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288 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

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.

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.

288 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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