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168 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

At Maker Faire, anything flies

A Cloud Bean, an X-Wing, and a dining-table sized version of the Operation game were just a few of the don't-miss attractions at last weekend's Maker Faire at the Henry Ford. But if you did miss it, check out these cool images.

Detroit Kitchen Connect cooks up affordable space for local culinary entrepreneurs

It's the classic chicken-or-the-egg conundrum for food entrepreneurs: they're usually required to use commenercial kitchen facilities to prepare their goods, but many can't make the rent until their businesses are off the ground.

Excerpt:

"Now Davison, the newly hired community kitchen coordinator at  Eastern Market Corp., and Daniel, founder of  FoodLab Detroit, are helping the next wave of food entrepreneurs tackle one of the biggest obstacles to growth in their industry: finding affordable, reliable commercial kitchen space....

Many local churches and nonprofits have commercial kitchens tucked away in their basements and back rooms -- even the  Detroit Symphony Orchestra  has one -- but finding them is all word of mouth. And even when entrepreneurs do find a kitchen, the owners don't always want to rent time because the additional usage increases utility costs and creates scheduling challenges...

It took Majid several months of looking -- he even considered building his own facility -- before he finally found a kitchen. 

It was 90 miles away in Holt. 

That experience is not uncommon for Detroit-area food businesses. In fact, seeing that struggle was one reason Daniel founded FoodLab Detroit, an informal community of nearly 300 area food producers focused on sustainability and social justice through food. Through her noodle shop, Daniel discovered the intense need for kitchen space and began informally brokering deals. "I started getting connected to all of these folks who wanted to offer their kitchen space or entrepreneurs who were seeking kitchen space," said Daniel, 28. "So I became this personal hub between the two. When I started FoodLab, it became the informal connector."

More here

Help Wanted: NY Times sees tech workers moving to Detroit

West coasties are coming to Detroit, on the heels of a tech-hiring boomlet in the auto industry.

Excerpt:

"After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1998, Brian Mulloy followed the path of many of his classmates, fleeing his home state for a job in a bustling city. But after 10 years of working in technology start-ups in San Francisco, he has returned as founder of a company in Detroit’s budding technology sector..

Mr. Mulloy is part of a group of workers that Detroit is suddenly hungry for — software developers and information technology specialists who can create applications for the next generation of connected vehicles."

More here.


Renaissance Venture Capital Fund thrives on Michigan investments

The Detroit-based Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is getting landmark returns through investing in Michigan companies.

Excerpt: 

"The  Renaissance Venture Capital Fund(RVCF) is a Michigan based venture capital fund.   The company has announced today that their initial investment of $16.7 million has led to a total of nearly $300 million in 20 new Michigan companies.   This means that they are seeing a ratio of $17 venture capital investment coming into Michigan for every dollar invested by the RVCF.   This led to the creation of hundreds of high-wage jobs that pay an average of $80,000 per year."

More here.

The (less than) skinny on Detroit Chocolat

File under "Things That Make You Say Yum." A teacher starts his day, every day, as an up n coming chocolatier. 
 
Excerpt:
 
"Chocolate runs in his blood: He’s a fourth-generation chocolatier (the great-grandson of Ervin and Julia Morley of Morley Candy Makers) and he spent a decade working for Morley. Even though he’s a full-time elementary school teacher, Petz was unable to resist the pull of chocolate and in 2010 started Detroit Chocolat in Sterling Heights (to the delight of his mother and his wife whom he calls a “chocolate addict.”)"
 
Read the rest here.
 

CNN Money notes "Treat Dreams" come true for Ferndale ice cream entrepreneur

Get your scoop while it's hot. The nation's press is descending on Treat Dreams, Ferndale's gourmet ice creamery.

Excerpt:

"Scott Moloney started exactly the kind of business he would have once rejected for a loan.

The Birmingham, Mich., resident closed out his 18-year career as a private lending officer in 2009 to open an ice cream shop. Among the strikes against him: "I was a first-time entrepreneur, with no experience, going into a high-risk industry," he says...

In March 2010 he bought a six-quart ice cream maker, and five months later he opened Treat Dreams for business.

Initially, Moloney offered only one unusual flavor: Loopy Fruit, featuring ground-up cereal in vanilla ice cream. His next concoction, Sunday Breakfast -- with waffles, bacon, and maple syrup -- "got people talking," he says. Since then the store has produced 500 unconventional varieties, including Lobster Bisque and Raspberry Chipotle Bacon."


See CNN Money's coverage here.

And Time magazine calls "Michigan Salad" of the "Fifteen Funkiest Ice Cream Flavors on Earth."

The Autobike is less work, more play

Why not get your bike to do the work for you this summer?

Excerpt:

"Remember when riding your bike was all about fun and adventure? Well, if you have forgotten, it's time you got to know  Autobike. Autobike, a Betaspring alum from Fall 2012, is now shipping an automatic shifting bicycle that delivers the simplest, smoothest, most comfortable riding experience ever to customers across the US...

Driven to bring back a riding experience that could delight a new generation of riders--and get riders who had abandoned their bikes back on two wheels--the team designed an automatically shifting bike with no on/off buttons, no shifting levers. Fast forward six months and the team has shipped to customers in MI, NH, TX, FL, TN, IN, NV, WA, and British Columbia so far and the pipeline is growing by the day."

More here.

Michigan ranks 8th nationally in economic development success

Call Michigan the nation's comeback kid. Site Selection magazine just named it 8th best for job creation and economic development.

Excerpt:

"Michigan advanced eight spots in this year’s Competitiveness Awards, up from 16th in 2011.
The state's many business climate changes have resulted in other noteworthy improvements, including:
No. 1 for states that recovered most from the Great Recession.
No. 4 in the nation for most new corporate expansions or building projects in 2012.
Third most business-friendly tax ranking among the nation’s 12 largest states.
Third in the nation for high-tech growth."

More here.

Detroit area fares well in national comparison of drop in unemployment rates

Metro Detroit's 1.1 percentage-point decline in the unemployment rate from 2011 to 2012 puts it in the top half of the nation's largest metro areas in terms of improving job markets. 

See the national stats here.

Laundry entrepreneurs think outside the box

With not enough hours to get to the laundry, apartment dwellers and office workers in Detroit (and soon its metros) won't be left hung out to dry.

Excerpt:

"Michigan's own laundry barons Wayne Wudyka and Jeffrey Snyder want to place rows of high-tech lockers inside every downtown Detroit apartment building and office complex.

These computerized and smartphone-enabled lockers – call them Bizzie boxes – are the pick-up and drop-off sites for the longtime business partners' latest venture in dry cleaning and laundry services. The target user: tech-savvy urban dwellers and busy office professionals.

"Our plan is to locate the Bizzie box in every apartment complex in the downtown area and then work our way out into the suburbs," Wudyka said in a recent interview."

More here.


Food Tripping mobile app scouts out local, fresh food

A new app with some entertainment industry pros behind it can point you to the berries and kale.

Excerpt:

"A new mobile app will let organic- and health-food nuts scour where to buy nourishment that fits their diet regimen. It also lists microbreweries...

SHFT.com is a mobile app development founded by film producer Peter Glazer and “Entourage” television star Adrian Grenier. Ford was one of the founding partners of that company - launched in 2009 - whose stated goal is educating people about healthy food options."

More here.

Champions of the New Economy event set for May 8

An opportunity to mix and mingle with top business minds at a strolling dinner presents itself at the 2013 Champions of the New Economy on Wednesday, May 8 from 6-9 p.m. at Quicken Loans, JA Finance Park, 577 E. Larned St., in Detroit.

A couple of the luminaries include Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president & CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. and Matt Mosher, founder & CEO of hiredMYway.com.

Click here for more information, and register by May 3.


Atlantic Cities maps Metro Detroit's creative class

A great, comprehensive article on how the 7.2-square-mile greater downtown Detroit is growing posher by the minute, it seems, and how and why its deindustrialized metros (and certain Detroit neighborhoods) are landing the creative class.

Excerpt:

"Two of the top 10 creative class tracts are in Birmingham; two are in Bloomfield Township, and another is in Bloomfield Hills, home to some of the priciest real estate in the U.S. and the Cranbrook educational community. Designed by Finnish architect  Eliel Saarinen, the architecture critic  Paul Goldberger  called Cranbrook "one of the greatest campuses ever created anywhere in the world." University of Michigan's  Little  points out in an email to me: "Cranbrook graduates have added to the cutting edge design and creative communities of Detroit and the nation for decades."

Another top creative class tract is in nearby Troy, a sprawling middle-class suburb with excellent public schools, and the site of a high-end mall, the Somerset Collection. Two are in Huntington Woods, a leafy neighborhood that boasts such notable amenities as the public golf course  Rackham and the Detroit Zoo. Two more are in the "Grosse Pointes" — Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe Park — the communities of choice for many of Detroit's old industrial magnates, whose lakeshores are lined with sprawling Gilded Age mansions."

More here.

Immigrant entrepreneurs ACCESS opportunities

Hopeful immigrant entrepreneurs now have a fallback in the form of a unique model support program for those needing some business survival skills.

Excerpt:

"As lawmakers in Washington work out an overhaul of the immigration system, a Michigan-based social and economic services agency has launched a comprehensive program to help immigrants open or expand businesses.

Dearborn-based ACCESS recently held a graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of its Immigrant Entrepreneur Development Program. It's one of several immigrant- and refugee-focused efforts in the organization's new Growth Center division...

Dijana Bucalo, a former Bosnian refugee who settled in the Detroit enclave of Hamtramck, is a self-described "clothing artist" with a fashion design and costume-making shop in the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit in the city's Midtown neighborhood. She came to the United States in 1996 after war in her homeland – knowing no English but with experience as a fashion designer.

Still, she took a job far from her preferred field. Bucalo became a real estate agent and said she was successful at it until the housing market tanked a few years ago.

"I should be thankful the economy went bad," she said. "It helped me to think more seriously about my business, my skills and my trade."

More here.

Royal Oak's 1xRun LLC moves to Detroit to accomodate growth

Metromode has written several times about 323East Gallery as well as their limited-edition print business called 1xRun LLC. We always expected big things and, well, big things have come.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Owners Jesse Cory and Dan Armand will shut the Royal Oak gallery's doors at the end of the year, but a gallery at the new headquarters will replace it. 
 
Cory and Armand closed on the three-story, 10,000-square-foot building Nov. 29, paying $400,000 on a land contract. The building was renovated in 2005, including all new HVAC and fire control systems. The remnants of an employment business are on the first floor, and a handful of residential lofts are on the other floors."
 
Read the rest here.
 
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