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.


Clayton & McKervey shareholder to moderate panel at Integr8™ Industry 4.0 conference on Nov. 9 in Detroit

Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, announced that shareholder Sarah Russell, CPA, will be a moderator at Integr8™, a new cross-discipline global conference focused on Industry 4.0 technologies, Nov. 9 in Detroit. The conference, the first of its kind to tackle the integration of the eight technologies currently disrupting the manufacturing industry, is being hosted by Automation Alley.

Integr8™ will advance attendees’ knowledge and understanding of Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, and will help companies enhance their global competitiveness. It is expected to attract hundreds of manufacturing and technology professionals from across the region and the world to discuss the eight technologies associated with Industry 4.0: cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization. Russell will moderate a panel on the financial return on investment for Automation & Robotics. The panelists are Kevin Ostby, Vice President, FANUC America Corporation; Brent Kelso, Director of Marketing & Business Development, North America, Comau LLC; and Matt Tyler, President and CEO, Vickers Engineering, Inc.

At Clayton & McKervey, Russell is a point person for implementing tax strategies to help business owners reduce their tax liabilities and maximize cash flow with tools such as the Research & Experimentation tax credit and IC-DISC. She advises owners and executive teams on global operational structuring, foreign tax credit utilization and tax treaty analysis, working with companies that are expanding both within and outside of the U.S. in a variety of industries, including automation. Russell holds a Masters of Business Administration from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Michigan–Dearborn.

Clayton & McKervey is pleased to be a technology sponsor for Integr8™. For a complete list of Integr8™speakers, as well as registration information, visit automationalley.com/Integr8.

About Automation Alley
Integr8™ is presented by Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. The mission of Automation Alley is to position Southeast Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically as they keep pace with rapid technological changes in manufacturing.

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a full-service CPA firm helping middle-market entrepreneurial companies compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com.

Adapting to Disruption: Fortune Magazine’s Geoff Colvin Assesses Michigan’s Leadership in the Technology Race

By Paul Vachon

Page 38-39

Geoff Colvin writes and speaks on matters related to the economy and American competitiveness with a laser-sharp focus rivaled by few.

The Fortune magazine senior editor leverages his well-developed relationships with top influencers in business and government, providing keen observations for companies seeking a foothold in today’s competitive market. Colvin’s business prowess is laid out in his best-selling books, including “Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everyone Else” and “Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will.

In a recent interview with the Detroiter, Colvin said he maintains an optimistic view of Michigan’s economic future, especially its cornerstone industry. He sees the automotive industry crisis of 2008 and the industry’s subsequent restructuring as foundational to much of the progress that has been made. While he does believe other options beyond bankruptcy for both General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) could have been pursued, he is quick to point out that “bankruptcy doesn’t mean death.”

“All of the three major U.S. airlines have been through bankruptcy — some of them more than once and today they’re thriving,” he said.

Still, Colvin said the automotive industry is so economically vital to America that some government intervention was inevitable.

Colvin also said he believes the northern Rust Belt states and their manufacturing bases can survive and even thrive, but must be willing to adapt to a fundamental new reality, one which most likely will not include added employment.

“Policymakers know this, but many others don’t, and the real challenge is accepting this reality and moving on,” Colvin said. “In June of 1979, the U.S. employed 19.5 million manufacturing workers, an all-time high. Last June, the number was 12.2 million. Yet that far smaller group of workers made 78 percent more stuff in constant dollars. The trend isn’t going to reverse: more stuff, fewer workers.”

“Manufacturing towns can revive spectacularly — just look at Pittsburgh. The revival must be based on information, services and technology. Much of those things can be sold to manufacturers,” Colvin added.

But the transition can be a rocky one. Will all this transformation be so jarring as to cause another major economic downturn? Colvin says no.

“There’s no reason to think technological disruption will cause any kind of economic downturn,” he said. “Just the opposite: The lesson of history is that disruption hurts some industries — makers of slide rules and photographic film, for example — but bene­fits the overall economy. In fact, it’s the greatest driver of economic growth. The lesson for disrupted industries — a very dif­ficult lesson — is to adapt before it’s too late.”

It is this coming synergy of manufacturing driven by technological innovation and ef­ficiencies that presents the automotive industry with perhaps its greatest opportunity. While self-driving vehicles are an inevitable reality, Colvin sees this as a culmination of earlier research and as a component of a greater technological revolution — one in which Michigan can play a leading role.

“Most of us use GPS guidance when driving an unfamiliar route and take it for granted, yet it relies on astounding achievements in computing power, algorithms, connectivity, speech recognition, synthetic speech and more,” he said. “In the same way, autonomous driving is happening in small steps. Elements of it are around us already, and we scarcely notice. The Internet of Things (IoT) is here now. Jet engines, for example, report data to far away computers every time they land. The only way to appreciate such technology trends is periodically to think back on what your life was like 10 years ago.”

But Colvin is acutely aware of big data’s limitations. In his 2015 book, “Humans are Underrated,” he argues that even the cutting-edge technology of the foreseeable future will be incapable of performing the most quintessential human tasks.

“As long as humans are in charge of the world and truly indistinguishable humanoid robots don’t exist — which means for quite a long time, I believe — then skills of deep human interaction will be increasingly valuable in the economy,” he said. “It’s happening already. Major employers say what they need most now are people who can communicate effectively, collaborate creatively and lead culturally diverse teams.”

Developing these skills will involve educational curricula that might seem counterintuitive in today’s technology driven world. Skills of thoughtful creativity, effective communication and cultural awareness are typical of those gained through a liberal arts program.

Paul Vachon is a metro Detroit freelance writer.