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Beyond the Fold
October 2010

Newsletter Contents

Why the Rest of the Country is Looking at Michigan's Economic Gardening as a Model for Growth

Cool Heads Making Progress

Where is Googling Going?

The Game Countdown: The Michigan vs Michigan State Rivalry

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Michigan - The Helping Hand State.
Find out how your business can apply for recovery money!
The Professional Education Center in the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University
"Social Media's
Compelling Pull"

Thursday, October 14, 2010
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Register at (734) 487-3566 or pec@emich.edu

Speakers include:
Larry Eiler, Mitch Lipon, Charlie Kondek and
Nathan Bomey

For more information, please visit http://ep.emich.edu/pec/index.aspx
RivalryThe Game Countdown: The Michigan vs Michigan State Rivalry
 From a young age, Michigan natives get the rivalry ingrained in them. It's a rivalry like no other. In one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, two Big-Ten Intrastate rivals face-off in a rivalry game that attracts more fans then any other rivalry college football game. It's Michigan vs. Michigan State.

The first meeting between these two teams was in 1898. There is no question as to who the more dominant team in history has been. The Wolverines hold the series record at 67-30-5 but the Spartans have a two-year win streak at stake when the two teams play at the Big House on October 9, 2010.

To Michigan outsiders the game may seem trivial but to Michigan natives, respect is on the line every year. It's hard to describe the rivalry between the schools. Families grow up pledging allegiance to one or the other.

Despite the Spartans recent success, Michigan faithful see the Spartans as nothing but "little brother" as they aim for redemption. Michigan State has something else in mind, and that's its continued battle for victories and respect.

At the end of the day, one school will walk away feeling on top of the world, while the other school plots its revenge. And the rivalry, with insults flying each way, will live on until the next show down, 365 days away.

As to who will win in 2010? Well, that's easy. I'm a Wolverine and there's only one way it can go.

Jaclyn Klein
About Eiler

Eiler Communications is a public relations and marketing communications firm in Ann Arbor, MI.  We specialize in new and traditional media marketing, serving established and emerging companies in the communications
technology, financial services, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

TepleyWhy the Rest of the Country is Looking at Michigan's Economic Gardening as a Model for Growth  -  By Phil Tepley Technology Business Team Coordinator, Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center

Michigan does not always receive national headlines about positive impact, but economic developers around the country are learning that Michigan, the state that the recession hit first and hardest, is also the first state with some of the most creative and impactful economic development efforts launched over the previous ten years.


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is often portrayed as a "hunter," and this may be due to the sizeable press attention given to each successful large company attraction compared to the many, MANY small business successes that each create a handful of jobs but add up to a significant sum.  But through its Smart Zone program and the many 21st Century Jobs Fund (21st CJF) programs, the MEDC has demonstrated some of the best economic gardening in the country, and it's making a difference!


Launched in 2000 by the MEDC, the 15 Smart Zones are designed to cluster the activities and assets of universities, industry, research institutions and local communities to accelerate the commercialization of technologies and foster new ventures and job creation.  The Smart Zone program facilitated tax capture from Local Development Finance Authorities, who along with state and county governments and the private sector, fund business incubators, business accelerators, networking and educational events, and financing programs. Emerging technology companies receive consulting from industry experts; microloans and pre-seed investments; discounts on specialized equipment or wet lab space; multiple day intensive business training; access to university student projects and internships; connections to potential customers, strategic partners, management, and investors through Smart Zone business accelerators and incubators. 


As one example of a Smart Zone business accelerator, over the past year Ann Arbor SPARK provided consulting projects to 64 high growth potential companies, enabling the creation and retention of 185 full time jobs and over $6 million in capital raised.  SPARK's business accelerator also trained 28 companies through 2 sessions of its 2 day intensive "Entrepreneurs Boot Camp" and held multiple networking and educational events for hundreds of entrepreneurs each week. 


An excellent example of a Smart Zone business incubator is the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center (SMIC) in Kalamazoo.  Playing a central role in Kalamazoo's vibrant life sciences economy, 25 companies have been launched in and have graduated from or currently reside at the SMIC.  The collaborative strength of the SMIC companies brings international attention and dollars to the region. 


Technology focused economic development initiatives require a long-term focus by nature and are not intended to be a quick fix.  Even so, five years into the 21st CJF initiative, the results are impressive and making an important contribution to Michigan's recovery.  The Foundation for the New Michigan Economy report recently released by the MEDC indicates that the 21st Century Jobs Fund has provided direct support to almost 1,500 companies, enabling them to create and retain 24,407 jobs.  21st CJF programs have been very successful in leveraging third party funds.  Over $1.8 billion of third party funding has been leveraged; a rate of more than 4 third party dollars to each state dollar.


The 21st Century Jobs Fund plays an important role in building what just about any entrepreneur will tell you Michigan needs; a stronger financing environment with support available at different stages of a company's development.  The initiative addresses this by creating multiple programs, each with a different sweet spot.


Due to the unfortunate reality of the state budget, the 21st Century Jobs Fund appropriations have declined each year since first launched in 2005.  The Smart Zone tax capture is not materializing as hoped due to economic conditions. 2011 brings a new Governor and considerable turnover in the legislature.  New leadership will bring new ideas, strategies, and tactics which are not only welcomed but necessary.  However it's important that our new representatives recognize that the MEDC is much more than a "hunter."  It has launched and supported world class programs that build our own entrepreneurial successes, create jobs, and diversify our economy so that job growth can occur exponentially, and so that we not as vulnerable to the business cycle and economic shifts.  In order for this to happen, we need to continue to invest in these programs that are providing essential support to Michigan's small businesses and entrepreneurs.

CoolheadsCool Heads Making Progress

Cool Heads has made some great progress as the team of Eastern Michigan students and friends has developed a manufacturer and a marketing program that is coming soon.

Tommy Green, CEO of the business formed when he was an EMU senior (graduation last April), reports that he has reached agreement with a company to make the innovative head and neck cover for use in the the hot sun for golfers, outdoor beach enthusiasts, gardeners and other who need protection from the sun.

"We're all really excited about the prospects for the unique product," says Green. "Our market tests have had positive results and we feel this can become a popular and useful new way to avoid too much sun and protect users from unneeded sun rays." Cool Heads will maintain office, storage and shipping space in Ann Arbor, Green said.

Larry Eiler
GoogleWhere is Googling Going?

 Google CEO Eric Schmidt had a lot of people's wheels turning after his interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting young people will one day be entitled to their names upon adulthood to escape the uninhibited comments and unsavory photos of their younger years posted on social media sites.
As a young adult studying PR, watching what you post on social media sites was always stressed to me in my communications classes. Some friends of mine use fake names to escape being found on social sites like Facebook or Twitter. But the real question is how can you escape from an image?
Google already has the technology to recognize faces. According to David Petrou, staff engineer at Google Labs, it chooses not to do so out of concern for privacy issues. Since Google has the technology to connect your image to information about you, it's only a matter of time before it is used on the average individual.
Ashley Smith
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