Monday, November 4, 2013

Best of the Net 10/28-11/3

A New Era of Innovative CEOs

In the early 1900s, Michigan drew entrepreneurs from around the country and the world, all of whom wanted a piece of the auto industry's pie. Eventually that pie was divided three ways by Ford, GM and Chrysler, and many innovators flocked to other areas of the country. Now, entrepreneurs are coming to Michigan and starting a wider variety of businesses throughout the state.

One sign of the diversification of Michigan's economy is the CEO Summit of the Business Leaders for Michigan, which was held in Detroit on Wednesday. The Detroit News highlighted the CEO Summit and some of the businesses throughout the state that are working to diversify and create balance for Michigan's economy.

Detroit Startup Will Boost You Up

Saving money for a wedding, a vacation, a car or a new home can be difficult, but Boost Up is here to help. The crowdfunding website allows users to save for major expenses, and it allows family and friends to make donations. Michipreneur reports that Boost Up recently moved to Detroit from Chicago and that Detroit Venture Partners recently provided $1 million in funding to the company.

Michigan And Michigan State Play Nice

Michigan State University may have defeated the University of Michigan on the gridiron on Saturday, but these two universities work together off the field on a regular basis. The Lansing State Journal recently highlighted the many ways that the two schools combine their resources to improve Michigan and humanity as a whole.

For example, the two schools and Wayne State University are members of the University Resource Corridor, an effort to coordinate the universities' research efforts to strengthen Michigan's economy. Michigan and Michigan State scientists also work together to cure diseases, and their academics collaborate to foster entrepreneurship. Unlike the athletic contests between the Wolverines and Spartans, everyone is a winner when these two universities meet in the academic halls and scientific labs.

Michigan Towns Are America's Favorites

Two Michigan towns made Travel+Leisure's list of the top 20 small towns in America. Harbor Springs ranked 17th while Traverse City ranked 12th. The magazine asked its readers to nominate towns and then to rank towns in 55 categories, such as farmers markets, museums and hotels. The magazine then calculated each town's average score to determine the rankings.

Brightmoor And The Villages Are Brighter

Model D ran two positive stories last week about Detroit neighborhoods. The first article focuses on the Brightmoor section of Detroit and its efforts to combat blight and illegal dumping. Although tearing down abandoned buildings is helpful, the article highlights the efforts to use vacant lands for community agriculture and public art.

The second article features a few Detroit neighborhoods near the Detroit River and Belle Isle, collectively called the Villages, and the nonprofit Villages Community Development Corporation. The nonprofit is working to bring new businesses to these neighborhoods and to make them more livable. In addition to adding new restaurants and retail stores, the Villages are adding bike lanes and public art to make their streets more appealing to prospective buyers.

Michigan Is Internationally Known

Efforts to improve Michigan's economy include encouraging educated young people to remain in the state after graduating from Michigan universities. According to this report from Xconomy, international students who choose to study at Michigan universities often choose to stay in Michigan. Many of these students obtain degrees in the STEM fields that are in high demand, and international students contribute $750 million to the state's economy according to one study.

A New Coworking Space In Royal Oak

Michigan has several coworking spaces throughout the state, and the newest addition to this list is Venture Park in Royal Oak. Entrepreneurs can use Venture Park to help build their startup businesses. According to Michipreneur, Venture Park not only offers office space to its members but also a bar and patio and a reduced rate for legal services from a law firm that is partnered with the project.

Experience Detroit

Detroiters are sick of being defined by catchwords like blight, crime and bankruptcy. Detroit is rebuilding, and those of us who believe in the city will fight back against negative perceptions of Detroit. Detroit Unspun punched back with this article that points out many of the wonderful people and businesses making a difference in Detroit. The article does not deny the problems Detroit has, but it is a great synopsis of the bigger picture and uses a clever analogy involving an elephant to explain how preconceived notions can skew perception.

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