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LTU to host 'Young Women's Leadership Conference' featuring entrepreneur Andra Rush

Lawrence Technological University’s College of Management will host a “Young Women’s Leadership Conference” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Oct. 21 at the university, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield. The event will be held in LTU’s Architecture Building Auditorium (see www.ltu.edu/map).

The event is intended for middle school, high school, and undergraduate young women interested in business, technology, and STEM fields. Around 200 attendees are expected for the event, according to Minakhi Jena, director of business programs in LTU’s College of Management.

“The conference goal is to help build a network of support to empower young women, to provide them with an opportunity to learn about business and technology careers and pathways to success,” Jena said. “It will be an excellent opportunity for young women to interact and learn from accomplished women who work in variety of fields – business, information technology and STEM.”

The event will also include panel discussions and leadership development exercises.

The conference keynote speaker is Andra Rush, CEO of the Rush Group of Companies. She will speak on building businesses in male-dominated industries. Rush launched Rush Trucking Corp. with a $5,000 loan and $3,000 in savings in 1984. Today, Rush Trucking transports goods for Fortune 50 companies across the United States and Canada. She also launched Dakkota Integrated Systems LLC in 2001, providing assembly and sequencing of automotive interiors to several automakers. And in 2012, with joint venture partner Faurecia, she launched Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC, which now employs more than 1,000 people.

The event is free but registration is required by Monday, Oct. 16 at www.ltu.edu/ywlc or by phone at (248) 204-3050. For more information, email mhernande@ltu.edu.

Farmington Hills-based S2 Equipment creates Solar Briefcase and PowerPack for remote energy apps

Excerpt

S2 Equipment in Farmington Hills, which operates The Invention Shop, announced the debut of the Hans PowerPack and the Solar BriefCase 60, which can charge mobile devices during a power outage or provide electrical power during a trip off the grid, at a tailgate party, or at other events.

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Emissions Analytics in Pontiac creates consumer-oriented vehicle EQUA Index

Excerpt

Emissions Analytics, a Pontiac-based provider of Portable Emissions Measurements Systems (PEMS), announced the creation of the EQUA Index, designed for the North American vehicle-buying marketplace.

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Free or low-cost business classes offered in October/November at Oakland County One Stop Shop

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for assistance are encouraged to attend high-value, low- or no-cost business workshops offered by the experts at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call (248) 858-0783.

October/November Workshops:
Five Steps to Networking Mastery
Oct. 4: 9-11:30 a.m.
We have all heard that it is not what you know but whom you know. BARNACLES! It's all about how you are known. This brief, impactful training will teach you how to become an individual to whom people want to refer more business.
You will learn…
  • Why networking works
  • How to be ready to network anywhere
  • Which online sites are worth your time
  • How to identify your ideal referral partners
  • The components of a solid ask
Consider attending if you:
  • Are frustrated with the results of your current networking
  • Uncomfortable networking but know you need to do it more
  • Have a new position and want to increase your pipeline
The better we all get at networking, the better all of our networking will be. Speaker: Terry Bean, founder of Networked Inc. and Motor City Connect.

Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Starting a Business
Oct. 5: 9-11:30 a.m.
Nov. 16: 9-11:30 a.m.
Thinking about starting a business? This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. This workshop will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products and services. Topics like startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with the necessary steps to getting started. If you are ready to start your business this workshop is for you.

Cost: Free | Registration Required

Market Research Basics
Oct. 10: 9-11:30 a.m.
Ready to grow your business? Our Market Research Basics workshop helps you discover ways to find your ideal customers, identify your competitors, perform competitive analysis, identify new site locations, target direct mail campaigns, reveal untapped markets and expand to new and appropriate markets. If you are ready to grow your business, the Market Research Basics workshop is for you.

Cost: Free | Registration Required

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Oct. 11: 9-11 a.m.
Nov. 8: 9-11 a.m.
Have a need for alternative financing for your business? Is your business located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and processes necessary to apply for and obtain a small business loan. If you are interested in alternative financing for your Oakland County small business, then the CEED Lending Small Business Orientation is for you. CEED Lending is an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

Cost: Free | Registration Required

Team SBA Financing Roundtable                                             
Oct. 31 | 9 a.m.-noon

Need the inside scoop on how to obtain a business loan? Attend the Team SBA Financing Roundtable to find out how banks evaluate your application. Learn how to improve your chances for a business loan and how SBA loan guarantee programs can help you get financing. This workshop is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea and funds of their own to invest in the business. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining a business loan this workshop is for you.

Note: Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for resale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtable.

Cost: Free | Registration Required


November Workshops
Social Media for Business Growth
Nov. 15: 9-11:30 a.m.
Business Power Tools – An overview for using LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow any business now.
Whether you call it social media or social networking or web 2.0 or internet marketing, the question on every professional’s mind is this: “Is social media a waste of time or an essential power tool for business in a post phonebook world?”
The simple answer is “Yes.”

Amid all of the distractions, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are emerging as essential tools for marketing your business. Join Terry Bean from Motor City Connect for this entertaining and educational seminar as he takes you through the tools and rules of social media. You’ll learn what works, what to avoid and how to use LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to grow your network, engage prospects and generate profit. Get ready to kick your internet marketing presence into gear.

This class is designed to use these tools for profit. We will cover:
  • Three things you MUST do to find success on each platform
  • How to use status updates that gain attention
  • Managing priorities so you’re not stuck in an endless loop
  • How to make posting simpler
  • The fastest way to grow your audience
  • Which 2-3 platforms are best for you
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Oct. 5: 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 2: 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
In Waterford: One Stop Shop Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford
In Novi: Novi Civic Center - Community Development Center Room, 45175 Ten Mile Road, Novi

Whether you opened a business or you’re thinking about it, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center has resources to help you. We can provide you with confidential small business counseling. You receive one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant – with no appointment necessary. Consultants offer direct answers to your questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These high value services are offered at no charge to you. Walk-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each session is limited to 15 minutes.

Harness the power of leadership

Most employee development courses include: (1) Bribe people into a conference room with coffee and bagels; (2) Have someone stand in front of the room all day while telling the group things they should be doing; (3) Break into discussion groups to make things “interactive;” (4) Go home wondering what was learned. 
 
This cycle of employee development falls short in effectiveness, value and practicality. This is why Leader Dogs for the Blind developed Harness the Power of Leadership (HPL), a leadership, management and team-building workshop unlike anything in the industry. The one-day workshop is held on the Leader Dog campus in Rochester Hills or at the attending organization’s facilities. The workshop accommodates up to 24 participants (but can be adapted to varying class sizes) and teaches fundamental leadership and management concepts using guide dogs as tools to exemplify the material. 
 
Under blindfold, attendees work hands-on with guide dogs to learn concepts of effective leadership. The course is led by a person who is blind who shows how the working relationship between a Leader Dog and its handler provides valuable lessons that lead to success when applied to business.
 
“I do not consider my blindness to be a disability,” commented Leader Dog presenter Richard “Buss” Brauer.  “It certainly is an inconvenience. But the lessons Leader Dog taught me about leadership, communication and decision-making are what allowed me to achieve such a high degree of business and personal success.  People are simply blown away by how applicable this model is in the professional world.”
 
Lessons learned in many employee development courses are often forgotten and just not used. HPL is an effective program because attendees learn through personal experience so they readily remember the lessons and subsequently implement them in their daily work.

“We all know employees react negatively when they are being ‘preached to’ or face hours of lecture,” says Dani Landolt, Leader Dog’s chief marketing officer. “HPL’s value is in its unique delivery of leadership concepts and team empowerment in a truly interactive and interesting way.”
 
Leader Dog will be hosting a session of Harness the Power of Leadership open to individual attendees on October 4, 2017. This is a great opportunity to experience HPL yourself and learn how it can benefit your organization. The session will be held at Leader Dogs for the Blind, 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, Michigan, from 8:30-4:30 p.m. The cost for this full-day leadership experience is $375.00 per person.
 
To learn more about this valuable leadership experience, contact David Bann at Leader Dogs for the Blind by calling 248.218.6318 or emailing dave.bann@leaderdog.org.

OU retains gold status ranking among veteran-friendly schools in Michigan

For the second straight year, Oakland University was awarded the highest possible ranking for veteran-friendliness by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The organization recently published its 2017-2018 list of Veteran Friendly Schools, which recognizes institutions of higher learning for dedication to student veterans and dependents utilizing their G.I. Bill and other educational benefits. 
 
“The continued growth of MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly School Program demonstrates the dedication our state’s academic institutions have to the success of our student veteran population,” said MVAA Director James Robert Redford in a release. “Michigan is fortunate to have top quality educational institutions that maintain high standards of support and services for our growing population of veterans and their families. The program makes it easy for students to identify which schools are invested in their success, and we greatly appreciate the commitment of this year’s participants.”
 
Based on a variety of factors, the 70 schools on this year’s list were grouped into bronze, silver and gold levels of recognition. Oakland was one of 41 schools to earn a gold-level designation and one of 28 schools that fulfilled all seven evaluation criteria, listed below.
  • Established process for identification of current student veterans
  • Veteran-specific website
  • Active student-operated veterans club or association
  • Veteran-specific career services, resources, advising and/or outcome monitoring
  • On-campus veteran’s coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact
  • System to evaluate and award credit based on prior military training and experience
  • Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, transfer and graduation rates
 “This is a great honor for Oakland University, and I am humbled to be able to play a part in receiving this well-deserved recognition,” said Eric Wuestenberg, coordinator of Oakland’s Office of Veterans Support Services. “Earning the MVAA's Gold Level status for another year signifies that we continue to provide support to our students at the highest level possible, and they deserve nothing less.”
 
To learn more about veteran support services at Oakland, visit oakland.edu/veterans or call (248) 370-2010.

National program to connect 500 high school students with 35 advanced manufacturing companies

High school students from Oakland Schools’ four technical campuses and other local schools will tour 35 high-tech manufacturing locations in the county October 6 as part of National Manufacturing Day.

Students will see firsthand the state-of-the-art technologies used in today’s manufacturing and discuss the processes with the highly skilled professionals during facility tours scheduled throughout Oakland County during the morning-long event.

“The goal of our third annual Manufacturing Day in Oakland County is to inspire our young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and the skilled trades,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “There are a lot of great, in-demand jobs available in our region and this event helps introduce them to these opportunities. It’s an exciting day for all those who participate – the students, their teachers and the manufacturers who host the tours.”

Oakland County Manufacturing Day is organized by the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, in partnership with Oakland Schools, Oakland Community College, the Oakland County Business Roundtable’s Oakland NEXT committee and Oakland County Michigan Works! Event’s sponsors include Magna International, Lawrence Technological University, Kelly Services, FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Automation Alley, Wenzel and Oakland Community College.

Nationally, the U.S. manufacturing sector supports more than 18.5 million jobs, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The manufacturing sector accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product annually, according to NIST data.

Southfield-based automotive supplier Comau is hosting students at three locations in Oakland County. Mark Bologna, head of manufacturing at Comau-NAFTA, said the increase in automation and digital factories has made it critical to have a highly skilled manufacturing workforce and Manufacturing Day introduces a new generation of potential employees to the company.

“The opportunities in today’s manufacturing environment are exciting and varied, offering a wide variety of interesting challenges to people just entering the workforce,” Bologna said. “Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity for students looking at possible career choices to learn firsthand about Comau’s advanced technologies and types of jobs required to design, manufacture and launch automation systems within a digital environment.”

Other Oakland County manufacturers hosting students include AAM – Auburn Hills Manufacturing, ABB Inc., Atlas Copco Tools and Assembly Systems LLC, Automation & Modular Components, BEHCO-MRM, Berkley Machine Products, Brose North America, Cosma Body Assembly Michigan, DASI Solutions, DENSO, Encore Automation, Fata Automation Inc., Ferndale Laboratories Inc., Garden Fresh Gourmet, General Motors Global Propulsion Systems – Pontiac Engineering Center, GKN, Gonzalez Production Systems, Hirata Corporation of America, Hirotec America Inc., High-Tech Mold & Engineering, Inductoheat Inc., Kawasaki Robotics (USA) Inc., Lear Corp., Mahindra Automotive North America, Moeller Aerospace, Moeller Precision Tool, MPD Welding Inc., Roechling Automotive, Total Door and Wenzel America Ltd.

As with any event, volunteers play a key role, with two adults accompanying students to each tour site.

Paul Galbenski, dean of the Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast in Pontiac, said Manufacturing Day is an important component of career development and planning for high school students. There are four technical campuses: Clarkston, Pontiac, Royal Oak and Wixom. They provide students with both technical skills in a variety of fields and the required academic credits to graduate. The opportunity to bring education and industry together during Manufacturing Day is a win-win situation for everyone, he said.

“Our students win as they are able to visualize how the technical training they are receiving from us opens doors for them to career options in manufacturing and skilled trades,” Galbenski said. “It’s a win for our business and industry partners as they have potential future employees in their facilities to show them the multitude of high wage, high demand and high skills careers available in Michigan and around the globe.”

In addition to the tours, students will participate in an interactive presentation on in-demand skills and advanced manufacturing jobs throughout Metro Detroit by representatives from Troy-based Kelly Services. Topics include the value of building a professional network, how to leverage social media to find employment and the importance of gaining new skills throughout their working lives to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the workplace.

National Manufacturing Day is increasing positive perceptions of manufacturing with students. According to a survey of 1,400 Manufacturing Day 2016 participants from across the country, sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte:
  • 90 percent thought the Manufacturing Day activities were interesting and engaging
  • 84 percent said that they were now more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities
  • 81 percent thought manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding
  • 62 percent were more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing
For more information on Oakland County Manufacturing Day, visit OakGov.com/MFGDay. Other websites include ManufactureMyFuture.comMfgDay.com and MITradeSchool.org.

On social media, connect to the event using #MfgDay17 and #MfgOak.

Tech248 member MatchRX revolutionizing surplus prescription drug industry

Excerpt

Check out this cool Tech248 member company MatchRX a private web-based inter-pharmacy marketplace to buy and sell small quantities of non-controlled, non-expired overstocked prescription drugs and drugs in short supply to satisfy a specific patient need or declared public health emergency.

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Kids showcase creativity at Pontiac Business Fair

The 377 Center in Pontiac was abuzz with energy August 19, as at least 50 people crammed into the small space to attend a business fair featuring 14 local businesses. However, this wasn’t the typical business fair, as the entrepreneurs behind the booths were only between the ages of six and twelve.
 
Nonprofit Young Entrepreneurs Squad hosted the first annual Pontiac Children’s Business Fair, which showcased various businesses operated by children in the metro Detroit area.
 
Founded in 2016, the organization provides services such as coaching, mentoring, entrepreneurial training, and workforce development to children, parents, schools, and universities.
 
Founder Mary Evans drew inspiration for YES and ultimately the business fair from her grandson, Amari. When he was five years old, Amari began expressing an interest in having his own business. Evans didn’t think much about Amari becoming an entrepreneur until he set up a lemonade stand last year, making $120 in six hours. Now 7, Amari is the president of the for-profit division of YES where he sells T-shirts.
 
Evans found the 14 young entrepreneurs for the fair online, as applicants registered on the organization’s website. Social media also helped spread the word.
 
“Social media is awesome,” Evans says. “Our Facebook post was shared over 1,000 times through support from individuals in the community.”
 
Various types of businesses showcased their wares at the fair, including jewelry, hair accessories, beauty products, and desserts. One of the businesses selling sweets was Bella’s Organic Ice Cream, which is run by 12-year-old Isabella Henson, her 8-year-old brother, Miles, and their cousin Grace, 11. Grace said the three of them started their business six months ago after Isabella discovered she had an intolerance to cane sugar.
 
While the Hensons would not disclose any of the ingredients they use in their ice cream, maple syrup is one component, says Isabella. Bella's Organic Ice Cream comes in vanilla and chocolate, costing $2.50 each. The Pontiac Children’s Fair marks the first time the family members have sold their product.
 
“It’s fun, and we wanted to share with other people that ice cream doesn’t have to be bad for you,” says Grace.
 
At the table next to them was the business, 2 Chocolate Sisters and a Mister. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and bow ties in vibrant colors and prints lined the table. The owners of the jewelry and accessory company are siblings Sydnee, 11, Jeremiah, 9, and Danyelle McCray, 8. Their mother, Moneece Borders, remembers when Sydnee became interested having a business.
 
“She made me some earrings for my birthday, and she made them out of old jeans I had,” Borders says, smiling. “And she said we have a name for our business, and I’m like, ‘What business?’ Then she said, ‘Two Chocolate Sisters and a Mister,’ and I just fell out because it was so cute.”
 
The siblings began making crafts in 2015 and made their business official on Christmas Day of last year when Borders registered their name with Oakland County. The McCray siblings usually sell their items at school or at Border’s home daycare in Pontiac. The fair is the first event they have attended to sell their products.
 
Sydnee says she enjoys running a business with her brother and sister.
 
“It’s really fun, and if we’re ever bored, we can sit together, talk, and make jewelry.”
 
On the other side of the room, 8-year-old Christen Elliott was busy selling her line of lip balm. The Detroit entrepreneur is the owner of Polished Puckers by Devani, which has lip balm in a variety of flavors such as “Sizzlin’ Strawberry” and “Coolin’ Coconut.”
 
Elliot’s mother, LaToya Lathan, says they began the business last October to help children get rid of chapped lips, a problem her daughter once had.
 
“Christen suffered from chapped lips, especially during the winter, so we were spending money on a lot of lip balm that wasn’t working,” Lathan says. “So we started using stuff around the house, and it was working. But I knew I couldn’t send her to school with a jar of coconut oil or a tube of shea butter. So I presented to her, ‘Hey, how do you feel about starting a lip balm business and helping others that suffer from chapped lips?’ And from that day, she was excited. She got a journal, we sat down and came up with a name and started coming up with flavors.”
 
Since then, the mother and daughter have been busy promoting Polished Puckers. The first event Elliot showcased her products was at the Think Pink cheerleading competition at Cass Technical High School, which was then followed by a fashion show held by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation at Motor City Casino and Hotel. The Pontiac fair marks the tenth event Elliot has attended as a vendor.
 
In addition to events, Elliot and Lathan are active on social media, as they have Facebook and Instagram accounts for the business. Shoppers can make orders by email, with the item shipped to their house. Customers will soon be able to shop on the Polished Puckers website when it launches later this month, says Lathan.
 
In addition, the two have recently created a unisex lip balm line and label to broaden their audience, and Elliot is in the process of launching a surprise product for the company’s one year anniversary.
 
Elliott says she likes running her own business because helping others makes her “feel good.”
 
“The response we have been getting has been amazing,” says Lathan. “So far, we have been doing really well.”

Automation Alley Swiss tenant company APAG Cosyst opens office in Madison Heights

With assistance from Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, another international company is setting up shop in Southeast Michigan. APAG Cosyst of Switzerland has moved out of Automation Alley’s International Business Center in Troy, Mich. and into a facility in Madison Heights, Mich. The company is expected to hire 13 employees for the new location, which will serve as a customer support office. In addition to the Madison Heights office, the company is also seeking a location for a manufacturing site that will eventually house 150 employees.
 
“We are pleased to see another one of our international tenant companies find a home in Southeast Michigan,” said Noel Nevshehir, Automation Alley’s director of International Business Services. “By attracting foreign companies to our region, introducing them to potential business partners and assisting in site selection, we are driving local economic growth and helping to create new jobs in our region.”
 
APAG Cosyst, manufacturers and designers of electronic applications for Tier 1 and industrial customers worldwide, came to Automation Alley looking to grow their business in North America, specifically in Michigan.
 
“We were recently awarded a design program with a major automotive company and saw an opportunity to grow our U.S. design team quickly, which will require more people and space to accommodate them,” said Dan McGregor, APAG Cosyst vice president of sales. “APAG CoSyst LLC is extraordinarily thankful for all the support from the Automation Alley team and specifically from the International Business Center. We have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, all the perks of being an Automaton Alley member."
 
Automation Alley’s International Business Center, located inside Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, Mich. provides up to 90 days of soft landing space for international companies to use as a home base while exploring opportunities to do business in Southeast Michigan.
 
Since 2011, Automation Alley has assisted 20 foreign companies in establishing their operations in Southeast Michigan, which has created 694 well-paying, high-value jobs for the region.
 
Automation Alley’s 3,200-square-foot International Business Center includes three meeting rooms with communications technology, three private offices, an open office area and convenient access to Automation Alley’s International Business Services staff.
 
In addition to temporary office space, tenants of the International Business Center receive assistance with site selection and introductions to potential business partners, clients and employees to jump-start their business. 
 
For more information about Automation Alley’s International Business Center, contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or info@automationalley.com.

Gonna need more thread: Downtown Pontiac sewing factory expands to bigger building

Detroit Sewn, the full-service sewing factory in downtown Pontiac, is growing. As the company recently celebrated its two-year anniversary, this summer it also achieved another significant milestone: A move from its original location to a larger facility.

The 5,000 sq. ft. space at 67 N. Saginaw St. affords Detroit Sewn the ability to meet the growing sewing and production needs of the region, giving the company room for more machines and more services. Originally offering services like product development, pattern and sample making, and cutting and sewing, Detroit Sewn has expanded to offer spot and full dye sublimation, direct-to-garment printing, and blank apparel orders.

The former editor of the StyleLine magazine, Detroit Sewn owner Karen Buscemi has spent more than 20 years in the fashion industry. She founded the non-profit Detroit Garment Group in 2012 and is helping to establish Detroit's Garment District.

Buscemi started Detroit Sewn as a response to inquiries made by metro Detroit's fashion community. She wanted to build something locally and see if was sustainable.

And sustain it she has.

"There's been a lot more need for this type of business than I ever imagined," says Buscemi. "I thought I had a handle on the size of our community, but it's way bigger than I thought."

The company receives inquiries every day, she says, and mostly from in-state residents -- a good sign for Michigan's fashion industry. "It's exciting to see that many people following their passion."

And it's not only the fashion industry that requires Buscemi's services. Just this week, Detroit Sewn sent out an order for another local company, Rochester's Seatsational, a maker of seat covers for theaters, sports venues, airplanes, and more.

Where there's a need, there's an opportunity.

"We need to show that this kind of manufacturing can be done here and be successful here if we ever want manufacturers to come from other states," Buscemi says.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Highland Raw, what a deal

Excerpt

How did a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette and a theatrical prop master find themselves starting a business in Highland, making a very special dog food? It’s complicated, but a growing family and a German Shepherd named Sascha are important to their story.

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At Home opens third Detroit-area home decor superstore in Wixom

At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME), one of the fastest-growing retailers in the nation, opens its newest location in Wixom, Michigan, today at 10800 Assembly Park Drive. The new store is the third in the Detroit area and the eighth in the state, with other locations in Saginaw, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Jenison, Utica, Dearborn and Bloomfield Hills.
 
The new 100,000-square-foot store offers more than 50,000 home décor items from furniture, mirrors, rugs, art and housewares to tabletop, patio and seasonal, including more than 100 different artificial Christmas tree varieties.  
 
“At Home has the widest selection of home décor items to fit any budget or style, from modern to farmhouse, boho to elegant,” said At Home Store Director Rachel Carrillo. “We welcome everyone to come in, explore our newest store and find decorating inspiration to turn any house into a home.”
 
Shoppers will find style ideas throughout the store, with room vignettes that are continually updated to showcase the latest trends and seasonal items. More than 400 new products are brought in each week to provide fresh inspiration.
 
Opening events include a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, with the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, followed by a grand opening celebration Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 9 a.m., with mystery gift card giveaways valued at $20-$200 for the first 50 people in line.
 
The Wixom At Home is one of more than 25 new store openings across the U.S. this year for the home décor chain and will bring 25 jobs to the area.
 
ABOUT AT HOME:
At Home (NYSE: HOME), the home décor superstore, offers more than 50,000 on-trend home products to fit any budget or style, from sofas, dining sets, mattresses and patio furniture to lamps, pillows, kitchenware, rugs and more, plus seasonal décor that includes yard displays, lights and Christmas trees. At Home is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and currently operates 141 stores in 33 states. For more information, visit the company online http://www.athome.com or find us on Facebook (AtHomeStores), Instagram (AtHomeStores) or Pinterest (AtHomeStores).

Farmington Hills manufacturer teams with OU to turn water into electricity

A Farmington Hills-based company believes it has a developed a game-changing product for the clean energy industry. And a unique partnership with Oakland University has helped convince them and many others that they've done just that.

It's called the Oscillo Drive, a device developed and patented by Wave Water Works, LLC. Basically, the Oscillo Drive is placed in water and uses the motion of waves to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The device produces energy, which is then moved to a generator, converting that energy into electrical energy. It is quiet, renewable, and sheds no pollution.

"And the amazing thing is, the damn thing works," says Wave Water Works project director and general manager Chuck Keys.

Another seemingly amazing part of the story is that the Oscillo Drive had been sitting on the shelf for three decades before its inventor, Phil Padula, president and CEO of Wave Water Works, hired Keys in 2013 to bring the product to market. Keys has been talking to interested parties as near as Macomb County and as far as Israel and India.

The Oscillo Drive is going into production this winter and the company will have projects in the water the following spring.

The company enrolled in the Oakland University INC business incubator program last year, gaining access to important equipment and help from engineering faculty and 43 students. Keys estimates that Wave Water Works received $1.5 million in professional engineering services as a result of the partnership.

"We needed to be able to test the device," he says. "We knew it worked but we needed to be able to measure it. At OU, we were able to run it through a battery of tests."

Wave Water Works is also readying an Oscillo Drive that works in rivers. A desalination device is also nearing production.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Free or low-cost business classes in September/October at the Oakland County One Stop Shop

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for assistance are encouraged to attend high-value, low- or no-cost business workshops offered by the experts at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call 248-858-0783.

September/October Workshops:
Starting a Business
Sept. 7 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Oct. 5 | 9-11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed for those who want to start a business. It will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products and services. Topics like startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with the necessary steps to getting started. If you are ready to start your business this workshop is for you.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Sept. 13 | 9-11 a.m.
Oct. 11 | 9-11 a.m.
Have a need for alternative financing for your business and it’s located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover how to apply for and obtain a small business loan. If you are interested in alternative financing for your Oakland County small business, then the CEED Lending Small Business Orientation is for you. CEED Lending is an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. 
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Orientation (WBE)
Sept. 21 | 9-11 a.m.
Attention Women Entrepreneurs: Consider becoming a Certified Women Owned Business. Learn the benefits of joining the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). WBE certification benefits include accessing procurement opportunities with national companies looking to do business with women- and minority-owned companies. If you are ready to take your women-owned business to the next level, this workshop is for you.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

Avoiding Costly Real Estate Mistakes
Sept. 21 | 9-10:30 a.m.
Did you know your lease for commercial space could be time bomb waiting to explode?
When looking for commercial space most people focus on the base rent, not realizing terms in the lease could cost them even more. Many people don’t realize that office, industrial and retail leases typically have different ways of charging for expenses. Are you signing a pure gross lease or not?
Do you have a relocation clause in your lease? Should you care?
Lynn Drake, president and founder of Compass Commercial, leads the discussion.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

October Workshops
Five Steps to Networking Mastery
Oct. 4 | 9-11:30 a.m.
We have all heard it’s not what you know but whom you know. BARNACLES! It's all about how you are known. This brief, impactful training will teach you how to become the preferred choice for business referrals.
You will learn…
  • Why networking works
  • How to be ready to network anywhere anytime 
  • Which online sites are worth your time
  • How to identify your ideal referral partners
  • The components of a solid ask
Consider attending if you are frustrated with the results of your current networking; uncomfortable networking but know you need to do it more; or have a new position and want to increase your pipeline. The better we are at networking, the better our networking will be. Speaker: Terry Bean, founder of Networked Inc. and Motor City Connect
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Market Research Basics
Oct. 10 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Ready to grow your business? Our Market Research Basics workshop helps you discover ways to find your ideal customers, identify competitors, perform competitive analysis, identify new site locations, target direct mail campaigns, reveal untapped markets and expand to new and appropriate markets. If you are ready to grow your business, the Market Research Basics workshop is for you.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Team SBA Financing Roundtable
Oct. 31 | 9 a.m.-noon
Need the inside scoop on how to obtain a business loan? Attend the Team SBA Financing Roundtable to find out how banks evaluate your application. Learn how to improve your chances for a business loan and how SBA loan guarantee programs can help you get financing. This workshop is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea, and funds of their own to invest in the business. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining a business loan, then this workshop is for you.
Note: Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for resale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtable.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Sept. 7 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
In Waterford: One Stop Shop Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford
In Novi: Novi Civic Center - Community Development Center Room, 45175 Ten Mile Road, Novi
Whether you opened a business or you’re thinking about it, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center has resources to help you. We provide confidential small business counseling, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant. No appointment necessary. Consultants answer questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These no-cost sessions are limited to 15 minutes and first-come, first-served.
 
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