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Entrepreneurship : In the News

284 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

Couple Buys Old Diner and Opens New Boondox Restaurant in Wacousta

Mary and Roger Hansen recently renovated an old diner in Wacousta, northwest of Lansing, transforming into an upscale restaurant.

According to excerpts from the article:

Owners Mary and Roger Hansen, who spent three months turning a pink-and-white diner into a sleek space with lots of warm oak paneling and homey touches, are hoping for a liquor license soon for serving drinks with meals. They say, though, that their place will stay family-friendly and never turn into a bar.

Boondox opened Dec. 11 and Roger says the staff served almost 100 dinners in four hours.

"All we heard was how they'd be back," he said.

Boondox is a true home-grown place whose owners hail from Pewamo-Westphalia (Mary) and St. Johns (Roger). At Wacousta and Herbison Roads, it's "right in the middle of everything," as Mary puts it.

Read the entire article here.

Grand Ledge Man a Finalist for $100,000 National Alternative Energy Prize

Grand Ledge resident Alan Fox is one of five finalists for the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, a competition designed to foster citizen-driven alternative energy options.

According to excerpts from the article:

More than 150 proposals were submitted for the contest, which seeks new ideas to develop alternative energy, improve energy efficiency or combat climate change.

Fox will present his concept — using pressurized hydraulic fluid to improve wind turbine power output — to judges in Houston on Monday. He won $25,000 as a finalist and will compete for the $100,000 first-place prize. The first runner-up receives $50,000 and the second runner-up wins $25,000.

Fox, 51, owns a custom glass company that specializes in glass etching for commercial and residential use.

"A couple years ago I was thinking about the problems with wind energy, the cost of the turbines and the fact that the energy is created inconsistently," he said.

Read the entire article here.

Downtown Lansing MBC Location Draws Clientele with 17 Draft Beers

The Webberville-based Michigan Brewing Company (MBC) opened a new location in Downtown Lansing, drawing beer lovers from around the area.

According to excerpts from the article:

“The concept was to create a place that was going to be a fun place to gather and talk,”said service manager Melinda Carpenter. “Good food, great beer and smooth music playing in the background. No televisions, no smoking; there is definitely no place else like this.”

Well, not outside the family, at least. The pub’s mothership is the original Michigan Brewing Co., headquartered in Webberville. That 76,000-square-foot location serves many functions: brewery, distillery, winery (Michigan Brewing also has its own signature gin, vodka and wine), and home to “Things Beer,” a novelty store, selling T-shirts, beer steins and home brewing supplies.

Owner Bobby Mason had been eying a new Lansing location on Washington Square near Kalamazoo Street since February 2008, but the sluggish economy and recent snafus with liquor license transfers kept the project from hopping along.

The new establishment, simply called MBC, is a bit more focused on the pub side of the business, and with that focus comes a spotlight on food and service. Carpenter formerly managed a fine dining seafood restaurant in Grand Rapids, and she said she’s happy to now call Lansing home. Kitchen manager Stephen Joseph honed his culinary skills at the Lansing area Scalawags restaurants, where he got to know his way around seafood.

Read the entire article here.

MSU Student Businessman Featured on Touring Entrepreneurialism Panel

Michigan State University (MSU) student Brett Kopf gave a glimpse of what it’s like to start two companies while in college during a panel discussion hosted by the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.

According to excerpts from the article:

The event, part of a nationwide tour by an online group, featured a business idea workshop, speeches from young entrepreneurs and a chance to network.

Michigan State University senior Brett Kopf was among the panelists. The 22-year-old is starting two companies while he works on his degree in food industry management.

One company offers social media strategies. The other will provide text message and e-mail alerts to remind students when class assignments are due.

"There's no better time than now," he said of starting his own company. "When the whole world is retrenching and stepping back in their little hole, there needs to be people to step up and take the reins."

Read the entire article here.

New Urgent Care Facility Opens to Serve Lansing's Southside Neighborhoods

An urgent care facility for the uninsured and under-insured recently opened on Lansing’s Southside at 2025 W. Holmes Rd.

According to excerpts from the article:

Dr. Eleanore Kue hopes to treat 10,000 patients annually at His Healing Hands Health Center and eventually expand into other offices on the opposite side of the building.

"This is a very underserved community," Kue said on Monday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The 2025 W. Holmes Road walk-in facility will treat patients in three exam rooms from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Four days of operation will happen in early January, Kue said.

Read the entire article here.

Restaurant Brings New Orleans Flavor to Lansing's Southside Neighborhood

After spending a significant amount of time in the south, Wally Elchaer moved to Lansing and opened the Orleans Fresh Fish and Bar-B-Que restaurant on the Southside.

According to excerpts from the article:

Elchaer credits his success in Lansing and previous restaurant ventures to homemade food. “Nothing comes out of cans ready to be served,” he said. “Everything is homemade — everything. It’s my recipe."

Elchaer said he makes all of the bread, pizza crust, fish and chicken breading, desserts, slaws, sauces — everything — in his prep kitchen.

The menu covers a lot of culinary bases: chicken, fish and seafood, pizza, grinders, barbeque, salads, sandwiches, calzones and pasta. In previous stops around the country, Elchaer has owned individual restaurants that focused on one or two of the foods he offers at Orleans.

Starting in Nashville, Tenn., then spreading to a few other cities in the South, Elchaer created a chain of pizza shops that now boasts more than 10 locations. He also has owned a couple of Subway franchises, a barbeque restaurant named the Pig Pit and a seafood market that, like Orleans, offers to fry what you buy.

Read the entire article here.

Central Solutions Increases Technology Solutions for New Mason Developments

Growing tech company Central Solutions is setting up servers, personal computer and security systems in the new Mason city hall/police station.

According to excerpts from the article:

Brian Tort, president of Central Solutions, said the company started as a consultant to plan for the future of technology in general for Mason. And there's little doubt that information technology is growing.

"My whole philosophy is we want to be the general contractor for IT," Tort said.

City Administrator Marty Colburn acknowledged that Central is "very involved" with the new city hall/police station. It's necessary, he said, that "as technology continues to be developed that we develop along with it."

Read the entire article here.

Old Town Consulting Firm Rolls Out New Geothermal Heat Pump Service

Old Town environmental consulting firm Triterra, is now offering geothermal heat system services.

According to excerpts from the article:

Geothermal heat systems services, a new technology that takes advantage of Michigan’s ground temperature, are now available through Triterra. Triterra is a professional environmental sustainability consulting and Brownfield development services firm founded in Lansing, Mich.

Geothermal heat systems utilize the ground temperature to provide efficient cooling and heating. It regulates the temperature by transfer heat from the earth into the building to add warmth during the winter. Similarly, summer heat is transferred back into the ground to cool the building. It is considered a much efficient and environmentally friendly sourceof heating and cooling.

There are two different types of geothermal heat and cooling systems: closed loop and open loop. It is important to consult a hydrologist to ensure that the correct loop and process for your project is done correctly.

Read the entire article here.

Enliven Software Outgrows Tech Center, Expands to 1,200 Sq Ft Space

East Lansing’s Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) is losing one of its most successful tenants, Enliven Software, to a larger space. But the farewell is bittersweet, as the purpose of the TIC is to help companies grow and expand.

According to excerpts from the article:

Enliven Software plans to move out of its 400-square-foot space at the center by the end of the month to a 1,200-square-foot office within the same building.

“We’ve outgrown the space,” said CEO Bunmi Akinyemiju, a 2000 graduate of Michigan State University.

Akinyemiju launched his company in 2007. He now has 10 people on staff.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Technology Innovation Center Grows Future of Michigan Commerce

The businesses located in East Lansing’s Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) represent the next generation of entrepreneurship in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

You can't see it, but you can feel it.

Synergy bubbles throughout the Technology Innovation Center as ideas and creations are vetted — ideas that hopefully grow into new technology-based businesses and jobs for the area.

Located in East Lansing on the third floor of the Barnes & Noble Building, the center houses start-up businesses that pay market rent for their space, but have reduced fees for access to the Internet, conference rooms and office equipment. It's a way to encourage and help entrepreneurs prove themselves in the marketplace without huge start-up costs.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Startup GiftZip Taps Growing $90 Billion Gift Card Industry

East Lansing-based GiftZip.com was one of a few gift card companies recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.

According to excerpts from the article:

As the holiday shopping season kicks off — and merchants brace for another lean year — a small group of online entrepreneurs is setting up shop around one of retail's only bright spots: The gift card.

Yes, the gift that says "I put almost no effort into this" has morphed into a $90 billion industry, according to the TowerGroup, a Massachusetts research and consulting firm. Sales of gift cards—that is, any card issued by a merchant redeemable for goods and services—jumped to $97 billion in 2007 from $57 billion in 2005. While the dollar figure dipped in 2008, First Data, a retail tracking service, found that shoppers actually bought more gift cards than the year before; they just loaded less money onto them.

"When the dust settles, we see gift cards surpassing $100 billion by 2012," said Brian Riley, research director for the TowerGroup. Online entrepreneurs who've built businesses around the phenomenon are banking on it. Here's how they're cashing in on plastic fever:

The gift card without the card. Shoppers choose a merchant "card" and an e-gift card pops up in the recipient's inbox,which can be redeemed in-store or online. "My intent was to take that department-store kiosk model and put it online," says founder Sam Hogg, who came up with the idea while taking a Sustainable Supply Chain class at Michigan State University.

Who's in: The mass (Forever 21, Target) and the deeply niche (Culinary Teas, Glitzy Pet Jewelry) How it pays off: Merchants compensate the East Lansing, Mich., company  by paying a percentage of sales, or paying to have traffic driven their way or their logo placed next to a big company like Target. GiftZip began in June; Hogg expects to break even early next year.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing Wedding Cake Designer Makes TheKnot.com's Best of 2009 List

Intricate cake designs from A Piece O’ Cake in East Lansing have made it into a national magazine that features all aspects of wedding design and planning.

According to excerpts from the article: 

Kelly Kobus has taken that primal yen for comfort food to a whole new level with her East Lansing bakery, A Piece O’ Cake.

Kobus, 24, bought A Piece O’ Cake from the previous owners two years ago right after she graduated from college. She was a French major and an art minor, but she always had a love for food. During her senior year she studied abroad in France, where she took some cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu and also took private classes. These classes led to her working with (and studying under) some of Paris’s top gourmet chefs, and when she came home her career began to take shape.

“When I came back, I started interning at Le Chat Gourmet [a classical French culinary arts program in Eaton Rapids], and soon afterward my dad found this bakery for sale,” Kobus said. “I talked to the owner, and she asked me if I had graduated from culinary school, and when I told her no she told me that was perfect. She said, ‘They teach you pastries in culinary school, but they don’t teach you the art of the cake.’”

A Piece O’ Cake was recently featured in TheKnot.com’s Best of Weddings 2009, putting her in the elite class of go-to wedding cake makers in the state.

Read the entire article here.

Three MSU Students Start Grocery Delivery Business From Their Dorm Room

Three Michigan State University (MSU) students are ramping up Spartanicity, their electronic shopping service company.

According to excerpts from the article:

Adam Root, David Switzer and Joe Brummitt have started Spartanicity, an online grocery store that delivers everything from Ramen noodles to laundry detergent.

The 21-year-olds met through a student investment group. Their venture, run through www.spartanicity.com, currently has more than 500 products for sale.

"We were just trying to think of things we could get involved in while we were at school," Root said.

He said the idea grew out of the time and effort it takes some students to get groceries while living on campus without a car.

Read the entire article here

Enliven Software COO One of Speakers at Inaugural TEDxDetroit Event

East Lansing-based Enliven Software's COO Matt Dugener was one of several presenters at the idea-sharing event TEDxDetroit.

According to excerpts from the article:

Dugener said entrepreneurs are a subset of enterprising persons, those who come up with new ideas. He said Michigan must create a culture where both types can survive. And that hasn't been the case. Dugener cited the case of one friend who had a great business idea, thought about starting it in Michigan but eventually started it in Texas. Dugener, working for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. at the time, asked the friend why Texas got the company.

Replied the friend: "In Texas, when you're an entrepreneur, you're a hero. . . . In Michigan, when you're an entrepreneur, you're treated like a criminal. 'You must not be able to hold down a job.' 'Why aren't you working for one of the Big Three?' 'You have an MD PhD, what are you doing starting a company?'"

Dugener used a quote from economist John Maynard Keynes, "Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older," to explain how Michigan has for decades trained its children to be employees, not employers. Michigan is a state built on command and control, he said, where a few people at the top get to have all the ideas, and everyone else has to merely implement those ideas like a good drone.

Obviously, that must change for Michigan to survive.

Read the entire article here.

Handy's Mexican Market and Deli Changes Hands, Offers Diverse Products

Two years ago, Handy´s Mexican Market and Deli changed hands. Now Daniel Pesina, the store's new owner, is changing up the merchandise, too.

According to excerpts from the article:

“We’ve changed a few things,” Pesina said. “We added merchandise and we’ve found bigger distributors with better costs for us.”

Pesina and family members bought the store from Ken Handy, who started in 1970. It was the first Mexican specialty market in Lansing.

Pesina wants keep the store’s legacy intact. “There’s always that saying,” he said. “If it’s not broke, let’s not fix it.” Over three decades, Handy’s became known as a small, family store, a great place for friendly conversation as well as homemade pork rinds. The staff will even carry groceries to your car.

Read the entire article here.

284 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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