-based glass fabricating company has passed over a competing site in Kentucky to instead expand its current facilities in Oakland County’s Highland Township. The move has resulted in a state-backed grant for the company, all the while creating more jobs and millions in capital investment from the glass fabricator.

The family-owned Midwest Glass Fabricators, Inc. has announced plans to build an expansion onto its Highland Township facilities, complete with new equipment. The project is expected to create 62 jobs and generate $4.7 million in total capital investment.

Because of this decision, the company will receive a $186,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, as announced by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Highland Township has also offered incentives for the company’s growth: A 50 percent tax abatement in support of the project.

"This expansion is the next phase in our development as a company," owner and chief operating officer Pat Iaquinto said in a statement. "Our investment in Michigan will continue to grow as will our commitment to serve our partners with locally sourced products that meet their needs."

The expansion comes as the company experiences increased demand for its fabricated glass products and custom metal fabrication services. The 53,000 sq. ft. addition to its already 50,000 sq. ft. facility will allow the company to build a glass laminating line for safety and security glass.

Midwest Glass Fabricators was founded in 1989.

"Adding laminate to our line-up of products is a step towards providing safety to buildings nationwide at an affordable price without compromising security," said Midwest Glass owner and chief executive officer Jim Iaquinto.

"Building an addition to our existing plant will allow us to bring in local R&D and help establish Michigan as a leader in the arena of safeguarding the public."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Lawrence Tech business incubator wins NEI grant, looks toward expansion

The LTU Collaboratory, Lawrence Technological University’s business incubator and accelerator, is planning to expand its business and technology-based mentorship services, workshops, and events. The move is made possible thanks to a one-year $40,000 grant from the New Economy Initiative. It’s the first time NEI has awarded a grant to the Southfield-based university.

Small manufacturers and emerging hardware startups in Southeast Michigan stand to benefit most from the grant. The money will also be used to engage more high schoolers, college students, and young adults in product and manufacturing-related innovation challenges.

"As a leading resource to small and start-up companies developing innovative, engineered products, the LTU Collaboratory can now provide additional key resources for these companies to grow and scale up their operations, thanks to this NEI grant," said Mark Brucki, executive director of community and corporate partnerships at LTU.

"We are looking forward to getting more students involved in manufacturing as well."

It’s another improvement for the LTU Collaboratory. LTU is planning on a new 6,300 sq. ft. accelerator space for its Southfield campus by spring 2019.

NEI Senior Program Officer Maria LaLonde cites Southeast Michigan’s abundance of engineering talent, manufacturing expertise, patent research initiatives, and export activity in praising the deal.

"We are very excited to be partnering with LTU to offer small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs critical resources to keep them on the leading edge of innovation and growth," said LaLonde.

"As a university-based accelerator program, LTU is also a key partner to engage and develop the next generation of design, engineering and manufacturing talent in Michigan."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Birmingham chocolatier studied rocket science before turning to truffles

Excerpt: 

In a past life, Doug Cale tested flight control and attack systems for land and carrier based anti-submarine warfare aircraft. 

Nowadays, the retired astronautics and aeronautics engineer has traded rocket science for something more down to earth — chocolate making.

Read more

How can Pontiac's tech economy grow? Sustain the momentum, entrepreneurs say

Enthusiastic. Scrappy. Upcoming. Those were just a few of the words used to describe Pontiac and its tech economy at the June 6 High Growth Happy Hour: Pontiac’s Tech Economy, held at the Paissa Building in downtown Pontiac.
 
The event was the second in the Comcast High Growth Happy Hour series, and was co-sponsored by the New Economy Initiative and Metromode.
 
Panelists were Matt Russell, Elaina Farnsworth, and Mark Hillman, with moderator Glen Konopaskie. Konopaskie is a consultant in the area on connected vehicles and a former director of Main Street Pontiac.
 
Russell leads several tech startups in Pontiac, including Cynerge Consulting, where he leads a team in enterprise-grade application development, cloud migration, and data center support. Elaina Farnsworth is CEO of The NEXT Education, a company focused on preparing talent for the new mobility economy. Hillman is CEO of Lenderful, one of the Pontiac-based high-tech software startups under the umbrella of MadDog Technology.
 
Read on for three takeaways from the event.
 
Pontiac has an image problem and an identity crisis.
 
All three panelists, as well as the moderator, agreed that Pontiac has an image problem. Since coming out from under emergency management, the downtown is looking better, vacancy rates are falling, and the city is safe, but the public at large doesn't perceive it that way.
 
"Pontiac is the safest city in Oakland County in terms of crime per capita and has been for the last eight years," Konopaskie says.
 
Coupled with the image problem is an identity crisis. Hillman says the city needs to do a better job of picking a focus and branding itself.
 
"There are a million things the town can be, and I have advocated specifically that business leaders and government at whatever level pick an identity and focus for the area," Hillman says. She suggested that technology and the arts could create a strong synergistic identity for the city, one that makes it feel "funky and cool."
 
Russell agreed that the combination of tech and art make Pontiac a cool place, along with its beautiful historic buildings.
 
"I think we could build around those two anchors, bring different vibes in, a youthful, creative energy," Russell says. Russell added that he has used photos of the Riker building where his business is located to draw in talent and show off what downtown Pontiac has to offer.
 
"We can use that as a recruiting engine, and bring in people who want to live here," he says.
 
Location is one of Pontiac's strongest assets.
 
Konopaskie says that Pontiac is exactly the place where a "small company can make a big splash" in a way they couldn't in a bigger city like Detroit.
 
He also notes that Pontiac is a natural hub, being the seat of Oakland County and located at the end of Woodward Ave., which is the site of the first mile of concrete road ever built in the entire nation.
 
Hillman says Pontiac is a place where companies can "bring the jobs to the people instead of bringing the people to the jobs."
 
Most people would prefer not to commute for an hour or more, but many do, because the well-paying tech jobs they want are in Ann Arbor or Detroit, Hillman says. But with Pontiac being so close to major highways, a commute from a nearby metro Detroit suburb could be only 10 or 15 minutes.
 
Farnsworth notes that a major paradigm shift in transportation is coming up in 2020, and the city needs to be ready for it. The next two years, she says, are the time for Pontiac to establish a plan for being a connected vehicle hub.
 
"We can't let this chance pass us by," she says. "We have two years before we have to have a plan in place or let another area get this. If we drag our feet like we have been, we won't be able to see the fruits."
 
Pontiac is poised for explosive growth — if the right collaborations happen.
 
All the panelists and the moderator agreed that public-private partnerships and buy-in from city government will be important to support and grow the tech economy in Pontiac.
 
Entrepreneurs won't keep coming to the city with cool ideas if they keep getting tripped up by bureaucracy, Russell says.
 
In addition to her work in Michigan, Farnsworth also works and does speaking engagements in Silicon Valley and says that, instead of competing, companies there want the whole region to succeed.
 
"That vibe is here in Pontiac," she says. "The challenge is that it seems like we can't get out of our own way. We have the vibe, we want things to move, but the execution isn't there yet. We need to talk about what we're doing, pick a strategy, and do it, even if it's not perfect. We've got the energy, but the follow-through is not there yet."
 
She adds that Pontiac already has much of what it needs to be a hub for the mobility and connected vehicle industry.
 
"We need to look at leveraging the assets we have here, take what's already in place and grow that," Farnsworth says.

Automation Alley receives grant to help minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has awarded Automation Alley a year-long grant to help minority, women and veteran-owned businesses embrace Industry 4.0, the smart factory revolution characterized by the convergence of digital and physical technologies.

The grant aligns with Automation Alley's existing Industry 4.0 programs for startups, manufactures and defense companies, and will provide resources and knowledge to help these businesses grow and prosper as technology rapidly impacts industry.

"As Michigan's Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Automation Alley is passionate about ensuring our state's small and medium-sized businesses understand and have access to the tools they need to transition to an Industry 4.0 workplace. Any time we can reach more minority, women and veteran-owned businesses in the ecosystem its a win-win, and this NEI grant will help us do just that," said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley's executive director and CEO.

The grant will be used to deliver Industry 4.0 readiness assessments on corporate strategy and direction to minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. It will also cover the cost of entry to Automation Alley's Industry 4.0 events throughout the year, which includes its Tech Takeover series held weekly at its Troy Headquarters and Automation Alley's global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8, to be held this year on Nov. 14 in Detroit.

“NEI is dedicated to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship support in southeast Michigan” said Maria LaLonde, senior program officer at NEI. “We’re pleased to partner with Automation Alley to empower our region’s women, minority and veteran-led small and medium-sized businesses to prosper by preparing for Industry 4.0.”

Robotic Precision Therapy, a women-owned business based in Troy, was among the first companies to benefit from the grant funds, recently completing an Industry 4.0 assessment with Automation Alley. The company is in the business of providing the first clinical robot designed to non-surgically lengthen muscular tissue to licensed physicians and medical professionals in the rehabilitative and pain management industries.

“Automation Alley’s assessment is a phenomenal resource for the local business community. Their staff provided us with an expansive scope of valuable business insight including first customer acquisition process, consideration of other viable options in marketing and local opportunities to interact with other professionals in our field. In addition, they provided introductions for our group which have become key business connections," said Arin Rentz, COO of Robotic Precision Therapy.

For more information about this grant, or to see if your company qualifies for support, contact bedzj@automationalley.com.

Entrepreneurial competition rewards idea generation

Equipped with just three slides and four minutes, the five finalists of a school-wide business idea pitch competition, sponsored by OU’s School of Business Administration, presented their ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurial-minded professionals for the chance to win cash awards.  

Open to all OU students, the competition invited participants to submit a proposal detailing an idea for a product, service or social enterprise that would benefit the Oakland University community. From the 25 submitted proposals, judges selected five finalists who then took part in pitch development workshop to help them prepare for the last phase of the competition. 

“Hats off to the students because they had some pretty complex concepts they had to explain in a very short time,” says Gregory Doyle, manager at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center, who served as one of the judges. Ray Gunn, MGT ‘80, president, Schechter Wealth, and Jim Roberts, CEO, Jim Roberts Enterprises, also served as judges. 

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and competition coordinator Jae Kang, Ph.D., points out that “unlike other business plan competitions, the focus of this competition was idea generation. Unfortunately, many business plans go to the trash can because they start from ill-defined ideas, or uncreative ideas. This event is designed to help the student with the initial idea.” 

Whether launching a startup or entering an established company, the problem identification and solution process is a valuable skill for any business-minded professional. 

“Developing a business idea helps you think outside of the box,” says Samantha Roberts, MKT ‘18, the $1,000 silver winner. “You have to think of potential issues and resolve them before anyone even asked. This competition helped me to be able to fully analyze a situation and come up with solutions.” Roberts’ pitch proposed PodU, a podcast-based app to connect students to lectures and class materials. 

“It was one of my best experiences at Oakland, I’ve become famous,” says Fawaz Alkhudhayr, engineering junior, who took home the $2,000 gold award. Alkhudhayr’s proposal aimed to add diverse food options on campus by introducing a middle eastern food, snack and juice truck. 

“I’m interested in taking any chance that comes my way,” says Alkhudhayr. “When you get email from your University, don’t ignore it. You should take a look, think about it. You don’t always know where your success will come from.” 

Patrick Adamus, marketing junior, captured the $500 bronze award for his idea to create an Oakland Network app, which would include sections on parking availability, professor ratings, discussion boards and petitions. 

Judges were impressed by the imagination and work that went into all the submissions and presentations by the finalists. 

“As judges, we really focused on how well thought out the idea was, the clarity of the presentation and the feasibility and approach to solve the stated problem,” says Gunn. “Alkhudhayr stood out because of his relentless passion for his idea combined with his ability to identify and address a real problem: the need for variety in food options on campus.” 

“There’s an awful lot of talent at Oakland University and I’m sure I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” says Doyle. “There were some brilliant students and I’m looking forward to next year’s competition. It was just a great experience for everybody who participated.”

The rise, the fall and rebirth of Detroit Grooming is a comeback story

Excerpt

Detroit Grooming Co. is a story of success and setbacks, gain and loss, revival and rescue — and a whole bunch of good-looking beards. 

The Ferndale-based company sells 120 men’s grooming products that are made by hand and contain natural ingredients. It's best known for its beard oils and butters.

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Out of flowers? Flour? Businesses contend with supply crises

Excerpt

When heavy rain pelted Central America, Shane Pliska couldn’t get shipments of taupe-colored roses he needed for clients’ weddings.

“Of course, this was the season when everyone wanted champagne- and gold-themed weddings, and the champagne part was all taupe roses,” said Pliska, owner of Planterra, a commercial florist and owner of a wedding venue where the decor is all about flowers and plants.

Read more

Pitch Club, for entrepreneurs and startups, will be hosted at University of Michigan Law School

Kyyba Innovations, Bodman PLC and TiE Detroit are hosting Pitch Club on Wednesday, April  18, 2018 at University of Michigan Law School. Pitch Club is a mentoring and funding program aimed at connecting the various ecosystems and smart zones throughout Michigan. Pitch Club has ongoing monthly events that provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. The events are meant to educate, network, inspire and provide valuable experiences for being investable. As part of the events, 3 lucky entrepreneurs will receive the opportunity to practice their pitch and discuss business plan with funding experts, giving them a better understanding the mindset of an investor. Events are hosted monthly on Wednesday evenings in Michigan cities including: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids. 
 
The April 18th event at University of Michigan Law School will include 3 startup presentations, a pool of judges, and a special guest “Founder & CEO” keynote speaker. 
 
Registration and application can be found at: www.PitchClubMI.com

Keynote
Hannan Lis , CEO, Lis Ventures
 
Judges
Sridhar Lakshmanan, Educator, Entrepreneur, Mentor, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Robi Mitra, CEO, K&A Resource Group
Jim Tenzillo, Senior Associate, Invest Michigan
Lorne Zalesin, Vice President Sales and Marketing, DroneView Technologies LLC
Michael Godwin, Founder/Managing Director, Resonant Venture Partners
Dave Feidner, President, Crestone Summits, LLC
 
Agenda
5:00pm – 5:25pm Registration
5:25pm – 5:30 pm Opening Remarks
5:30pm-6:30pm Company Presentations
6:30pm-6:35pm – Introduction of Keynote
6:35pm-6:55pm –Keynote
6:55pm – 7:10 pm – Q&A with Audience
7:10 pm – 7:30 pm Networking
 
Thank you to our sponsorsCheck out the entire calendar and get registerd here: http://kyybaxcelerator.com/calendar-registration.php
 
The select pool of the companies chosen to pitch at the monthly Pitch Club events will be provided investment opportunities in the form of presenting to the investment team of Kyyba Innovations and TiE Detroit Angels during their quarterly Angels meeting. Investment opportunities will range from $25,000 to $100,000. TiE Detroit Angels funded companies, if qualifications are met, also could have the chance to present to the TiE Global Angel Alliance (TGAA). TGAA is a global platform for funding that exposes startups to a broader investment pool and opportunities to raise additional funds much larger than any single TiE Chapter or local Angel Group. TGAA recently invested $395,000 in Zeto, and $450,000 for Hemex Health from the TiE Global network.

Testimonials
 
“Pitch Club provides a tremendous opportunity for cross-pollination and increased deal flow across Michigan, something that currently is not at the level it should be. This program will be very valuable for both the startup entrepreneurs and investors and will hopefully create a meaningful dialogue, as well as a technological and economic impact for the entire region,” said Tel Ganesan, Managing Director, Kyyba Innovations“In order to make this initiative even more successful, I encourage seasoned entrepreneurs in each of these areas to join us by serving as a mentor.”
 
“From the elevator pitch to the public pitch to the investor pitch, the more successful entrepreneurs are pitching, the more integral this will become to their success. We are pleased to partner with Kyyba Innovations to help entrepreneurs to gain exposure, insights and support that will help them truly move the needle,” said Paul Riser, Director of Technology-Based Entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit.

"Access to investors and the opportunities to pitch without having to travel are signs of a healthy startup ecosystem,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. "We are excited to have the Ann Arbor region included in Pitch Club; this new avenue for connecting startups and potential funders is a terrific addition to the existing ways entrepreneurs are able to attract capital as well as the investors already interested in what's happening here."

About Kyyba Innovations:
Kyyba Innovations is a global accelerator and collaboration eco-system that provides innovators and entrepreneurs the environment to enable their ideas to become reality. We provide services that allow startups to scale to the next level. We do this by investing in businesses and leveraging our network to empower your organization to accelerate your mission forward. 
 
About Bodman PLC:
With more than 150 attorneys in offices throughout Michigan, Bodman PLC has delivered extraordinary results to our clients for more than 85 years. Our attorneys provide savvy business counsel to some of the region's most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues, and we provide clients with the personal attention of a small firm with the talent and skill expected of the nation’s leading law firms.
 
About TiE:
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 61 chapters across 18 countries. TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, education, incubating, and funding. Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing our next generation of entrepreneurs.

12-year-old Michigan girl gets candy product into Walmart

Excerpt

Alina Morse, the 12-year-old founder of Zolli Candy, The After You Eat Treat, announced that she has expanded her 250k Smiles Program to 1 Million Smiles as her line expanded into 4,000 plus Walmart stores. A resident of Wolverine Lake, Michigan, Morse made the announcement on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) live on CNN, Feb. 27.

Read more

Lawrence Tech-based business incubator receives state grant to continue fostering innovation, growth

Small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs throughout the southeastern Michigan region could be better equipped for success, at least up until March 31, 2019, as it's been announced that the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory Gatekeeper Business Incubator has received further funding.

The Michigan Strategic Fund has granted the business incubator a $100,000 extension as part of its total of $1.7 million in grants awarded to foster entrepreneurial support throughout the state.

This marks the third such grant for the LTU business incubator, allowing it to continue helping small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs in their scale-up efforts. The focus of the incubator remains on early-stage technology companies in the product design, engineering, and prototyping and manufacturing sectors.

"Collaboration resources such as those available through Automation Alley, TechTown and SmartZones across Michigan are essential in providing our state’s entrepreneurs the necessary support needed to spark innovation and spur the business economy," Fred Molnar, vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said in a statement. "The continued funding of these programs demonstrates their impact in not only building and growing startups in Michigan, but in attracting out-of-state talent."

The LTU incubator falls under the city of Southfield's SmartZone, a state program that fosters the growth of tech businesses and jobs by connecting universities, research facilities, and industry to one another, building a network of growth. The business incubator itself connects business leaders with everyone from mentors to college students, from workshops to workspace.

Visit the LTU Collaboratory online to learn more about its programs.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

SS Digital Media selected as finalist for Killer Content Awards

SS Digital Media, a nationally recognized digital marketing agency, is a finalist for the Killer Content Awards, in the category “Measurable ROI.” The awards are bestowed annually by the B2B Marketing Exchange at a ceremony in February in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“This is what it’s all about,” says president Nick Skislak.  “I feel it solidifies us as a leader in digital marketing that focuses on measuring ROI.  We don’t just ‘drive traffic’ or ‘get clicks,’ we’ve focused heavily the last seven years on user experience and customer journey.  It’s great to be recognized for that.”

In 2017, the agency has been a finalist or has won a half dozen local and national awards for strategic marketing excellence. Michael Taylor, creative director and agency partner, says, “Our approach is as scientific as it is creative, because success relies on a delicate balance between the two. The data doesn’t lie, and when understood and used properly, the data is the difference between a mediocre campaign and one that gets truly amazing results.”

The agency’s work for Avian Enterprises impressed the judges because of the results generated by solution-based content created for the company that supplies bird-repellents for farms, golf courses, dairy barns, and outdoor venues. Prior to this, products had been sold primarily through distributors. Now, Avian has a thriving e-commerce presence and has seen an increase of 511% in online sales revenue.

About SS Digital Media

SS Digital Media is a nationally recognized digital marketing and advertising agency in Troy, Michigan, focused on e-commerce companies. Services include e-commerce strategies and development, search and social marketing, brand strategy and implementation, website design and optimization, video production, measurement and reporting. For more information, please visit www.ssdigitalmedia.com.


New co-working space for entrepreneurs and small businesses opens in downtown Pontiac

There's a new co-working space opening in downtown Pontiac, and it's hoping to gather like-minded people and grow a community of entrepreneurs and start-ups.

It's called Pontiac Tribe, and the co-working space is celebrating its grand opening with an open house on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Ben Carr is looking to jump-start downtown Pontiac's start-up scene. One of the things the community was lacking, he says, was a co-working space that offered desks, conference space, and a collaborative environment. While co-working is a trend that has taken off in downtown Detroit, Carr believes that Pontiac is uniquely situated to become a start-up destination in its own right.

The city is not only located in the center of Oakland County, but its centrally located within the region itself. Carr contends that leaving from Pontiac, he can meet clients in either downtown Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Port Huron, and all within 45 minutes. And towns like Flint aren't that far away.

"Hopefully this opening will attract people that want to be in Pontiac," says Carr. "This is dedicated office space that's affordable, and without driving all the way to Detroit."

Pontiac Tribe occupies 1,800 sq. ft. on Saginaw Street, a floor above two street-level breweries, Exferimentation Brewing Co. and Fillmore 13 Brewery, and each with their own kitchens. Desks, private offices, and a dedicated conference room are available to rent on a monthly basis, ranging in prices from $155 per month to $350 per month. Fresh paint and carpet are complemented by modern amenities like wifi Internet service and more.

Carr's own business is among Tribe's tenants. He owns and operates advertising firm Ad Local, and does so out of Pontiac Tribe. He believes that the co-working environment can only help grow his firm.

"I can work from home if I want to. I don't need an office but I wanted to plant my business here and grow it here in Pontiac," says Carr. "There's nothing like Tribe here in Pontiac."

Pontiac Tribe is located at 7 N. Saginaw St. Ste. 300 in downtown Pontiac.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Southfield debuts online toolbox to increase odds of success for small business

A healthy small business community is vital to any city's success. With the announcement of a new online interactive toolbox for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the city of Southfield hopes that its newest investment in small business will further nurture along existing businesses while also help to attract new ones.

It's called the Business Catalyst, and it provides local business owners and would-be entrepreneurs with several data sets to help them inform their decision-making and succeed. Data includes information on business climate, industry trends, customers, competition, local opportunities, zoning controls, workforce, and available properties.

According to Southfield’s business and economic development director Rochelle Freeman, the Business Catalyst is a resource designed to help business owners thrive in Southfield. The online toolbox will be kept up-to-date and easily accessible.

"It can be challenging for new businesses and entrepreneurs to find the correct resources and information they need to create effective business plans," Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said in a statement. "The Southfield Business Catalyst will address these challenges by providing the most current data available in one convenient place. We’re excited to offer this toolbox and want entrepreneurs to know that Southfield is open for business!"

The Business Catalyst website also serves as a promotional tool for the city itself. The online portal touts the benefits of Southfield's infrastructure, access to high-speed fiber optics, broadband, and satellite services, as well as its central location within the metro Detroit region.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can access the Southfield Business Catalyst online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Southfield debuts online toolbox to increase odds of success for small business

A healthy small business community is vital to any city's success. With the announcement of a new online interactive toolbox for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the city of Southfield hopes that its newest investment in small business will further nurture along existing businesses while also help to attract new ones.

It's called the Business Catalyst, and it provides local business owners and would-be entrepreneurs with several data sets to help them inform their decision-making and succeed. Data includes information on business climate, industry trends, customers, competition, local opportunities, zoning controls, workforce, and available properties.

According to Southfield’s business and economic development director Rochelle Freeman, the Business Catalyst is a resource designed to help business owners thrive in Southfield. The online toolbox will be kept up-to-date and easily accessible.

"It can be challenging for new businesses and entrepreneurs to find the correct resources and information they need to create effective business plans," Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said in a statement. "The Southfield Business Catalyst will address these challenges by providing the most current data available in one convenient place. We’re excited to offer this toolbox and want entrepreneurs to know that Southfield is open for business!"

The Business Catalyst website also serves as a promotional tool for the city itself. The online portal touts the benefits of Southfield's infrastructure, access to high-speed fiber optics, broadband, and satellite services, as well as its central location within the metro Detroit region.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses can access the Southfield Business Catalyst online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
505 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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