MBIA Member Meetings
The next bi-monthly member meeting will take place on May 3 from noon to 1:00 at the LEAP offices: 1000 S. Washington Square, #201, Lansing, MI 48910. The meeting will be in the Board Room upstairs as you come in the main entrance. There is street level parking as well as a lot in the back. If you have any questions, you may contact the host, Joe Carr, at email@example.com.
The July 5 member meeting will be held in Houghton, hosted by the MTEC SmartZone. That meeting will start at noon in the Lakeshore Center Facility at 600 E. Lakeshore Drive, as this is the main office. Two other MTEC SmartZone facilities will be toured: a renovated powerhouse building and a renovated hospital floor. Questions regarding this meeting can be directed to Cheryl LeClaire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLD THE DATE for the 2018 GLIN2 Summit
Please hold the date for the 2018 Great Lakes International Innovation Summit that will take place on October 11-12 in Milwaukee. The event hotel will be the Hilton Milwaukee City Center located at 509 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203. All MBIA members will be notified as soon as room rates are available.
InBIA International Conference
From Detroit to Muskegon, from Kalamazoo, to Houghton, and everywhere in between, the state of Michigan was well represented at the InBIA's International Conference in Dallas the week of April 23.
MVCA Annual Research Report
Innovation in Agriculture Technology? Say Yes to Michigan!
Traverse City's monthly tech meetup TC NewTech devoted its April meeting to Ag-Tech. MSU and Northwestern Michigan College experts set the stage, emphasizing Ag's large GDP, human, and educational assets in Michigan, followed by Becky Huttenga from ACRE [AgTech Connections & Resources for Entrepreneurs] describing its statewide approach to foster growth in this space. Several growers described their operations and challenges that innovative technology solutions could address.
Three Michigan AgTech startups competed for the monthly $500 prize: Photosynq's big data plant sensors; Native Traits, using ancestral traits to improve seed corn, and winners Jeff Stuery/Kelly Ignace with their products from cherry pit oil and husks. Rob LeClerc of AgFunder.com and Kevin McCurran, Director of MSU AgBio Tech Transfer, led discussion of the growth of investment in AgTech projects emerging from universities and numerous private sources. A number of follow on projects are underway, including putting Photosynq in the Northwest Michigan fruit belt to begin the accumulation of data for machine learning, connecting an agtech startup with one of the featured grower speakers to address his specific challenge, and creation of a Midwest/Michigan AgTech Venture Capital Fund.
For more, contact dennis.arouca@gmail and email@example.com
MBIA Board of Directors
The board election is over and we have several new board members. Brooke Corbin and Cheryl LeClaire were appointed last year to complete the terms of two board members who left during their terms. Both women have now been elected for their own terms.Also elected for the first time is Joe Carr. Below is a list of all the board members. Thank you all for serving!
Sandra Cochrane (President): Sandra has served as the President of MBIA for the past year and was previously the vice-president for six years. 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 16 years. Sandra is the director of the WMU Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine Innovation Center in Kalamazoo. Sandra coordinates entrepreneurial training programs, and assists start-up and early-stage high-tech companies. Sandra earned a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Michigan State University and holds an InBIA Certificate in Business Incubator Management.
Carmen Wells Quigg (Vice-President): Carmen is a Project Manager at the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute. 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.
Harry Blecker (Treasurer): Harry has been the MBIA treasurer for seven 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 (Secretary): Madelyn has been the secretary of the MBIA for the past year and has been a member for many more. Madelyn also serves on the events committee, helping plan fun and relevant events for all members. Madelyn has been with the WMU Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine 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.
Cheryl LeClaire: Cheryl has worked with the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone since 2011 in several different capacities. Currently, she serves as the Facilities and Office manager at their offices in Houghton and Hancock, MI. As Facilities Manager, Cheryl is responsible for the day-to-day operations and general management of three SmartZone facilities. Additionally, she handles all of the organization's accounting, budgets, and event management. In 2016/17, Cheryl completed the Business Incubation Management Program through the InBIA, and is a certified coach in Wendy Kennedy's "So what, who cares, why you" methodology. Cheryl's lifelong skills in organization, communication, and technology make her an integral part of the SmartZone team and the Keweenaw community.
Brooke Corbin: As the Manager of Innovation Solutions, Brooke focuses on the expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region. Brooke has a passion for helping others in the Lakeshore region to succeed. Brooke is the current chair of the Holland Young Professionals Professional Development Committee and a facilitator for Kids Food Basket Holland. She serves as a volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and March of Dimes. Brooke is a Michigan State University graduate, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy.
Joe Carr: At LEAP, Joe is the Startup Innovation Manager and Director of The Runway, Lansing's fashion incubator. Bringing experience from the Detroit and Chicago entrepreneurial communities he assists startups and entrepreneurs, connecting them to resources and expertise from area mentors. Prior, Joe served as a Technology Specialist for the Maker Studios project at the East Lansing Public Library, co-founded multiple startups and served as Production Manager at the first 3D printing retail/service hybrid store in the world. He is also a Startup Weekend winner and TEDx Labs presenter.