Spring 2016--Annual Member Meeting & Workshops

March 7 Member Meeting and Workshops - Registration Open in Advance and at the Door

You may still attend our March 7 event at the H Hotel in Midland! Please see the link below for more information.

Register here: http://mms.michiganincubation.org/members/evr/reg_event.php?orgcode=MBIA&evid=12451859

Want to stay overnight at the H Hotel? Make reservations here: https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=14501244

Sponsors Support MBIA Membership Meeting & Workshops

A hearty thank you to two sponsors who stepped up to support the MBIA's annual Member Meeting & Workshops that will take place on March 7, 2016.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provided support that enabled the MBIA to keep registration costs low. Ever a friend to the entrepreneur, the MEDC again shows why it is such a strong partner to the entrepreneurial support organizations in the state.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. More info at http://www.michiganbusiness.org

MITechNews also provided support in the form of advertising and promotional assistance, as well as media coverage of the event. Reporter Mike Brennan provides frequent coverage of entrepreneurial startup events statewide. His enthusiastic support of startups and entrepreneurs in Michigan is once again shown by his involvement with MBIA.

MITECHNEWS.COM is the largest and most influential Michigan digital resource for entrepreneurial and technology news, insight and community throughout Michigan. Stories chronicle the people and businesses driving technology in the state. Contact: info@mitechnews.com

There is still time to register for the event. If interested, go to: http://bit.ly/1SMvDdl

More Member Benefits!

A new partnership between MBIA and the California Technology Council (CTC) will benefit MBIA members and their clients. Formally linked to roughly 45 other tech councils throughout North America, CTC generates value for members through volume discounts, business development, and advocacy. This new partnership will give MBIA members and their clients access to the suite of discounted products and services procured by the CTC. The discounts are available when a member enters the system through the MBIA website.

The CTC link will launch on the MBIA website later this spring. Featured products and services will include human resources services, business insurance, extended stay housing, facilities RFP assistance, and office supplies through Office Depot. Additional services may follow soon, such as business valuation services and web design training.

More information will be sent to members via email as the launch date aproaches.

Share Your Documents!

Have you ever needed a document for your program and dreaded the thought of creating one from scratch? Have you ever wished you could see how someone else wrote up an agreement or policy?  Now, MBIA has a solution for you. There is a shared document library on the MBIA website available to members only. In that area you can find sample documents and templates shared by other members. And you can upload your own files to share with your peers. If navigating the MBIA website is still tricky for you, be sure to participate in the September member meeting. During that meeting Sandra Cochrane will show members how to get around the MBIA password protected areas and how to upload and download lots of interesting items. In the meantime, if you want to share a document, email it to michigan.incubation@gmail.com and we'll take it from there. The combined knowledge of the MBIA member network is powerful!

WMU Starting Gate Demo Day

Lara Hobson

WMU Starting Gate will host a Demo Day on Monday, March 28 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. This free event will take place at Schneider Hall in the Dean's Conference Room on the first floor.  More information on the companies can be found at wmich.edu/startinggate.

Solar startup founder secures patent

Charlsie Dewey

A Grand Valley State University business incubator tenant has been awarded a U.S. patent for his solar technology innovation.

The patent was awarded to James Wolter, founder of Energy Partners, which is a tenant at GVSU’s Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center, or MAREC, for a modular solar panel mounting system that's designed to be lighter, easier to install and significantly cheaper than traditional systems.

"Traditional photovoltaic installations require structural support pieces that are heavy, expensive and add to the labor required to install," Wolter said.

He said his “lighter, simpler design” is achieved by integrating everything into a “unique structural skin design.”

He said the monocoque concept, which has been used in racecar and aircraft design, greatly reduces solar photovoltaic system installation time and cost, reduces the weight of panels, allows greater power generation throughout the day and makes panels stronger.

Combined with new technology that would allow spray-on solar components, the newly patented design would reduce manufacturing time and costs and reduce the number of components needed in a system.

The design would allow companies to pre-assemble most of the panels and supports in a manufacturing setting rather than in the field.

Right now, on-site assembly can be complicated.

Wolter’s product simplifies the process to just installing posts, sliding assemblies together and plugging in the electrical connections.

"Energy Partners is really strengthening its intellectual property portfolio with this new patent, and we're glad to support their growth," said Tom Hopper, associate director for business, MAREC.

MAREC is focused on “developing robust technology companies” by supporting the commercialization of innovative technology and business models.

Energy Partners was founded to develop and commercialize Wolter's intellectual property on renewable energy technologies.

Its battery-backed solar product, currently sold under the Solar24 brand, offers 24/7 power availability.


How Emerging Entrepreneurial Hubs Are Becoming America's New Boomtowns

Joan Siefert Rose, Forbes Contributor

Two studies released last week indicate that at least a handful of smaller cities in the US, including the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Florida and Nashville are emerging as places that investors and entrepreneurs are increasingly making bets.

Richard Florida, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and a professor of global research at New York University, writes in “The Rise of Global Startup Cities,” that while venture capital has “gone global” by spreading to places like China and India, the dominant centers remain US cities that combine density, great universities, and an open-minded culture to attract the best talent. In sheer numbers, the San Francisco Bay region and the northeast US continue to account for the most dollars. However, Florida also finds that on a per capita basis for the years of the study, places like Durham, Austin, Seattle, and Jacksonville make the top ten for attracting venture capital – presumably, because these are places that smart, ambitious people want to live and work.

At the same time, Jason Rowley writes in an editorial in Mattermark that Raleigh, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and Washington, DC, get the stamp of approval as places where refugees from the high cost of living in the Bay area may want to set up shop. His rationale for these “promising alternatives” is that they are showing general upward momentum in deal making over the past few years while attracting a significant amount of capital, joining the ranks of other popular startup hubs like Austin, Seattle, and Denver/Boulder.

The fact that a select number of mid-sized American cities are making these lists is no accident. Each one has a relatively stable economy, and emerged more quickly than most regions from the Great Recession thanks to their role as government and academic centers. For the past decade, these cities have been magnets for highly educated workers, spurring investments in downtowns, green space, schools and cultural attractions. If Richard Florida is right – that the key ingredients are density, talent, and tolerance – then it’s no surprise that innovation is flourishing in these communities, and capital follows.


That was the case for Phononic, a company that is revolutionizing refrigeration and heating by using semiconductors to replace compressors. Founded by two of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capitalists the company was virtual for the first year after its launch. During that time CEO Tony Atti considered an array of locations to headquarter the company: “As an advanced semiconductor manufacturer we considered places all around the country, but ultimately chose the Triangle region of North Carolina because it had a combination of entrepreneurial workforce, business climate and quality of life that I knew would give us the best chances for success.” Now based in Durham, the decision turned out to be a good one as Phononic has raised an impressive amount of venture and growth equity funding and begun to release successful products.

It’s important to note that regions that are enjoying success as startup hubs all are struggling with growing pains that potentially could limit their continued role as centers of innovation. Top among the concerns is affordable housing, especially within walking distance of the thriving downtown centers. Office vacancies, once a driver of the inexpensive large, open floor plans in re-purposed industrial space, are becoming more limited, with rents increasing. Transportation is a headache as more people move in. And every community is interested in making sure that entrepreneurship is inclusive of women and people of color, with few roadmaps on how to arrive at that destination.


It's Time to Elect the MBIA Board!

It's that time of year again--time to elect the MBIA board of directors and officers. The by-laws require that the board consist of 7 board members, 4 of whom are officers, and an immediate past president. You will soon receive a direct email with a unique link to the voting website. Each member may vote only one time and must use the emailed link unique to him or her.

A quorum of 50% of the general membership is required for a valid election, so please take time to vote. Voting begins on March 1 on the MBIA website or there will be paper ballots available at the Annual Luncheon and Workshops on March 7 in Midland.  Voting will close on March 31.

The official slate of candidates is below. Of course, write-in candidates are permitted, but you'll hopefully find all the candidates more than qualified.

Larry Molnar: Larry has been the president of the MBIA since he revived it from hibernation ten years ago. With this election he is transitioning to the role of Immediate Past President. Larry has worked in economic development, business acceleration and incubation, and technology transfer and commercialization initiatives at the University of Michigan for over 25 years.  He has conducted numerous market and feasibility studies for business incubation programs and research studies of the incubation industry throughout the state of Michigan, nationally and internationally.  He was the principal investigator on a recent national study of best practices funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration "Incubating Success: Best Practices that Lead to Successful New Ventures." 

Sandra Cochrane: Sandra has served as the Vice-President of MBIA for the past six years and is the chairperson of the marketing committee. She is now running for President. A former member of the board of directors at the International Business Innovation Association (formerly the National Business Incubation Association), Sandra has been active in the entrepreneurial support ecosystem for the past 15 years. Sandra is the former COO/Acting CEO of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo. She shepherded the Innovation Center through its start-up phase and is credited with the development, construction, and programming of the facility. Sandra is also an adjunct faculty member at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and a commercialization reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR grant program. Sandra earned a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Michigan State University and holds an NBIA Certificate in Business Incubator Management.

Chris Moultrup: An MBIA board member for six years, Chris is running for the position of Vice-President. As the current chairperson of the events committee, he leads the effort to host the annual membership meeting and workshops, as well as other events, like a planned co-hosted conference with the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association. At MMIC, Chris leads member engagement and works with all state programs and partners. He assists new businesses in gaining access to capital, facilitates workshops and competitions, manages business development and customer discovery programs, and routinely facilitates contacts on behalf of MMIC member companies. Chris is also a liaison with the BlueWater Angels investment group, supporting membership and deal flow development. Chris is president of Elpis Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of special effects pigments and performance additives for the paints and coatings industries. Chris also serves on the board of directors of the Midland Academy for Advanced and Creative Studies and the Entrepreneurship Curriculum Advisory Committee for Northwood University. He received a BBA in Entrepreneurship Management from Northwood University in 2007 and completed the NBIA Incubator Management Certificate Program in 2012.

Harry Blecker: Harry has been the MBIA treasurer for six years and hopes to be re-elected to that position again.  As an SBDC senior growth business consultant, Harry is responsible for one-to-one counseling of a regional client portfolio as well as training activities with a heavier ratio of assisting growing companies. He is responsible for actively recruiting and building a growth company portfolio that result in high economic impact. He also assists the MI-SBDC with legislative, veterans, and microenterprise issues. Harry earned a BA and Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan.

Madelyn Pinder: Madelyn has served as an appointed member of the board for the past three months and has graciously filled the Secretary position. With this election, she hopes to be voted to the office of Secretary. Madelyn also serves on the events committee, helping plan fun and relevant events for all members. Madelyn has been with the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center since 2004. As Business Services Manager for the Innovation Center, Madelyn serves as the first point of contact for the client company employees and manages the day-to-day business activities of program, receives guests and solicitors for client companies, and serves as the face of the Innovation Center for visitors who come to the facility, working to ensure that the program is a positive experience for all.

Oded Gur-Arie: A member of the MBIA board of directors for six years, Oded is an active member serving on the marketing committee. As a Professor of Business Administration and the Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Adrian College, he is responsible for Adrian College Innovation Center, a business incubator.  Oded has more than 30 years of experience in academia and business. He spent several years with Bain & Co. an international consulting firm, in Europe and the United States, where he designed and helped implement business strategies for key clients. Subsequently, Oded served as CEO of a manufacturing company and as a founder of several entrepreneurial ventures. Over his career Oded has served on a number of corporate boards and is presently a director of Safe Auto Insurance Co.

Paul Jaques: Paul has served as an appointed board member for the past three months and is seeking his first election to the MBIA board. In his appointed board role he has been an active member of the marketing committee. As the Director of Student and Community Engagement for Spartan Innovations, Paul works with the MSU undergraduate students on their business ideas and inventions to potentially get them to market. He also works with the State of Michigan community on all entrepreneurial efforts and events. When previously employed by Michigan State University, Paul was the Associate Director of Student and Business Engagement where he played a significant role in connecting students and businesses with internship opportunities and providing guidance through these processes. He is the Co-Creator of Art Alley, an Art Gallery in Lansing’s REO Town, and a Founding Member of The NEO Center, a business incubator in Lansing.

Carmen Wells Quigg: Carmen has never served on the MBIA board but she is no stranger to the organization or to business incubation. She has personal experience in small business management through her background as a partner in both a small manufacturing firm and a start-up real estate investment company. She is a member of the iNBIA and regularly participates in workshops, conferences, and events through the Michigan Economic Developers Association and the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw, an organization supporting women in business in southeastern Michigan. Carmen received a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Purdue University Calumet in 2004.

What's Happening

Capital Raise Meetup
If you are a startup or early-stage growth-based business looking for funding, come meet and listen to capital expert, Mike Brennan.

Writing a Business Plan - Lansing
This course covers business planning in detail for individuals who want to increase their chances for successful self-employment or new business launch.

Starting a Business Plan
This free course is designed for individuals who want to increase their chances for self-employment success.

Selling Smart Workshop
This free program will demonstrate to attendees how using Socratic questioning technique can qualify prospective customers while leading them to discover the value of your product or service.

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Series ­- People Analyzer
Using the EOS tool called the "People Analyzer" will help you be able to make clear decisions about the people in your organization. This is a FREE webinar.

Health Forum of West Michigan
The purpose of the Health Forum is to offer a venue for open discussion on health topics pertinent to the well-being of the community.

Entrepreneur YOU
Entrepreneur YOU is a day of education and resources for women who have a passion for entrepreneurship. $70 fee.

The GreenLight Business Model Competition
03/06/2016- 03/30/2016
A startup event series that brings together entrepreneurs and small business supporters from all over the State of Michigan.

MBIA Annual Membership Lunch & Workshops
The annual membership meeting luncheon and workshops.

Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN) Meeting
GRIN helps inventors help themselves via networking and experience sharing with other inventors.

Business & Funding Opportunities Webinar
Join this NextEnergy webinar if you are looking to fund your company's R&D, promote your products, or develop strategic partnerships.

Crowdfunding Camp
Learn How to Build a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign.

TiECon Midwest Volunteer Kickoff Meeting
TiECON Midwest is the annual 2-day entrepreneurship and technology conference. More than 500 people attend this event. Lots of voulnteer assistance is needed, so sign up now if you'd like to help.

Application Deadline for MI Growth Capital Symposium
Presenting Company Applications for companies seeking Seed, A and B Rounds of funding are now being accepted.

Agripreneur Focus: Developing Your Food or Farm Business
The Agripreneur Focus series is designed for the serious food or farm business entrepreneur that is ready to take their concept to the next level but needs guidance and structure in doing so.

Bootstraps and Crowds: Alternative Finance Workshop
This session will include a discussion of crowdfunding, bootstrapping rewards crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, micro lending and other methods used to raise the capital to get off the ground.

15th Annual “Tech Trends”
Back by popular demand, aimWest is hosting it’s 15th Annual “Tech Trends” event with special guest, Keith Brophy!

Marketing Your Business
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses.

Sprout Lab: 2-Day Ideation Boot Camp
03/17/2016- 03/18/2016
Sprout Lab's 2-day Ideation Boot Camp offers you two productive days, plus a happy hour, to figure out how to make money with your idea and connect to the entrepreneur ecosystem.

Agripreneur Focus: Developing Your Food or Farm Business
The Agripreneur Focus series is designed for the serious food or farm business entrepreneur that is ready to take their concept to the next level but needs guidance and structure in doing so.

Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit
Participation in this event is by invitation only. Participants will have a chance to meet with Michigan's largest retailers, processors, universities and hospitals about new business opportunities.

Agripreneur Focus: Developing Your Food or Farm Business
The Agripreneur Focus series is designed for the serious food or farm business entrepreneur that is ready to take their concept to the next level but needs guidance and structure in doing so.

WMU Starting Gate Demo Day
Student entrepreneurs will make formal presentations about their businesses to members of the investor community to receive feedback and, possibly, future funding.

MONEY $ LAUNCH - Bankroll Your Business in 30 Days!
A 3-day program.

Business Legal Issues
This free course offers an introduction to the different types of legal entities that are appropriate for structuring and starting a new business. 

The Hatching
Informal pitch event. The Hatching is part of a community-wide effort to support local entrepreneurs and make the Lansing region a great place to start a business.

Agripreneur Focus: Developing Your Food or Farm Business
The Agripreneur Focus series is designed for the serious food or farm business entrepreneur that is ready to take their concept to the next level but needs guidance and structure in doing so.

Capital Raise Meetup
If you are a startup or early-stage growth-based business looking for funding, come meet and listen to capital expert, Mike Brennan.

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Series ­- Accountability Chart
Are you satisfied with how disciplined and accountable your team is? This FREE webinar will teach you the details of a foundational tool that is essential for you to get your company where you need it to be.

Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN) Meeting
GRIN helps inventors help themselves via networking and experience sharing with other inventors.

SBIR/STTR Community Program & Networking
This event will bring together people with an interest in the federal SBIR/STTR programs for a sharing of information, experiences and resources.

SBIR/STTR Community Program & Networking

This event will bring together people with an interest in the federal SBIR/STTR programs for a sharing of information, experiences and resources.

Beer Swap: Networking Event

Bring a beer, share a beer at the MidMichigan Innovation Center for Beer Swap.

inGAGE Master Class
04/22/2016- 12/09/2016
The inGAGE Master Class provides a confidential forum where emerging second-stage entrepreneurs assess their company's operations, management, finances and personnel to examine strengths and challenges.

MiFOOD 2016 Food Processing & Agribusiness Summit
The MiFOOD 2016 summit tackles some of today’s most challenging issues in the agriculture and food processing industries.

The Hatching
Informal pitch event. The Hatching is part of a community-wide effort to support local entrepreneurs and make the Lansing region a great place to start a business.

MBIA Member Meeting
Bi-monthly member networking event. Topic will be an update on SEC crowdfunding rules.

Capital Raise Meetup
If you are a startup or early-stage growth-based business looking for funding, come meet and listen to capital expert, Mike Brennan.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business
The 12th Annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards Program and Celebration Event, will be dynamic and exciting, offering entertainment, a great party atmosphere, and amazing Michigan companies to recognize.

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Series ­- Vision/Traction Organizer
Learn to use a simple tool to get clarity on your Leadership Team and get everyone rowing in the same direction. This is a FREE webinar.

Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN) Meeting
GRIN helps inventors help themselves via networking and experience sharing with other inventors.

2016 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium
05/17/2016- 05/18/2016
The 35th Michigan Growth Capital Symposium will be held on May 17 & 18 at the Marriott Resort, Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Beer Swap: Networking Event
Bring a beer, share a beer at the MidMichigan Innovation Center for Beer Swap.

The Hatching
Informal pitch event. The Hatching is part of a community-wide effort to support local entrepreneurs and make the Lansing region a great place to start a business.

MBIA Template 1 - Spring 2016--Annual Member Meeting & Workshops