What is Michigan’s future and who will foster it? Three 20-something, homegrown entrepreneurs at the forefront of Michigan’s knowledge- and technology-based economy today announced plans for the first annual “TechNow” gathering. The event is a celebration of the state’s future and showcase of next-generation Michigan businesses, including a concert by hometown indie rockers Manolete.
More than 500 aspiring and established entrepreneurs and other supporters of the region’s new economy are expected to gather from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 23 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich. Anyone with an interest in the success of the Michigan economy should attend.
Tickets are available at www.technow09.com for a minimum donation of $1, with all proceeds benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter. Advance registration is required. For the latest updates on TechNow, follow @TechNow09 on Twitter or join the TechNow09 group on Facebook.
TechNow kicks off with brief presentations highlighting next-generation business models in use by area technology startups. After the presentations, an interactive panel discussion will feature regional business leaders who have successfully integrated technology into their companies. Networking opportunities, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music will follow.
“This is not your ordinary business event,” said West Bloomfield, Mich. resident Zach Lipson, a recent graduate of the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University, co-founder of TechNow and founder of Leftos.com. “The goal isn’t to promote a few companies or make a profit — it’s to celebrate the fact that there are exciting and innovative businesses in Michigan. These companies are creating jobs and opportunities when many think everything in the state is headed downward.”
Closing out TechNow will be a high-energy concert celebrating Michigan’s future. Detroit-based Manolete blends pop rock and traditional Latin rhythms, a unique sound that will provide the perfect closing to the one-of-a-kind event.
Joining Lipson on the agenda will be fellow TechNow co-founders Mason Levey and Jordan Wolfe, both of Royal Oak. Levey is founder of Bablur and a recent graduate of Detroit-based entrepreneurial academy Bizdom U. Wolfe is founder of uwemp.com and a recent graduate of Indiana University who left a position in California to start his business in Michigan. Also presenting will be Jake Lumetta, founder of Washington, Mich.-based free online social shopping tool ShopFiber.
Business leaders featured on the interactive panel will be Chuck Newman, founder and CEO of Dexter, Mich.-based ReCellular, Larry Freed, CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based ForeSee Results and Jeff Bocan, managing director at Detroit-based private equity firm Beringea.
“As we celebrate the bright future of Michigan’s economy, we want to emphasize that this is a statewide effort,” Wolfe said. “TechNow will provide a bridge between Michigan communities to prevent ‘hyper-localization.’ We’re bringing together the change agents building Michigan’s future–today–in an environment that is both engaging and entertaining.”
TechNow09 is a collaboration consisting entirely of Michigan businesses, from sponsors to catering and entertainment. Partners in the event include Bizdom U, Corp! Magazine, Dragon Bleu Vodka, Fusion Detroit, In the Mix Productions, JML Productions, Korotkin Insurance Group, Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications and Telemus Capital Partners.
With a name derived from the phrase “Lessons for the Opposite Sex,” Leftos.com will launch in spring 2009 as an online resource bridging the communication gap between men and women.
Bablur (www.bablur.com) is a Detroit-based mobile marketing firm specializing in campaigns wholly focused on reaching consumers through mobile devices.
uwemp.com is an online media company providing insightful, engaging and educational content about people’s experiences, accomplishments and successes through an interactive community and open-source media platform.
TechNow09 is a showcase of next generation businesses that are paving the way toward a bright future for Michigan’s economy. For information or to register, visit www.technow09.com.