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Entrepreneurship : In the News

292 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

East Lansing Incubators Capitalizing on MSU Students' Entrepreneurial Talents

The many incubators popping up in East Lansing and Lansing are giving enterprising Michigan State University (MSU) students the support they need to launch their ideas.

According to excerpts from the article:

Eric Jorgenson has notebooks with several million dollars scribbled on the pages. The business and economics junior carries pen and pad wherever he goes, and whenever he thinks of the next best business venture he pulls out the notebook.

Jorgenson, who will co-direct The Hatch, an entrepreneurial incubator for students to be located at 325 E. Grand River Ave., is just one of many minds East Lansing and MSU are attempting to tap into as the city pushes entrepreneurship.

Read the entire article here.

Lansing EDC Expands Loan Program to Include More High Tech Companies

The Lansing Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is broadening the geographic coverage of its business loan program services to include more high tech companies.

According to excerpts from the article:

Historically, the Business Finance Assistance Program targeted specific areas such as Old Town, Michigan Avenue and downtown. It provided loans to several bars and restaurants.

"We've got to think about how we're going to help small businesses—in particular, how to diversify them," said Bob Trezise, the LEDC's president and CEO.

"The downtown has taken off. Maybe the loan and other efforts did their jobs."

Read the entire article here.

Sales Jump 303% for GiftZip.com

Though overwhelming, the holiday season went well for GiftZip.com, an East Lansing-based gift card aggregation site that saw its sales increase 303 percent from November to December 2009.

According to excerpts from the article:

GiftZip.com, the East Lansing-based online eGift card kiosk developer, said Wednesday that its holiday season was marked by growing site traffic and sales. ??Overall, site traffic increased 25percent in December from the previous month and has increased sevenfold since June of 2009. The higher amounts of traffic resulted in unparalleled sales for business, as sales jumped 303 percent over the previous month.

In addition to a prosperous December, GiftZip.com rung in the New Year with continued recognition and support from the Michigan business community. GiftZip.com was awarded The Best First Year Business Website in Lansing in the 2009 Lansing Web Awards.

In an effort to support the Michigan economy and foster relationships with local businesses, GiftZip.com continues to use contractors from Michigan. GiftZip.com switched its site hosting to Lansing-based LiquidWeb and also enlisted the services of Nicholas Creative, a fellow East Lansing Technology Innovation Center business, to design GiftZip.com 3.0. The new site,which hopes to be launched within the next few months, will update the look and feel and offer enhanced search features to increase ease of use for consumers.

Read the entire article here.


Vietnamese Refugee Serves Up Some of Asia’s Finest

Vietnamese refugee Mary Ann Le serves a trifecta of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine at her restaurant, Asia’s Finest.

According to excerpts from the article:

She opened it after moving to the United States in 1989after a brief stay in the Philippines as a Vietnamese refugee. She took classes at Lansing Community College to learn English, worked in a few local restaurants, then opened shop on the south side. She cooks, cleans and manages— the typical busy life of an independent restaurateur. After seven years in business, it’s safe to say her food has given her some success.

“We’re very famous for our Vietnamese and Thai food,” Le says. “Thai food, spicy food, is very popular in Michigan. Hot flavors in cold weather.”

The Chinese menu is popular and filled with the usual culinary suspects: lo mein, fried rice, General Tso’s chicken, etc. The Thai menu features spicier fare, and the pad thai — sautéed meat with stir-fried noodles,bean sprouts and green onions — is oft requested. But for a taste of authenticity, go for a Vietnamese soup.

Read the entire article here.


MSU Grad's Enliven Software Company Expanding Into International Markets

East Lansing-based Enliven Software recently moved into a larger space within the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center (TIC) and is now expanding into west African and Australian markets.

According to excerpts from the article:

A map would tell people Nigeria and East Lansing are worlds away. Bunmi Akinyemiju would tell people they share a border.

The international expansion wouldn’t be possible without MSU’s commitment to global initiatives and reputation as a worldly university, he said.

“MSU is one of the top global universities in the country,” said the MSU alumnus, who was born in Michigan when his parents came to MSU from Nigeria to earn their master’s and doctoral degrees. “I think that (MSU has) invested in really making sure the education that students get here is global.”

Read the entire article here.


Former GM Employee Open Quinney’s Southern Soul Food on Lansing's South Side

After 24 years with General Motors, Vickie Quinney and her husband Mack have opened a southern style restaurant on Cedar Street.

According to excerpts from the articles:

Quinney’s Southern Soul Food found a home in an old strip mall on Cedar Street. just north of Holmes Road.

After 24 years of laboring at the now-shuttered Fisher Body plant, Vickie says long days with her husband (the pair have no other employees) are a breeze.

Vickie’s parents are natives of Alabama, products of the Deep South who migrated north yet kept their cooking heritage intact. The family spent time cooking together, and Vickie decided to continue the legacy through her new restaurant.

Read the entire article here.


Innovations and New Developments Mark Bright East Lansing Economy in 2009

2009 was a good year for the Capital region, which welcomed several important economic investments including the $550 million FRIB facility, the Technology Information Center (TIC) and IBM’s move to East Lansing.

According to excerpts from the article:

While Michigan felt the pain of the highest unemployment in the nation, the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler, a tanking housing market and a sharp slowdown in commercial sales, East Lansing could point to the following developments:

1.) FRIB, okay, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The $550 million Department of Energy-funded nuclear physics research facility will be a science facility dedicated answering complex questions about the structure of matter, about the stars, about basic elements on our plan, event how the planet came into existence.

Its practical benefits, as well: $1 billion economic impact over the first decade, 180 new jobs for scientists, 5,800 one-year construction jobs, 220 spin-off jobs.

Read the entire article here.


Entrepreneur Uses E.L. Technology Center to Launch Social Media Business

Julielyn Gibbons, president of i3 Strategies, used the East Lansing Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) to launch a social media business that’s becoming a household name in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

In 2009, she decided to start her own business, because she realized that very few people could do what she could; and because instead of getting pigeonholed into being a politico, she wanted to make the biggest impact possible working with the biggest number of people possible.

Therefore, even though the economy seemed to be screaming “NO,” after she met “a great group of people in the area, that emboldened [her] to become entrepreneurial,”as well as Jeff Smith, who runs the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) in East Lansing.

Total capital required? “Less than $1,000,” she answers with a smile.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky because since I’ve started, all of my business has been word of mouth,” she says. Her most notable recent work has been for Capital Area Michigan Works! for whom she coordinates and presents monthly workshops for job seekers on how to use social media to find a new job. She said the work “hits home on a multitude of levels,” because at one time or another in the past two years, both of her parents and siblings have lost their jobs.

A good portion of her work is done in the form of workshops and presentations on social media. “I’ve gone all over the country: Boston, Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Detroit. It’s really something. ”

Read the entire article here.


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.

292 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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