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IT sales pros launch own firm, Prime-IT-Solutions

Pete Kaczmarek worked for someone else for 20 years. He did sales in technology and IT, and it did it well. So well that he decided he could do it better on his own and launched his own company.

"I felt like I was on a remote island, and I am doing everything anyway," Kaczmarek says.

So he started Prime-IT-Solutions. The Troy-based company is value-added reseller of technology. Kaczmarek and his team of eight people are selling equipment for the likes of data centers and other IT applications.

Prime-IT-Solutions is targeting small businesses at first, primarily those with fewer than 50 employees. Kaczmarek sees that section as underserved and have significant growth potential. He is also selling to a few larger businesses, mainly because of his history in that area.

"I knew the people," Kaczmarek says. "It was a smooth transition."

Source: Pete Kaczmarek, president of Prime-IT-Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Electro-Matic and Siemens Collaborate on two-day Ford Field technology transfer event

Regional manufacturing technology firm Electro-Matic Ventures, Inc. in collaboration with global engineering and electronics giant, Siemens, once again presents the Midwest’s premiere technology transfer event, Manufacturing In America featuring Technology Tip-Off, March 11-12 at Ford Field in Detroit.

This two-day symposium and technology show brings top decision-makers in automotive and related industries together with the brightest minds and visionaries in manufacturing technology. The genesis and ongoing theme of the event is “Community.  Collaboration. Innovation.” At stake is the transfer of leading edge technology to designers, engineers and executives in manufacturing, operations and facilities management that will leverage America’s growth position.

 “U.S. manufacturing has made a tremendous comeback, and few areas of the country demonstrate this more so than Michigan,” said John Billings, Vice President Head of Automotive, Aerospace and Turnkey Solutions, Siemens Digital Factory, U.S.  “The Detroit area has always played a significant role in the advancement of U.S. industry, which is now being driven by innovation and new technologies such as automation and digitalization. Our Manufacturing in America Symposium provides the venue to explore, discuss and demonstrate these concepts, and how companies are investing in technology to become more competitive.”

To underscore the importance of innovation and new thinking, the keynote address for Day One’s Automotive Manufacturing Summit will be delivered by Jeremy Gutsche, founder of TrendHunter.com and a renowned innovation expert and author. Gutsche and other prominent thought leaders will discuss transformative technologies and concepts, such as the digital factory, technology trends and the future of automotive manufacturing.

Throughout both days, Technology-Tip Off will host more than 100 seminars and over 50 industry vendors presenting successful technology solutions. This year’s seminar schedule has been expanded to four learning tracks: Automation and Controls Engineering; Drives and Motion; Energy and Facilities Management; Plant Engineering and Maintenance. Attendees will learn about advances in digitalization, sensing, controls, wireless networks, and user interfaces that continue to remake the modern manufacturing facility.

“The Holy Grail in manufacturing technology is a factory where human and machine intelligence come together in a fully integrated environment that is efficient, responsive, comfortable, sustainable and profitable,” said Richard Laramee, President/COO of Electro-Matic Ventures. “It’s being done, and Technology Tip-Off is the place to find out who is doing it and how.”

As always, Technology Tip-Off is an energetic exchange of ideas, fascinating product demonstrations, and interactive fun. Take a few swings in the golf simulator or a behind-the-scenes tour of Ford Field. Kick field goals down on the playing surface. Network at the after-show reception on Wednesday. Last year more than 2,200 attended Manufacturing In America featuring Technology Tip-Off. Organizers anticipate a crowd of more than 2,500 for this year’s event. 

There is no charge for admission to Manufacturing In America / Technology Tip-Off, or any of its events, courtesy of Electro-Matic and Siemens, but registration is required.  To register and download full event information click here: techtipoff.com/register

Electro-Matic: Turning innovation into value. Since 1969, Electro-Matic has helped transform American industry by supplying automation components and solutions to leading U. S. manufacturers. Today, Electro-Matic Ventures continues to leverage the value of emerging technologies by developing practical applications for industrial, commercial and retail markets. As a technology company, we help our customers turn innovation into value. As a one-hundred percent employee-owned business, our customers enjoy the benefit of a supplier partner intently focused on delivering strong value-for-value relationships. 
 

March business workshops offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by 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.

Get a Grip on Your Business
March 5, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
If you are a growth-oriented entrepreneur with revenues between $2 million - $50 million having 10-250 employees who wants to see your business consistently run better and grow faster, this class is for you. You will build a focused action plan using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) workbook, which contains the tools that will help you to gain more traction in your business. Don’t let the company run you - Get a Grip on Your Business. Presented by: Mike Kotsis, GPS for Small Business
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
March 10, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Are you thinking of starting a business and want to research your business idea? Do you want to identify market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required. 

CEED® Small Business Loan Orientation    
March 11, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Many small business owners face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. If your business is in Oakland County and you need alternative financing, consider the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED) Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a CEED small business loan.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Starting a Business
March 12, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting 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/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced along with necessary steps to getting started.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Break the Rules, Close More Sales
March 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This is a business development workshop for business owners, company presidents/CEO's and professional service firms and sales people. Consider attending if you or your team are:
  • Worried the slow economy is hurting business
  • Concerned that your marketing and prospecting activities are not putting you before enough
    qualified prospects
  • Experiencing longer and longer sales cycle
In two hours, you'll learn how to establish trust with your prospects, shorten the sales cycle, and eliminate stalls and objections. Presented by Sandler Training President, Erik Meier
Fee: $40 per person.
 
Capital Raise
March 17, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
If you are a start-up or early-stage growth-based business looking for funding, come meet and listen to capital expert Mike Brennan. He will detail the various capital sources in Michigan, and talk about how to position your company to qualify for private funding, including private equity, the angel network and venture capital, and/or public funding, including grants, pre-seed, micro-loans and venture match.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required. 

WBE Certification Orientation
March 25, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Learn the benefits and process of becoming a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE). Benefits include certification to private sector WBE's and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies. For additional information on WBE or CEED visit www.miceed.org.
Fee: $25 per person.

Introduction to QuickBooks
March 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This introduction class will provide an overview of QuickBooks®. It is designed for a person who is new to QuickBooks® or worked within the software in a limited capacity. ATD Solutions will cover the basic areas within QuickBooks® such as invoicing customers, receiving payments and making deposits, entering and paying vendor bills, generating financial statements, and more.
Fee: $60 per person.

SCORE Loan Workshop
March 26, 9 a.m. to noon.
Getting a business loan can be a challenging process. Learn about the "5 Cs of Credit," including how to develop a winning loan proposal and what you need to position your business to be "bankable" before you meet with a lender.
Fee: $20 per person.

Legal Basics for Small Business
March 31, 9 a.m. to noon
Legal Basics for Small Business provides new and existing Michigan entrepreneurs an understanding of the key legal and financial considerations when starting and operating a business in the state. The program addresses how to select the best legal entity for your business, how to protect your business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors and important information and guidelines for establishing short- and long-term succession plans for your business.
Fee: $25 per person. 
Future Workshops

April 2015
08: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
08: Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion 09: Starting a Business
30: Create Your Marketing Plan

May 2015
05: Business Research
07: Get a Grip on Your Business
12: QuickBooks for Business Owners
13: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation 14: Starting a Business
14: Break the Rules, Close More Sales
21: Team SBA Financing Roundtable 
 

Michigan awards $50M for skilled trades training

Excerpt:

Eighteen community colleges will receive $50 million in grants toward state-of-the art equipment and training in the technical trades under a new program.

The Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program is an effort to help close the talent gap and meet demand for good-paying jobs, Gov. Rick Snyder said during a press call.

Read more.
 

Broadsword Solutions hits 30 percent growth, hires more staff

Broadsword Solutions scored some big wins in 2014, setting the stage for the Waterford-based firm to consolidate a lot of those gains this year.

The technology consulting company grew its revenue by 30 percent in 2014. That enabled it to hire two more people, including a senior consultant and a director of strategic solutions. It is still looking to hire another senior consultant. The 10-year-old firm currently employs 10 people.

"Last year was our biggest year ever," says Jeff Dalton, president of Broadsword Solutions. "We have grown into new states. We're currently in 12 states now."

Broadsword Solutions got its start providing tech consulting to local automotive and manufacturing industries. It has transitioned to doing more work with the federal government. It spent much of last year doing work with the likes of NASA and the U.S. General Accounting Office.

"Now we are focusing on the clients we have, and make what we do with them even better," Dalton says.

Source: Jeff Dalton, president of Broadsword Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

IPS Technology Services adds 5 new staffers, looks to hire 3 more

Revenue increases have become par for the course for IPS Technology Services since its launch in 2009.

Back then the Troy-based tech firm had revenues in the five figures. Those have risen sharply each year since. Revenues crossed into six figures within three years and into seven figures within four years.
 
"Now the challenge is to maintain it," says Pradip Sengupta, president of IPS Technology Services.

IPS Technology Services works primarily in technology spaces, such as software, IT and staffing. It has made significant gains in sending new employees to other companies in the IT and engineering fields. That has allowed the company to hire five people over the last year in IT, business analysts, and software development. It currently has a staff of 30 employees and is looking to hire three more in software development right now.

"We try to hire the best," Sengupta says.

Sengupta credits the company's rise to its ability to deliver on its services and please its customers. He expects that philosophy to carry the company's growth trajection this year.

"We would love to cross the $2 million mark," Sengupta says. "Our goal is $2.5 million. We want to hit $20 million in 2020."

Source: Pradip Sengupta, president of IPS Technology Services
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

GM will build Chevrolet Bolt at small-car plant north of Detroit

Excerpt: 

The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept unveiled by General Motors last month at the Detroit auto show will reportedly not be just a concept much longer. 

Citing two anonymous supplier sources, Reuters reports that GM plans to begin production of the vehicle - or at least an electric vehicle akin to it - in October 2016 at GM's Orion Township plant where it currently assembles the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano. 

Read more.
 

OUWB receives full accreditation from the LCME

Founding Dean Robert Folberg, M.D., was notified that the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has been granted full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

This five-year accreditation fulfills a promise Oakland University and Beaumont Health System leaders made six years ago to build an innovative new medical school in Oakland County committed to providing exceptional training for new physicians.

"We are grateful to many people from Oakland and Beaumont and to our faculty, staff and students for having the vision and drive to reach today's announcement of full accreditation," said Dr. Folberg.

The LCME, sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association, is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to a medical degree in the United States and Canada.

"Medical education has been a part of Beaumont's mission throughout its 60-year history and is a commitment that is shared by Oakwood and Botsford, our partners in the new Beaumont Health," says Gene Michalski, president and CEO, Beaumont Health. "We congratulate Dean Folberg, his staff and the OUWB faculty, including 1,405 Beaumont physician faculty members, for attaining this important milestone for our medical school."

"We couldn't be more delighted by today's LCME news of full accreditation," added Oakland University President George W. Hynd. "We are proud of the work done by Dr. Folberg and his team, including our partners at Beaumont. We know our medical students will appreciate this validation that their medical education is rated among the very best in the country."

OUWB is now preparing for the school's first residency Match Day on March 20, when students will learn where they will attend their residency programs. The school will graduate its inaugural class of 47 students on May 15. 

Interviews are currently under way for its fifth class where 125 students will be accepted into the new class from more than 6,100 applicants.

OUWB now joins allopathic, M.D.-granting, medical schools in Michigan at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Michigan State University with full accreditation.

About Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is a collaborative, diverse, inclusive, and technologically advanced learning community, dedicated to enabling students to become skillful, ethical, and compassionate physicians, inquisitive scientists who are invested in the scholarship of discovery, and dynamic and effective medical educators.

About Beaumont Health
Beaumont Health is a not-for-profit organization formed by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide high quality, efficient, accessible services in a caring environment for Southeastern Michigan residents and beyond. It consists of eight hospitals with 3,337 beds, 153 outpatient sites, 5,000 physicians, more than 33,000 employees and about 3,500 volunteers. In 2013, the combined organizations had 168,047 inpatient admissions, 15,997 births and 492,677 emergency visits. For more information, visit beaumonthealth.org.
 

Birmingham inventor's grip-on sunglasses begins retailer rollout

Excerpt:

Birmingham’s Nancy Oram’s innovative idea to keep sunglasses or reading glasses from falling off your head or getting lost, will be hitting the shelves of select stores and boutiques nationwide later this month.

Read more.
 

Metro Detroit on par with Silicon Valley in tech jobs

Excerpt:

The southeast Michigan region is on par with famed Silicon Valley when it comes to jobs and employers working in the tech industry, according to a report released Thursday by Anderson Economic Group.

Read more.
 

App firm jacapps adds voice-recognition technology to arsenal

Bingham Farm-based jacapps recently signed a deal to partner XAPPmedia to bring new voice recognition technology to its line of mobile apps.

Radio stations have been leveraging jacapps mobile apps for years, giving the company enough credibility to expand its client base into other industries, such as automotive. XAPPmedia provides an interactive audio advertising service, utilizing voice recognition technology. That way people listening to an ad on the radio can respond to a cue on the advertisement to make an order with just their voice. No buttons needed.

"We think this is a huge leap forward," says Bob Kernen, COO of jacapps. "You can see how it can be a big driver with ads."

The 6-year-old company also recently launched a new product platform that allows it to streamline the creation of its apps.

"It allows us to work in a much more efficient way," Kernen says. "We don't need to build each app from scratch. We can configure them to our clients needs."

Which has allowed the company to grow its revenue by 20 percent over the last year. That in turn has prompted jacapps to hire two people (software developers), rounding its staff out to 10 employees and an intern.

"We have had really strong revenue growth over the last few years," Kernen says.

Source: Bob Kernen, COO of jacapps
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Reliance One hires 15 as it expands across Midwest

Reliance One has become a staple in the staffing business in Michigan over its 16 years.

The Auburn Hills-based company is now working toward expanding that reputation, opening a new office in Chicago this winter.

"We have clients in that market and clients we currently have locally have offices in Chicago," says Jim Beath, co-founder & chairman of Reliance One. "We need to continue that relationship with our clients."

The company has grown significantly over the last few years, notching a double-digit revenue gain in 2014. It’s on pace to do it again this year. That growth has allowed the company to hire 15 people over the last year, including recruiters, administrative, and back office support staff. It now has a staff of 65 employees and an intern. It is also looking to hire four more recruiters and promote more people internally.

"We added a lot of great people that have learned a lot about our company and our industry," Beath says.

Source: Jim Beath, co-founder & chairman of Reliance One
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Clicktivated Video turns watching videos into revenue events

Chris Roebuck started a company out of frustration while trying to relax. The founder & CEO of Clicktivated Video wanted more when he was watching a video on a small, mobile screen, so his Metro Detroit-based company is tackling it.

"There was no way of satisfying the urge to dive deeper into the online video while you’re watching it," Roebuck says.

Clicktivated Video, which has offices in Birmingham and downtown Detroit, has developed a software platform that allows viewers to click on items in a video. The click creates a small bookmark that allows the viewer to make an online purchase or find out more information on it. The company's team of six people is still working on enhancing the technology.

The 1-year-old startup launched its service midway through las year. It has signed on a couple of mid-sized players in video, such as the Home Shopping Networking.

"We are starting to work with a few major networks," Roebuck says.

Source: Chris Roebuck, founder & CEO of Clicktivated Video and Ben Hatala, director of operations for Clicktivated Video
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Battery maker leases former GM space in Pontiac, bringing more than 300 jobs

Excerpt:

An advanced battery technology company is moving to a former General Motors facility on Pontiac’s Centerpoint Campus, bringing more than 300 manufacturing jobs to the city.

Energy Power Systems announced that it has leased 150,000 square feet of space from California-based Industrial Realty Group, which purchased 154 acres of former General Motors property near South Boulevard and Opdyke Road in December.

Read more.
 

February business workshops offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by 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.

CEED® Small Business Loan Orientation
Feb. 11, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Many small business owners face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. If your business is in Oakland County and you need alternative financing, consider the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED) Small Business Loan Program (formerly CEED MicroLoan program). Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a CEED small business loan.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Starting a Business
Feb. 12, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting 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/services. Start-up costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
Feb.18, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Thinking of starting a business and want to research your business idea? Do you want to identify market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required. 

Government Contracting 101
Feb. 19, 9 a.m. – noon
Find out what it takes to sell your goods and services to the federal government and the state of Michigan. What makes a successful government contractor? What services and resources are available to a small business pursuing the government market? If your company is considering government contracting, this seminar will give you the insight you need. Management and key players who will support and facilitate government contracting within your company should attend. Presented by Alexander Masters, PTAC of Schoolcraft College
Fee: $45 per person

Team SBA Financing Roundtable
Feb. 26, 9 a.m. – noon
What’s the secret to getting a business loan? Attend this free Financing Roundtable and find out how banks look at your application, what you can do to improve your chances for a loan, and how SBA loan guarantee programs can help you get the financing you need. This session is best suited to those who have good credit, a solid business idea and some money to invest in their business. 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 roundtables.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required

Upcoming Workshop Calendar

March 2015
05: Get a Grip on Your Business
10: Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion 11: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
12: Starting a Business
12: Break the Rules, Close More Sales
17: Capital Raise
25: WBE Certification Orientation
26: Introduction to QuickBooks
31: Legal Business Basics

April 2015
08: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
08: Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion 09: Starting a Business
30: Create Your Marketing Plan 
1062 Articles | Page: | Show All
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