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Entrepreneurship : Featured Stories

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OpEd: Why DDAs should back business development

Downtown development authorities are commonly known for placemaking projects – capital improvements and programming intended to turn downtowns into gathering spaces. But critics claim such projects aren't translating into sales for local businesses. As such, Annette Knowles, executive director of the Farmington DDA, says business development should be high-priority on the DDA's list.

Stealth innovation: How a Troy company is reinventing vending machine technology

In 2009, Troy-based 365 Retail Markets generated $42K in revenue. This year it's projected to make $15 million. Read how one of Michigan's most under-the-radar tech companies is reinventing the vending machine experience and reaping big business in the process.

Intergenerational partnerships fuel success in metro Detroit companies

"Make new friends and keep the old..." is more than just a nice sentiment, it can be a smart business strategy. Pairing the energy and creativity of young entrepreneurs with the experience and contacts of elder business leaders has proven to be a powerful tool for several metro Detroit firms.

How about them apples? Metro Detroit's craft cider industry

Beer, mead, spirits... with the rise of Michigan's craft breweries and distilleries it was inevitable that hard cider would follow suit. And with summer sliding into fall, wouldn't you like to know who's making what in metro Detroit? Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg has the answers.

OpEd: Why Detroit needs social entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurship has a double bottom line: profit and the greater good. Romy Gingras, president of Gingras Global, and Elizabeth Garlow, former executive director of the Michigan Corps, discuss how and why social enterprise solves both business and societal needs.

Plymouth business asks customers to sit, roll, play

Opening a brick and mortar business in today's on-demand, technology-driven economy is a risky roll of the dice. Opening a business that insists on slowing down and unplugging from the net is, well, a whole other game. Which is exactly the point Chris Erwin and Angela Space are trying to make at 3 & Up, their newly opened board game lounge in Plymouth. 

Fermenta galvanizes women in Michigan's craft beverage industry

Some clubs are created to exclude. Some clubs are created to nurture. Fermenta is a Michigan collective devoted to helping women craft brewers find their feet in an industry otherwise dominated by men.

Cool Jobs: Sem and Teresa Abrahams, unicyclists

As part of the never-ending quest to acquire more exotic skills, metro Detroit kids have been taking classes in everything from aerial gymnastics to robotics to puppetry. You can now add circus arts to the mix, with Livonia-based Cirque Amongus, a school started by a family of world-renowned unicyclists.

More than just profit: Social entrepreneurs and the challenge to find investors

Some people want to make money. Others want to change society for the better. Social entrepreneurs want to do both. But in the Darwinian world of venture capitalism, convincing investors to compromise on profits for greater social good can be a tough sell. Metromode looks at how socially oriented startups can bridge that gulf.

OpEd: Focusing Michigan on mobile & wireless technologies

Mobile & wireless technologies are much more than cellphones and tablets – think GPS, RFID, sensors, and others. Linda Daichendt, executive director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), opines on why and how Michigan can become the go-to state for all things wireless.  

Metro Detroit's Growing Appetite

Food, glorious food! As Metromode rounds the bases for its 350th issue, we look back on one of the things that makes metro Detroit great: comestibles (a.k.a. food!). From restaurants to startups to chefs to markets, our region is flexing its muscle to become a veritable banquet of food innovation.

Cool Jobs: Irina Cotfas, Aerial Artist

Some metro Detroiters sit behind a computer all day. Others see patients, clients, customers, what-have-you. Irina Cotfas defies gravity. For a living. If you ever wondered what it would be like to run away with the circus, this Ferndale aerialist is your answer.

An Italian Piazza in Metro Detroit

Spawling 30,000 square feet and stocked with foods from around the world, Cantoro Italian Market has been referred to as a culinary Disneyland. Instead, it might be the closest thing to an official Italian piazza this side of New York City. Buon appetito! 

Metro Detroit's Cyber Candy Man

Like many people, Walter Blake Knoblock has a sweet tooth. But instead of simply acquiring cavities, this entrepreneurial 25-year-old decided to turn his passion for snacks into a business. Each month BoCandy sends subscribers sweets from around the globe, providing old faves, international confections and exotic discoveries.

The Business of Being Funny

As the old adage goes: "comedy is hard." Especially when it comes to turning a profit. Over the last six years, Ferndale's Go Comedy! Improv Theatre has evolved from a nightlife pastime to a growing business that teaches classes, hosts events and runs workshops for some of Metro Detroit's most notable businesses.
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