Wayne State University Innovation Hub launch on Nov. 15 to Cover the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Spectrum

As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The centerpiece of the launch celebration is a series of brief, compelling IDO (Innovation, Disruption and Opportunity) Talks by innovators and entrepreneurs from the Wayne State community. Each IDO talk, similar in format to TED Talks, will focus on a different aspect of innovation and entrepreneurship drawn from the speaker’s experience and will last five minutes or less – just enough time to convey the speaker’s core message and ignite the imagination of the audience. The IDO speakers are:

 Dr. Mary Anderson – Associate Professor and Associate Chair, WSU Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance. Dr. Anderson will share images and ideas about what she has learned observing durational child-directed play in the Detroit Free Forest School, located at Belle Isle.

 Kavya Davuluri – a Wayne State student and co-founder of Optimize Wayne. Ms. Davuluri will share what she has learned about Wayne State and her fellow students through her involvement with Optimize, a student-led organization that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve social impact.

 Dr. Lauren Hamell – Assistant Professor, Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Hamell will describe how she identified a significant problem – a lack of patient-physician treatment discussions – and how developing a solution to the problem led her to a new role as an entrepreneur.

 Fares Ksebati – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and CEO of MySwimPro. Mr. Ksebati will describe how he turned a passion for swimming and an idea into Apple’s Best App of 2016, with impact in 150 countries.

 Maurice Recanati, M.D. – Assistant Professor-Clinical, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Recanati will relate how his childhood desire to make the journey to Mars led him to a career that includes undergraduate degrees in physics and engineering, a medical degree, a series of inventions, and success as an entrepreneur and venture investor.

 Jordette Singleton – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and owner of the UnitedFront retail shop. Ms. Singleton will describe how she overcame fear and took the leap into entrepreneurship, and how being the ultimate failure as an entrepreneur can lead to great success.

In addition to the IDO Talks™ presenters, WSU President M. Roy Wilson, Provost Keith Whitfield and Vice-President of Economic Development/TechTown Detroit CEO Ned Staebler, will offer brief remarks. Tech entrepreneur W. David Tarver, recently appointed Senior Counselor to the Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will serve as event host and master of ceremonies.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will reinforce Wayne State’s strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking this commitment to an even higher level. In addition to the IDO TalksTM, the high energy event will include music, the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project where participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters, and a prototype “Innovation Studio” where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with innovations and innovators from the Wayne State community and the region. Attendees will be encouraged to connect with the many resources that exist in the region, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

The event is open to the public. Light food and beverages will be served. Please register at go.wayne.edu/innovation-hub. Space is limited.


Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

 

Wayne State University to launch Innovation Hub to maximize student success, strengthen community connections and streamline business partnerships

As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The Wayne Innovation Hub is an element of the university’s five-year strategic plan, Distinctively Wayne State, which identified innovation and entrepreneurship as strategic focus areas. This strategic focus is driven by rapid technological advances that impact all university disciplines and strongly influence where jobs for students will be in the future.

The Innovation Hub will work with all university units to ensure that students, faculty and staff have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to achieve career success, drive economic development and improve their communities. These efforts include expansion at TechTown Detroit, Wayne State’s community-facing venture incubator and accelerator; innovative programming at Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute; educational offerings such as entrepreneurship certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels from the Mike Ilitch School of Business; strengthened support for student ventures, projects, and organizations; and enhancement of the university’s technology commercialization and business partnership practices.

“To achieve success in this world of accelerating technology, we must prepare our students with innovation and entrepreneurship skills, strengthen our community connections, and enhance technology transfer and business partnerships,” said Provost Keith E. Whitfield. “Our strong Detroit roots, world-class academic and research programs, and thriving, diverse campus culture make us exceptionally well positioned to produce needed innovation and play a leadership role in the revitalization of the Detroit region.”

W. David Tarver, recently hired senior counselor to the provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, will administer the Innovation Hub and provide guidance and strategic direction. Tarver brings experience as a successful technology company founder, author, urban business development advocate, and entrepreneurship educator. He aims to play a key role in making Wayne State University an innovation and entrepreneurship powerhouse.

“Wayne State is one of the nation’s leading urban research universities, and considering the current Detroit resurgence, the time is right to grab hold of the talent and ideas that exist here to produce the groundbreaking innovations, new ventures and community partnerships that will improve the quality of life here and around the world,” said Tarver.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will remind people on campus and throughout the region that Wayne State has a strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking its commitment to an even higher level. The event will include music; a series of short, entertaining “IDO” (Innovation, Disruption, Opportunity) talks; and the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project in which participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters. Attendees will also be encouraged to connect with the many innovation and entrepreneurship resources that exist on campus and around the community, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

A reception with food and beverages will follow the program. This free event is open to the public. Please register by visiting http://go.wayne.edu/innovation-hub. Wayne State students need not register in advance.


Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

Tech Startup Lessons from Israel: Entrepreneurs Thrive with Collaboration, Government Support

A robust talent pipeline. Government support for startups. Strong academic and STEM education programs. No fear of failure. These are just a few of the key ingredients that contribute to Israel’s status as a top five global technology startup hub.

In an effort to better understand the Israeli ecosystem of innovation, the Detroit Regional Chamber recently attended a five-day, fact-finding mission to the country led by Deloitte and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. It was held concurrently during Gov. Rick Snyder’s Israel trip to enhance business ties with Michigan.

The delegation included chief information technology officers and executives from AT&TConsumers EnergyGeneral Motors, Henry Ford Health System, and nine additional organizations across the state.

During the week, the delegation met with key decision-makers from 12 leading technology startups and attended the 2017 CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv to hear from cyber experts from multi-national corporations, startups, private and corporate investors, and venture capital firms. Gov. Snyder provided opening remarks at the Conference (pictured).

The group also met with Avi Hasson, Israel’s chief scientist, and received an up-close look at AT&T’s latest innovation center in Raanana, GM’s Advanced Technical Center in Tel Aviv, and Israel’s Startup Nation Central, a nonprofit focused on getting innovation in front of leading companies around the world.

Other stops included meetings with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Talpiot Program, an elite training program for students who excel in science and technology; and CYBERBIT, a global leader in cybersecurity and intelligence.

Building Relationships to Maintain Michigan’s Mobility Leadership

In sheer size comparison, Michigan is 11 times larger than the entire country of Israel. Despite that, estimates put Israel’s startup companies at nearly 1,000 in a given year.

Driving this entrepreneurial boom is a combination of Israel’s mandated military service and the resulting talent development, and robust seed funding from the government and venture capital firms for startups.

Public and private collaboration, along with a dedicated source of government funding, is an area where Detroit and Michigan can draw lessons.

“With more than 90,000 engineers, Detroit is also an innovation center with a similar ecosystem. But where our companies are built to drive innovation internally to meet the needs of their own customers, Israel is more externally focused,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction for the Chamber.

“The trick is, how do we take our innovation culture and flip it around to encourage more collaboration and information sharing, especially as we look to be a leader in solving issues around global mobility moving forward?” Robinson added.

He said one thing is clear:

“Israel is a market Michigan must have a close relationship with not only because of the volume, but also the quality of innovation taking place. They have a culture that asks partners, ‘bring us your problems’ – and there are no shortage of challenges in delivering autonomous driving to the world,” he said.

“The Chamber and MICHauto are committed to further enhancing the connections between our established automotive industry and venture capital community with the technology ecosystem in Israel. Doing so will be a win-win for both of our communities,” Robinson added.

For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at jrobinson@detroitchamber.com or 313.596.0352.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at mhamilton@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Keynote speakers for Oct. 19-21 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium focus on economic revival in Flint; registration is underway

W. David Tarver, founder and president of The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) and chief organizer of the third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, to be held in Flint from Oct. 19 to 21, announced keynote speakers for the event. They are Andrew R. Highsmith, Ph.D., author of Demolition Means Progress, and Jeffery Robinson, Ph.D., an urban economic development expert from Rutgers University.

Registration for the event is underway at www.urbanei.org.

Dr. Robinson is an award-winning business school professor, international speaker, and entrepreneur. Since 2008, he has been a leading faculty member at Rutgers University Business School where he is academic director and senior fellow at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. The Center is a unique interdisciplinary venue for innovative thinking and research on entrepreneurial activity and economic development in urban environments.

Dr. Robinson’s research explores how business practices and entrepreneurship can be used to impact societal issues. He is particularly concerned about community and economic development issues for urban metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad. In 2007, he was selected as the recipient of the Aspen Institute’s Social Impact Faculty Pioneer Award for his research, service and teaching activities at the intersection of business and society. In 2011, his course, Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, was recognized as a model of Innovative Entrepreneurship Education by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Highsmith is the author of Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis, one of the most comprehensive works yet written on the history of inequality and metropolitan development in modern America. The book was published in July 2015 by the University of Chicago Press and won the 2016 American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. Demolition Means Progress uses the case of Flint to explain how the perennial quest for urban renewal contributed to mass suburbanization, racial and economic division, deindustrialization, and political fragmentation. Dr. Highsmith is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. A former Flint resident, he received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2009. His doctoral dissertation won the 2009 John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation in American Planning History from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and the Urban History Association’s Best Dissertation Award for 2009-10. He is a specialist in modern American history, urban history and public policy.

UEI founder David Tarver will present the keynote address at the Flint Community Program and Reception, which will take place on Wed. Oct. 19 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Mott Community College Event Center. A Flint native, Tarver holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and also lectures in U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship. In 1983, at age 30, he launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a telecommunications instrumentation business, and sold it in 1995 for $30 million. Working as group president for the company’s buyer, Tarver then spearheaded development of a telecommunications group with a market value of more than $2 billion. He left that business in 1999 to devote more time to family and community service, ultimately returning to Southeast Michigan in 2007. He is the author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” chronicling his childhood in Flint, his educational pursuits and his entrepreneurial journey.

The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium convenes entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate innovative business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to urban communities. Major sponsors for #UES2016 include University of Michigan-Flint School of Management, Mott Community College, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship, U-M Innovate Blue, Skypoint Ventures, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The complete list of sponsors can be found at http://www.urbanei.org/ues-2016-sponsors/.

New to this year’s symposium are the “Give Us What You Got” community pitch sessions that elicit business ideas, community improvement suggestions, and gripes from everyday Flint residents. This year’s event will also showcase the finals of two business model competitions – the Urban Infrastructure Challenge and the Urban Jobs Challenge. Winners will be selected and prizes awarded during the event.

Details on Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016
 When: #UES2016 begins on Wednesday Oct. 19 with an evening Community Program and Reception. Thursday is the Conference Program, which will consist of speakers and panel discussions, and will be followed by a “Business Matrix” networking reception at the Flint Farmers Market. Friday’s “Accelerate U” Seminars Program will include compelling presentations on topics of great interest to actual and aspiring entrepreneurs.
 Where: The Wednesday Community Program will take place at the Mott Community College Event Center. The Thursday Conference Program will be held at the U-M Northbank Center in downtown Flint, followed by the “Business Matrix” reception at the Flint Farmers Market. The Friday “Accelerate U” Seminars Program will take place at the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center. See the UEI web site for details.
 Cost: The Wednesday night community reception is free, but pre-registration required. Registration cost for the Thursday programs, including the Conference and Business Matrix Reception, is $25.00. Registration for the Friday Seminars Program is $25.00.
 Registration: advance registration is required; purchase tickets online at www.urbanei.org.
 Event questions: for general questions about the event, please email info@urbanei.org.

About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities.

Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative announces board of directors

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI), a Mich.-based 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation established in 2015 and offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit business solutions to address the needs of urban communities, announces Reggie Barnett, Fred Hall, Karen Lopez and Maria Woodruff-Wright have been appointed to the UEI Board of Directors. The announcement was made by UEI founder and Board President, W. David Tarver.

“I am pleased to formally welcome these individuals, so accomplished in their respective fields of business and law, to the UEI board,” Tarver said. “We look forward to growing the organization through their continued guidance and appreciate the individual and collective knowledge and experience they bring to the table as we crystalize the mission of UEI.”

• Reggie Barnett, Treasurer, most recently served as president and owner of WRN Inc., a provider of business telecommunications networking solutions. He was previously a senior executive at IBM. Barnett holds a law degree and an MBA from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame. He is a resident of Bloomfield Hills.
• Fred Hall, Vice-President, is concurrently president of H&P Protective Services and owner of NovaTech Computer Services, Inc. In addition to serving as UEI’s vice-president, Hall heads the board’s development committee. He is a lifelong resident of Detroit.
• Karen Lopez, Secretary, has a private law practice in Flint. She previously served as Vice President for External Affairs & Governance for Hurley Medical Center and Chief Legal Officer for the City of Flint. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Michigan State University and received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a Flint native and current resident.
• Maria Woodruff-Wright, Director, currently serves as CFO and Vice President of Operations for the Skillman Foundation. She holds a B.S. from Northwestern University School of Engineering and an MBA from the Ross School of Business – University of Michigan. After graduating from U-M, she founded and sold a company dedicated to providing culturally diverse products for children. Woodruff-Wright was also President of her family business, Expressway Ford, Inc. She is a native of Detroit.

W. David Tarver, a Birmingham resident, is a Flint native who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and also lectures in U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship. In October, Tarver will receive the 2016 University of Michigan College of Engineering Distinguished Service Award.

In 1983, at age 30, Tarver launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a telecommunications instrumentation business, and sold it in 1995 for $30 million. Working as group president for the company’s buyer, he then spearheaded development of a telecommunications group with a market value of more than $2 billion. Tarver left that business in 1999 to devote more time to family and community service, including founding in 2000 the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative (RBEDI) in Red Bank, N.J., a community-based non-profit creating new opportunities and increasing academic performance for the children of Red Bank. RBEDI was credited with helping to increase Red Bank students’ proficiency rate on the N.J. eighth grade performance assessment test from 25% in 2001 to 60% in 2004. He ultimately returned to Southeast Michigan in 2007 and started the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative in 2014, which was recognized as a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation in 2015.

Separately, under the direction of the board, UEI will hold its third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium Oct. 19 to 21 in Flint, Mich. The 2016 Symposium (#UES2016) follows sold-out events in Detroit in 2015 and Ann Arbor in 2014. The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium convenes entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to urban communities. For information about the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016, please contact info@urbanei.org.

About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities. Learn more here.

Andrew R. Highsmith, author of ground-breaking book about Flint, to speak at Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016

W. David Tarver, founder and president of The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) and chief organizer of the third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, to be held in Flint from Oct. 19 to 21 in Flint, announced that Andrew R. Highsmith, author of Demolition Means Progress, will speak at the event on Oct. 20. The session will consist of an extended interview with Highsmith, conducted by Tarver.

Highsmith is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. A former Flint resident, he received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2009. His doctoral dissertation won the 2009 John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation in American Planning History from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and the Urban History Association’s Best Dissertation Award for 2009-10. He is a specialist in modern American history, urban history and public policy. Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis, was published in July 2015 by the University of Chicago Press. The book won the 2016 American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. In addition to the book, Highsmith has published scholarly articles in the Journal of Urban History, the American Journal of Education, Environmental Justice, the Teachers College Record, and the Journal of Policy History. Highsmith currently resides in Irvine, California, with his wife and three children.

UEI founder Tarver first became acquainted with Highsmith earlier this year after hearing him interviewed about the Flint water crisis on WDET Public Radio in Detroit. He subsequently bought and read Demolition Means Progress and immediately felt compelled to invite Highsmith to speak at #UES2016.

“Demolition Means Progress should be required reading for anyone who aspires to do economic development work in Flint or other American cities that have experienced industrial decline,” Tarver said. “It’s an imminently readable book that conveys an understanding of how Flint became what it is today, and that history suggests the paths we might take to revitalize the city, or not.”

The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium convenes entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to urban communities. Sponsors for #UES2016 include Diplomat, SkyPoint Ventures, the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Mott Community College and several units of the University of Michigan, including Innovate Blue, The Center for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Social Impact at the Ross School of Business and the University of Michigan-Flint School of Management.

New to this year’s symposium are two business challenge competitions offering monetary awards and professional guidance to the winning teams: The Urban Infrastructure Challenge and the Urban Jobs Challenge. Details to apply for the business challenge competitions are available via the UEI website.

Details on Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016
 When: #UES2016 kicks off Wednesday Oct. 19 with an evening program, and runs through Friday, Oct. 21, 2016; the Thursday session will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end (following a business networking reception) at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s session will commence at 8:00 a.m. and end mid-afternoon.
 Where: work sessions, receptions and seminars will take place at several Flint venues: the Mott Community College Event Center, the Mott Community College Regional Tech Center, the University of Michigan-Flint Northbank Center and the Flint Farmers Market. Details are on the UEI website.
 Cost: The Wednesday night community reception is free (pre-registration required). Registration cost for the full Thursday work sessions is $25.00. Registration for access to all Friday seminars is $25.00.
 Registration: advance registration is required; purchase tickets online at www.urbanei.org.
 Sponsors: For sponsorship information, please call Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative at (313) 457-2050 or email info@urbanei.org.

 Event questions: for general questions about the event, please email info@urbanei.org.

About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities. Learn more here.

Walsh College Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron and members of Walsh College’s Blackstone LaunchPad team will highlight steps for starting a successful business from the ground up during Walsh College’s Walshpreneur Fair celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The public is invited to the business college’s Troy campus to attend the free event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 17.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the college’s Blackstone LaunchPad program which celebrates entrepreneurship as a career path, and gain insight on starting and maintaining a viable business. Products and services from Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurs will also be showcased. The evening will include networking opportunities, refreshments and prizes.

“The journey to entrepreneurism is both difficult and rewarding,” said Carol Glynn, a seasoned entrepreneur and Walsh College director of Blackstone LaunchPad. “This celebration is an evening of discovery, learning and networking. We’ll take you from the glamorous excitement of deciding to start a new business to the realities business owners face.”

Joining Bergeron as special guest speaker will be Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc.

Glantz successfully raised more than $45 million to build Detroit’s Emagine theatres which now operate in Novi, Canton, Rochester Hills and Royal Oak. He has been at the forefront of technological change in the theatre industry, particularly in the transition to high-definition digital presentation. In January of 2006 his theatres became the first chain in the nation to convert all of its 46 screens to high-definition digital imagery.

Committed to numerous philanthropic endeavors, Glantz serves as a venture coach to participants in the Walsh College and Wayne State University Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship initiatives. His volunteer efforts also include serving on the boards of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and as treasurer of the Detroit Chapter of Variety International.

A recipient of the 2011 Walsh College Distinguished Alumnus Award, Glantz holds a master’s in taxation from the business college.

Those interested in attending Walshpreneur Fair should contact:
Diane Fisher at 248-823-1670, or Launchpad@walshcollege.edu.
Online registration is available at: www.walshcollege.edu/blackstonelaunchpad.

About Walsh College Blackstone LaunchPad
Funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and in partnership with New Economy Initiative, a program of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Automation Alley, University of Miami, Walsh College and Wayne State University – this program helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop and launch their businesses. As the first of its kind in Michigan, it offers fully enrolled Walsh students and degreed Walsh alumni; and Wayne State University students the opportunity to assess the feasibility of their ideas for starting and growing for-profit and non-profit ventures.

About Walsh College

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.

Entrepreneur Opportunities for Everyone with Unity Tax Service

Detroit, MI – December 11, 2013- Unity Tax Service is launching its “The Entrepreneur in You” program; this program will empower, and encourage “Entrepreneurship” nationwide. CEO Dionciel Armstrong has developed this program to create business leaders of all ages. This opportunity will benefit individuals that would like to change or start a new career. “Financial stability and education is vital in rebuilding our economy”, said Armstrong.

“The Entrepreneur in You” program will create entrepreneurs with a focus in tax preparation, business, marketing, sales, ethics, and organization. Unity Tax Service will provide FREE tax software, training, and marketing tools. No experience is required for this opportunity, but participants must be at least 18 years of age. Armstrong strongly suggests that each church, organization, outreach program, and job placement services participate in promoting and encouraging this program to ensure job placement and entrepreneurship.

About Unity Tax Service, an African American owned company that provides Professional Tax Software, Franchise Opportunities, Entrepreneurship Programs, Continuing Education and Insurance. The company was founded by Dionciel Armstrong an entrepreneur with extensive business and marketing experience, Wynetta Sears, retired with 40+ years as an IRS engineer, and Alicia Warren, marketing background and licensed insurance agent.

Throughout the years the tax industry has continued to expand due to growth in population, employment, and the economy. The tax industry is a 7.7 billion dollar industry and every working American who is employed, self-employed, or contracted, must file their taxes each year.

Unity Tax owners understand first-hand the importance of entrepreneurship. Most people who try to start a business are discouraged through lack of training, startup-cost, marketing funds, and the necessary tools. “This is a turn-key partnership opportunity and unfortunately this type of program was not available when I started in this business”, said Armstrong.

The program is not to impose nor deflect the vision or purpose of any organization, but to empower, employ, and to provide the opportunity to grow.

For more information call 248-595-7701

Plante Moran 2013 Franchising Outlook Reveals Steps Necessary for Success This Year

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – March 12, 2013 – Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, today announced the release of its 2013 outlook for the franchising sector. The Plante Moran Franchising Outlook assesses the current role of franchising in the economy, and opportunities and challenges for franchisors this year.

“Our 2013 outlook offers perspective on the positive traits of franchising systems and how the sector is well positioned for growth despite the uncertainty of today’s corporate world,” said Mark Fleischer, partner and franchising group leader at Plante Moran. “While we predict the 2013 economy to remain sluggish, the information we provide around key events and how to navigate them will better enable our franchising clients to succeed.”

According to a 2012 survey conducted by International Franchise Association (IFA), eight out of 10 franchisors predict expansion in 2013. In support of this goal, the 2013 Plante Moran Franchising Outlook helps reaffirm franchising is a business model that works despite the uncertain economic environment.

Additional policies and business models uncovered in Plante Moran’s report that can lead to success for 2013 are as follows:

  • Stay true to the needs of your customers by offering services and products for specific demographics
  • Plan now for the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its healthcare requirements for individual franchisees once the “pay for play” mandate is enforced
  • Search for alternatives to traditional financing apart from banks such as a Small Business Loan (SBA) or an online match-making site that pairs borrowers with lenders

Entrepreneur Magazine has published a “Franchise 500” list for more than 30 years. Companies on the list added 19,197 franchise units between 2011 and 2012, almost doubling the previous year’s growth. Entrepreneur and the IFA also report anticipated revenue growth in franchising for 2012 at 4.9 to 5.2 percent, which is:

  • On par with the middle market, according to data from the National Center for the Middle Market
  • Impressive when compared to the forecasted 3.5 percent rate of growth for the S&P 500, according to Bloomberg

In addition to Plante Moran’s perspective, the report includes contributions from additional industry experts, including the National Center for the Middle Market, University of Michigan Professor Francine Lafontaine, and Melanie Bergeron, an officer of the IFA and Two Men and a Truck board chair. To access the full Plante Moran 2013 Franchising Outlook, please visit http://www.plantemoran.com/perspectives/outlooks/Documents/franchising-outlook.pdf

About Plante Moran
Plante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting and wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India.

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