Muskegon Firm Rolls Out New LED Bulbs

MUSKEGON — EarthTronics, the Muskegon LED lighting manufacturer, announced a new line of EarthBulb Plus enhanced-color LED light products.

EarthTronics says the EarthBulb Plus provides a very high color rendering index of greater than 92 and a balance of the important R9 visible red within the full lighting spectrum. The result is naturally appearing colors and skin tones.

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SAE Supermileage Teams Top 1,000 MPG

MARSHALL — Five college teams achieved more than 1,000 miles per gallon competing in last week’s SAE Supermileage event, held at the Eaton Corp. proving grounds near Marshall.

It was 35th year for the competition, which challenges teams to build a one-person, fuel efficient vehicle based around a one-cylinder, four-cycle engine.

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Meet Innovation Expert Josh Linkner At ESD

SOUTHFIELD — One of the world’s best-known experts on business innovation will offer a rare small-group speech and book signing later this month at The Engineering Society of Detroit headquarters.

Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners, will offer a talk on “The Road to Reinvention” at an ESD “Business Over Breakfast” event Thursday, June 26.

The event begins with networking and continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with the program running from 8 to 9 p.m. ESD headquarters is at 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, in Southfield.

Linkner believes that creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress. He has spent his career harnessing the spirit of creative disruption, including in his latest book – “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation.”

Linkner will speak on his new book, as well as entrepreneurship in Detroit and how the city is driving sustainable success through an intense focus on reinvention.

Linkner was an early internet entrepreneur in Detroit, founding the pioneering web design and e-commerce firm GlobalLink New Media in 1995, and in 1999 founding ePrize, the world’s largest provider of online promotions and contests. In 2010, he became CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, and is now playing a key role in the turnaround of Detroit. He is also a New York Times bestselling author, a top-rated keynote speaker and a professional jazz guitarist.

Cost of the event is $25 ESD members and $40 for non-members. Non-members can join ESD for $114 and attend the program for free. (This offer is available for first-time members only.)

Register at this link or call (248) 353-0735 to register by phone.

Business Over Breakfast is a monthly series by The Engineering Society of Detroit designed to bring together people for networking opportunities, as well as the chance to hear from stakeholders about regional issues of importance.

This series is for business leaders, employees, college students, or anyone interested in learning about business opportunities, regional issues, employment trends, or simply about the people and places making a difference in our area.

Ford, Heinz Collaborating On Sustainable Auto Materials

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. has been interested in sustainable materials going all the way back to Henry Ford’s pioneering experiments with soy-based auto parts.

Now, researchers at Ford say they’re working with H.J. Heinz Co. on using tomato fibers to develop sustainable composite materials for use in vehicles.

Specifically, dried tomato skins could become materials for wiring brackets or storage bins on future Ford vehciles.

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Plex Gets $50M Funding, Rolls Out New Mobile Systems, User Interface

TROY — Plex Inc., the Troy-based developer of manufacturing management software, announced Tuesday that it had closed $50 million in new financing, led by funds and institutional accounts managed by Baltimore, Md.-based T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. Also participating was existing Plex investor Accel Partners of Palo Alto, Calif.

Plex said it plans to use the new funding to accelerate investment in sales and marketing, as well as research and development.

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Attention Tech Startups: $6.8M In Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0

DETROIT — Invest Michigan announced that entrepreneurs can now seek an investment through the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0, a statewide investment fund of $6.8 million aimed at supporting high-tech early stage companies.

Companies developing technologies in the areas of advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, agricultural technology, alternative energy, homeland security and defense, information technology, life sciences and other innovative technologies are invited to discuss their financing needs with Invest Michigan.

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Lansing’s LEAP Reports Record 2013

LANSING — The Lansing Economic Area Partnership released its 2013 Year End Project Report last week, and the numbers showed the public-private economic development organization helped the private sector create 2,105 direct private sector jobs and make $466.8 million in direct investment for the Lansing area during the year.

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Green Chemistry Event Issues Call For Presentations, Posters

EAST LANSING — The sixth annual Michigan Green Chemistry Awards and “GreenUp” conference will be held Nov. 11 and 12 at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center in East Lansing.

This year’s theme is “Cultivating Next Generation Solutions.” Green chemistry and engineering seek to design, innovate and manufacture less hazardous, more sustainablle materials, processes, and products. Green chemistry and engineering can help businesses create new markets, reduce costs, increase safety, and gain a competitive edge.

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German Car Audio Maker Opens Michigan Office

FARMINGTON HILLS — The German automotive audio supplier Aupeo, recently acquired by Panasonic, has opened its first U.S. office in Farmington Hills.

The office currently has five employees with the potential to grow to 10 soon, company officials said.

The opening came a yaer after Aupeo’s acquisition by Panasonic Corp. of North America and demonstrates the company’s commitment to increasign its business in the United STates.

Aupeo provides software and services for in-vehicle audio and connected vehicle technologies. Included are personalized audio streams for connected devices, and in-car music and talk content. It offers service in more than 60 countries and is working with eight of the top 10 global car companies.

Aupeo was founded in 2008 in Berlin.

Medical Main Street Accepting Innovator Nominations

PONTIAC — Oakland County’s Medical Main Street life sciences economic development effort has opened nominations for its “Innovator of the Year” award, to be presented at Medical Main Street’s Inno-Vention 2014 conference Oct. 22 in Novi.

The award honors the creators of a medical device which demonstrates the most dramatic change in the health care industry in Michigan.

The deadline to submit an entry is Sept. 5. Forms and conference registration can be found at MedicalMainStreet.com.

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