Friday, June 26, 2009

Lights, Cameras, Career: Creating Your Path to the Action

Lights, Cameras, Career: Creating Your Path to the Action
WCC offers low-cost workshop for navigating the hype around film industry jobs in Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MI – A new workshop at Washtenaw Community College was established to orient individuals on the subject of the film & digital video industry. The goal of the workshop is to explore aspects of the film industry as a career choice. The general focus moves into two areas: the workshop will focus on the realities of production - proper etiquette while working on a set; preparatory steps for finding a job in areas of production & postproduction; and examining the wide range of positions in the field. The second area of focus will utilize tools from WCC’s award-winning innovation curriculum. Exercises will be carried out to develop a personal career map focused on assessing skills, experience and strengths. With this added personal insight and knowledge gained about the film industry, participants will evaluate how they ‘fit’ in the various areas of the film industry. At the completion of this 3-day workshop, participants will leave knowing if a career in the film and digital video industry is one they wish to pursue. And each participant will have a personal plan to make informed career decisions for years to come. This course will be co-instructed by WCC faculty, Matt Zacharias and Donna Ryen, Instructor and PBS Producer. Their works have been showcased in film festivals such as Slamdance, South by Southwest and ResFest. Between them, they share 9 Emmy Awards for their work in television production.

The cost of the workshop is $189 and will run August 17 – 19 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. For registration go to and search Lights, Cameras, Career.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Midland-based Alternative Energy Companies Win Top Awards in the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest Business Plan Competition

Kinetic Wave Power and Advanced Battery Concepts sweep the competition as more than $58,000 in cash awards were presented to companies in the GLEQ statewide business plan competition.

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 11, 2009 – Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest (GLEQ) hosted its Statewide Business Plan Competition Award Ceremony on Thursday, June 11, 2009 with partner organizations Automation Alley and NextEnergy at the James B. Henry Center on the Michigan State University campus.

The GLEQ $25,000 Grand Prize in the Emerging Company category was awarded to Kinetic Wave Power, LLC of Midland, Michigan. Kinetic Wave Power is led by Vice President of Technology James Sack and has developed unique technology to utilize renewable energy contained in ocean waves.

The Runner Up award of $5,000 in the Emerging Company category was captured by Lambert Technologies of Canton, Michigan. Lambert Technologies has developed and is bringing to market a patented stress-testing tool for engineers to verify and validate engineering designs of structural components.

In the New Business Idea category, Advanced Battery Concepts, LLC of Midland received the First Place cash award of $5,000 and RateMyStudentRental, LLC was awarded the Runner Up award of $1,000. Advanced Battery Concepts has developed battery electrode technology, branded GreenSeal™, which enables dramatic improvements in battery performance while lowering costs. Additionally, flexibility in packaging combined with weight savings enables new applications to become feasible for lead-acid batteries. RateMyStudentRental offers a web-based rental property rating system for student rentals, with a management system for landlords and a private-label housing portal for universities.

Advanced Battery Concepts also received two innovation awards. The awards are the Automation Alley Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Award of $12,500 and the NextEnergy Alternative Energy Innovation Award of $10,000. Dan Radomski, Vice President Industry Services for NextEnergy, presented both awards.

Lee Walko, President of Midland-based Walko Consulting, was awarded Coach of the Year for his work with two companies, including the Emerging Company winner Kinetic Wave Power. Marisa Smith, President of Dexter-based The Whole Brain Group, LLC was selected for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship award.

The top six teams competing for the GLEQ Grand Prize pitched their plans to a panel of investment judges made up of Pete Farner, partner at TGap Ventures; Judy Johncox, Senior Director Commercialization Services, Wayne State University; WSU Program Director, TechTown; Elias Shakour, Portfolio Manager, 21st Century Jobs Fund, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Christopher R. Sklarin, Director of Business Development - Upper Midwest, Chrysalis Ventures; and Phil Tepley, Technology Team Coordinator, Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center.

Presentation scores were added to scores on the companies’ written business plans to determine the overall winners. Finalists in addition to the winning companies included Husk Insulation, Hygieia Inc., Blaze Medical Devices and

The keynote address was presented by Philip H. Power, Vice Chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Committee, and President and Founder of The Center for Michigan. A “think-and-do tank”, The Center for Michigan aims to help develop and execute comprehensive and long-range policy solutions to transform Michigan's business, economic, political and cultural climate.

For nearly forty years, Philip H. Power was founder, owner and chairman of the board of HomeTown Communications Network, Inc., a group of 62 community newspapers and 24 telephone directories throughout Michigan and around Cincinnati, Ohio.

The GLEQ awards event was held in the Main Dining Room of the James B. Henry Center on the MSU campus. The event began with an MIT Enterprise Forum panel discussion on Business Incubators and CEO success stories.

Additional event supporters included Michigan Small Business Technology Development Centers (MI-SBTDC), New Enterprise Forum, and MIT Enterprise Forum.

About Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest

GLEQ, now in its ninth year of continuous operations, is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) educational program designed to accelerate the formation of high-growth companies in Michigan. More than $31 million has been awarded to GLEQ alumni from the 21st Century Jobs Fund, bringing the total investment into GLEQ companies to more than $60 million.

GLEQ provides coaching, mentoring, business training and entrepreneurial discussions to entrepreneurs statewide. It also sponsors a two-phase statewide business plan competition each year. The competition is structured into two distinct maturity paths; companies with more developed businesses compete in the Emerging Company path, while teams with new business concepts compete in the New Business Idea path.

GLEQ leverages a portfolio of volunteer business and investment experts to provide training, coaching and mentoring. Entrepreneurs submitting an executive summary or business plan receive as many as four written critiques from members of the investor community.

The 2010 GLEQ Business Plan Competition opens for registration on Monday, August 24. Awards will be announced at ACE’10 on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Additional information is available at or by calling Diane Durance, GLEQ Executive Director at 734-255-3183.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Online Seminar

SBA’s new program for viable small businesses suffering hardships. ARC makes periodic
payments for qualifying business debt including:

  • Mortgages
  • Secured and unsecured business loans
  • Capital leases
  • Notes payable to vendors/suppliers/utilities
  • Home equity loans that were used to finance business operations
  • Credit card obligations that were used for business purposes

ARC Loan Training At Your Desk
Reservations Required (317) 226-7272 x115

This free seminar is repeated on the following days:
June 22, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (EDT)
June 23, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (EDT)

Telephone: 1-866-740-1260 use access code 3056201#

Slides: use access code 3056201
Indiana District Office, 8500 Keystone Crossing, Suite 400, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Monday, June 15, 2009

Women's Exchange of Washtenaw will be at Top of the Park Wednesday, June 17th!

Join the Women's Exchange of Washtenaw Wednesday, June 17th at 6:30 for casual networking under the tent at Top of the Park, located on the Ingalls Mall on the University of Michigan campus. Family and friends are welcome to share the live music, children’s activities, and a movie presentation of, “Twilight.” The event will be under the tent from 6:30pm to 9:30pm with a cash bar for adults 21 and over (id required), the movie starts at 10pm.

Wear your WXW orange or blue T-Shirt that night and you could be a lucky winner. Don't have a shirt yet? Women's Exchange of Washtenaw shirts will be available for sale under the tent the night of the event.

This event is free, but please register here!

Thank you to the sponsors for this event: Solutions First and The Whole Brain Group.

Friday, June 5, 2009

DATE CHANGE: Digital Marketing with Ingenex

Using the internet effectively is a critical piece of many small businesses' marketing strategies. Learn about pay-per-click campaigns, search engine optimization, social media, blogs, podcasts and more in this information-packed session presented by Ingenex Digital Marketing. Cut through the hype and learn which of these tools can help you grow your business.

Please bring brown bag lunch. Coffee, hot tea, and water will provided

Fee: $ 10.00

Speaker(s): Derek Mehraban, CEO at Ingenex Digital Marketing

  • A graduate of Michigan State University, Derek Mehraban has 15+ years advertising, marketing and interactive experience. Mehraban is focused on digital and internet marketing, event marketing, web search, web 2.0, social media marketing, blogging and generational marketing. Mehraban is CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SBA: About the ARC Loan Program

ARC loans can be used to make payments of principal and interest, in full or in part, on one or more existing, qualifying small business loans for up to six months. ARC loans provide an immediate infusion of capital to small businesses to assist with making payments of principal and interest on existing debt. These loans allow borrowers to redirect cash flow from making loan payments to investing in their businesses, to help sustain the business and retain jobs. For example, making loan payments on existing loans with proceeds from an ARC loan can allow a business to focus more funds on core operations, such as buying inventory or making payroll.

ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, carry a 100 percent guaranty from the SBA to the lender, and require no fees paid to SBA. Loan proceeds are provided over a six-month period and repayment of the ARC loan principal is deferred for 12 months after the last disbursement of the proceeds. Repayment can extend up to five years.

The best candidates for ARC loans are small businesses that in the past were profitable but are currently struggling, yet have been making loan payments or are just beginning to miss loan payments due to financial hardship.

ARC loans are made by commercial lenders who are SBA participants. The SBA will pay these banks a monthly interest rate throughout the term of the loan. Lenders can find more information here. Non-SBA lenders can easily become SBA participants by working with their nearest SBA district office. Businesses interested in applying for an ARC loan should first contact their current lender.

ARC loans will be offered by some SBA lenders for as long as funding is available or until September 30, 2010, whichever comes first.