Category Archives: Startups

Speakers Announced For Michigan Growth Capital Symposium

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium has announced speakers for the event, to be held May 16-17 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.

The 36th annual MGCS, the Midwest’s largest venture capital and startup showcase, will feature nearly 60 high-growth companies  presenting from around the United States that span the life sciences and technology industries.

There will also be two keynote presentations and four panel discussions by industry leaders. More than 500 entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professionals and business executives are expected to attend.

Check out the agenda at http://www.MichiganGCS.com. Those attending from outside the Detroit area may reserve a room at the Marriott before 3 p.m. Friday, April 21 to receive a discounted rate of $154 a night.

Clay Thorp of Hatteras Ventures and Markus Limpinen of Crowd Valley headline an impressive roster of respected industry speakers.

Other speakers include Jim Adox, Venture Investors; Sundu Brahmasandra, NeuMoDx Molecular; Mike Blue, Histosonics; Markus Limpenen, Crowd Valley; Clay Thorp, Hatteras Ventures; Larry Berlin, First Analysis Corp.; Don Layden, Baird Capital; Jonathan Murray, Draper Triangle Ventures; Steve Robert, Autobooks; Joan Susie, Bank Director; Justin Field, National Venture Capital Association; Anna Haghgooie, Sandbox Industries; David Kereiakes, River Cities Capital Funds; Dan Kidle, Arboretum Ventures; Ibraheem Badejo, J&J Innovation Center; Sandra Cochrane, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine; Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor Spark;   Karen Spilizewski, RiverVest Venture Partners and BioEnterprise Corp.

The full list of selected presenting companies will be announced a few weeks prior to the event. Here’s a look at a partial list:

  • Clicktivated – An “amplified video engagement” system for brands looking to create an enhanced interactive user experience
  • TAI Diagnostics – A biotechnology company focused on providing a non-invasive and highly sensitive diagnostic test to monitor the health of transplanted organs in patients who have received solid organ transplants
  • TibaRay, Inc. – A medical device company inventing the next generation of radiation therapy systems, particle accelerators, radio frequency sources and components
  • Neurotherapia – A medical therapeutics company focused on discovering and developing new chemicals for the treatment of neuroinflammatory disease
  • Carrot Wellness – A mobile app designed to encourage users to lead healthier, more active lives
  • WayMark – A Detroit-based mobile and online service that allows local businesses to create and manage digital advertising
  • Histosonics – A medical device company focused on developing Robotically Assisted Sonic Therapy (RAST), a completely non-invasive, focused ultrasound treatment
  • Opticyte – A University of Washington spinout formed to commercialize a next-generation oximeter that will allow clinicians real-time monitoring of cellular oxygenation and perfusion.
  • Atlas Space Operations – A provider of cloud based space access in the rapidly growing global space market

To register for the event or for more information, visit www.michigangcs.org.

Tech Startups, Co-Working On M2 TechCast

ROYAL OAK — A lineup of small business and entrepreneurship experts will provide the latest information on a wide variety of business topics on the Monday, Feb. 27 edition of the M2 TechCast podcast.

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Esperion Provides Drug Development Update, Financial Results

ANN ARBOR — Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR), the pharmaceutical startup working on a new class of cholesterol-reducing drugs, provided a drug development update and financial results for 2016.

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StockX Closes $6M Funding Round

DETROIT – StockX, the online consumer “stock market of things,” announced that it has closed a $6 million round of funding from several celebrity investors, including actor Mark Wahlberg, rappers Eminem and Wale, music manager Paul Rosenberg, former AOL executives Ted Leonsis and Steve Case, singer-songwriter Tim Armstrong, talent manager Scooter Braun, fashion designer Jon Buscemi, and others.

Additional investors include Courtside Ventures, a media and technology venture fund, and  Detroit Venture Partners, both backed in part by Quicken Loans founder and downtown Detroit investor Dan Gilbert.

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Leaders and Innovators event at LTU Feb. 16, ‘Starting a Business’

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – If you’re ready to start a business, an event Thursday, Feb. 16 at Lawrence Technological University will help you figure out how.

LTU is hosting the next WWJ Newsradio 950 “Leaders and Innovators” breakfast session Feb. 16 on the topic “Starting a Business: Entrepreneurism.” The event begins with networking and a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The discussion and a question-and-answer session runs from 8 to 9 a.m.

This event will feature expert advice on the steps would-be entrepreneurs need to take to get their businesses up and running. Attendees will find out what resources are available to new companies in the Detroit area.

The event is hosted by WWJ Business Editor Murray Feldman. Panelists are to include Jack Aronson, founder of Clean Planet Foods and Garden Fresh Gourmet, and Karen Evans, director of LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology Business Accelerator.

To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leaders-innovators-series-starting-a-businessentrepreneurism-21617-tickets-26907144995. The event is free.

Future Leaders and Innovators events include “Social Media and the Small Business” on Thursday, March 16, and “Work-Life Balance” on Thursday, April 13.

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

LTU-backed startup event draws nearly 500 people

SOUTHFIELD — Nearly 500 people attended the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship, better known as ACE’17, held Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Westin Southfield.

Lawrence Technological University is a managing partner of the event, a celebration of all things entrepreneurial.

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Kraig Biocraft Secures Lease For Spider Silk Raw Material

ANN ARBOR — Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTC: KBLB) this week announced a long-term lease on property in Texas upon which it will plant 2,000 mulberry trees — eventually creating the food for its genetically engineered silkworms to create its proprietary “spider silk.”

The company expects to see an improvement in materials performance and a reduction in production costs by as much as 30 percent through the use of locally sourced mulberry.

“Signing this lease and opening this new facility brings with it a new era for Kraig Labs and silk production in the U.S.,” said COO Jon Rice. “Establishing domestic mulberry production has long been a key piece of our growth plan, today we are pleased to be able share the success of our efforts in bringing that vision into reality. Over the coming months we will complete the planting of the first 2,000 trees and prepare the facility for the next phase of expansion.”

This property offers the company significant capacity for growth with room for tens of thousands of more trees.

Mulberry leaves are the preferred food for domesticated silkworms. After they finish the larval stage of their development — eating at times their body weight in mulberry leaves in a day — silkworms spin a cocoon that are harvested and unwound as silk. The cocoons are made of a single thread of raw silk that can be up to 3,000 feet long. The fibers are lustrous and almost microscopically fine — around 0.0004 inches in diameter.

Kraig’s silkworms have been genetically modified with several spider genes, so that the silk they spin has some of the same incredible strength and toughness as spiderwebs.

For more information about Spider Silk, visit http://www.kraiglabs.com/spider-silk.

Lansing Business Accelerator Seeking Applicants

LANSING — Lansing Proto, Michigan’s first and only physical product business accelerator program, is seeking applicants for the 2017 program.

Lansing Proto is a Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) initiative and subsidiary that supports physical product-based companies as they move from concept to market.

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Macomb-OU Incubator awarded $48,000 for clients

ROCHESTER — The Macomb-OU Incubator announced it has been awarded $48,000 in state Business Accelerator Funds to provide accelerator services to client companies ONU, Templar Integrated Security Solutions, and Zoesen.

BAF awards are an initiative of the State of Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund Program and are distributed by the Michigan Small Business Development Center through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan’s network of business accelerators.

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ACE’17 entrepreneurial event coming Jan. 26

SOUTHFIELD — The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship 2017, better known as ACE’17, will be held at the Westin Southfield on Thursday, Jan. 26 from noon to 7 p.m.

This annual celebration of all things entrepreneurial draws hundreds of attendees for education and connection with the Michigan startup ecosystem. Each ACE features an exciting community of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners. Southfield Mayor Ken Siver will provide opening remarks. More than 500 people are expected for ACE’17.

The program will feature presentations and conversations on managing business innovation centers, opportunities for entrepreneurs in autonomous vehicles, mobile marketing strategies, capital attraction, support services available to entrepreneurs, a mini “Failure Lab,” and more.

Also featured this year will be the ACE’17 Challenge, a competition among early-stage companies for $20,000 in cash and prizes. The winner will be chosen by ACE attendees, investors, sponsors and support organizations, who will vote with “ACE dollars” for their most investable companies.

The Westin Southfield is located at 1500 Town Center.

Online registration at the regular price of $25 is available through Monday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. Walk-up registrations are welcome at a price of $40. For online registration, and more information on the program, visit www.ace-event.org. For an audio preview of the event with Miche Rayment, co-chair of ACE’17, visit this link.

Lawrence Technological University is a managing partner of the event. The lead sponsor is the city of Southfield, while the partner sponsor is the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Co-event sponsors include Amy Cell LLC, Automation Alley, Bamboo Detroit, The Hire Effect, the LTU Collaboratory, and the Michigan Angel Fund. The Crowdlink sponsor is the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. Contributing sponsors include BlueWater Angels, Brinks Guilson & Lione, the Build Institute, Collective Metrics, Constant Contact, the Central Michigan University Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, Dawdy Imagery & Design, Failure Lab, Lenawee Now, the Michigan Business Incubator Association, MyISMInc.com, the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute, Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, the Michigan Corporate Relations Network, Start Garden, the MTEC SmartZone Business Accelerator, the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaw, ArborMoon, and TechTown Detroit.

Participating companies in the ACE’17 Challenge include AIRS – Advanced Interactive Response System (Newaygo); Airway Innovations (Grand Rapids); Brightable (Clawson); Business Link (Ypsilanti); Clingfish Products (Ann Arbor); ContentOro (Ann Arbor); Coupon Wallet (Sterling Heights); Deeptalk (Ann Arbor); Epic Technology Solutions (Flint); epiSCI (Ann Arbor); Equipment Tracking Solutions (Walled Lake); Fathom (Holland); Infinitekey (Holland); Interactive (Grand Rapids); LivePicture LLC (Sterling Heights); Map-N-Tour (Midland); Mi Padrino (Jackson); MyAaliyah (Detroit); Navel Novelties (Sylvan Lake); Nirmal for Disruptive Eating (Ypsilanti); Oakland Aquaponics (Clarkston); OPS Solutions LLC (Novi); Orindi Ventures (Holland); PayLow Rate (Detroit); re-Contour LLC (Royal Oak); Ring Cam (Holland); Sci-Zone (Holland); SciTech Development LLC (Grosse Pointe Farms); Selestial Soap (Traverse City); SignOn (Detroit); SPLT (Ann Arbor); StabiLux (Houghton); The SafetySit (East Lansing); and TwoScoreTwo (Ann Arbor).

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.