Tue, 28 September 2010
Larry Eiler and Eiler Communications continue the ongoing conversation with emerging and leading businesses in this week's edition of Re:New Michigan. Mike Miller, the leader of Google's Adwords' Ann Arbor office stops by the studio to discuss Google's 4 year anniversary in the city as well as other topics relevant to Michigan business.
Mike graduated from the University of Michigan and spent time in Google's California headquarters before returning to Ann Arbor to head up the Adwords office. As many know, a majority of Google's revenue is derived from the paid search product Adwords. Adwords focuses primarily on helping small-to-midsized businesses around the world grow and find new customers.
Mike and his Ann Arbor office are helping Michigan companies as well through several community programs, specifically Adwords in the Curiculumn. This program improves digital marketing literacy around the state in high schools and Eastern Michigan University. These students then apply these skills in helping non-profits attract search engine attention and traffic.
Larry and Mike then turn their attention to an explanation of Adwords and other Google products (mostly free) that can help Michigan companies conduct efficient and smart business practice. This first hand analysis of Google's products simplifies the bounty of ways the tools can be implemented.
Fri, 24 September 2010
In this week's edition of Re:New Michigan, Larry welcomes Willie Newman. Willie is a leader in the Greater Detroit area, currently serving as President of the Mortgage Division at Cole Taylor Bank. In his years working in Michigan and mortgage banking, Willie has learned many valuable lessons to be implemented during Michigan's economic revival.
Willie touches on an interesting point while articulating a path towards a strong economy. It is no secret that Michigan has been experiencing a long-term downturn in terms of financial and economic development. But Willie and Larry focus on the silver lining; in terms of mortgage banking, Michigan was one of the first into the basement...so why shouldn't the state be the first one to revive?
Willie and Larry then focus their discussion on the resources that will accelerate Michigan's recovery: entry level workers, affordable working space and diverse resources. It is for this reason Willie has remained in Michigan despite numerous offers to pursue opportunities elsewhere. It is business leaders like Willie that will continue to drive Michigan forward.
Wed, 15 September 2010
Larry sits down with another great Michigan business leader for this week's issue of Re:New Michigan. Larry Freed, CEO of ForSee Results discusses the growth of his company as well as the ways in which the state of Michigan can renew its economy.
Forsee Results offers technologies that measure the satisfaction of those viewing websites. The company's service offerings brings the world renown Customer Satisfaction Index of University of Michigan Professor Claes Fornell to the web. ForSee helps clients measure the satisfaction of visitors to their website, while also suggesting areas to improve and change customer behaviors leading to increased sales. As Freed points out, this era of internet marketing must be built around accountability and measurement.
Customers have more choices than ever before when it comes to product purchasing. Consequently, marketing and customer satisfaction is more significant than ever when it comes to moving products. Companies around the world have recognized this need and worked with Freed and his team.
ForSee Results is a leading company based in Michigan with 108 employees working inside the state, with 20-40 added each year. Like many on the Re:New Michigan podcast, Larry Freed sees technology as a way to reinvent the state's economy. He also sees large growth opportunities in the renewal of the state's researching divisions. As he says, "Economic development depends n attracting companies and incubating these businesses with the job growth coming in between".
For more information, please visit the ForSee Results homepage.
Fri, 3 September 2010
The Re:New Michigan podcast focuses on stories that exhibit how business leaders are rejuvenating our state. In this issue of Re:New Michigan, Larry welcomes Carol Lopucki to the studio. Carol is the State Director of the Small Business Technology and Development Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Carol and the SBTDC focus on helping small and emerging businesses meet their various needs as they grow and evolve Michigan's economy. Centered in Grand Rapids, the organization helps 12 districts across the state and recently assisted their 1000th company with business goals.
Carol and her team of talented team of MBA's, business owners and economic specialists promote a sense of economic gardening with their efforts. By providing insight into raising funds, new market research and business plans, the SBTDC provides a foundation for small business growth; an area Carol believes we have forgotten about in recent decades. Carol identifies the resources that have popped up in recent years that spur economic growth.
Larry and Carol then discuss the many areas of growth around Michigan. As Carol says, "the whole gamut from A to Z" is growing. Examples include Main Street stores, personal services, Energy creation, and regional diversification.
Stories like Carol's and the SBTDC make it hard to believe Michigan won't find a way to grow and prosper in coming decades. For more information on Carol or the SBTDC, please click the links below:
Thanks for tuning in!
Tue, 24 August 2010
As Michigan marches towards a new economy, many business people in our community are taking the lead and using new ideas to propel Michigan forward. Re:New Michigan, a weekly podcast conducted by Larry Eiler of Eiler Communications explores these new ideas and the leaders behind them. Ted Dacko, former CEO of Ann Arbor's Health Media and current President & CEO of Arbor Dakota, stops by the studio to some trends he has seen in his many years as a business leader in the state.
Larry and Ted begin the discussion retracing some of the steps that brough Ted to a position with the incredibly successful Health Media. Ted's schooling background was in Mathematics, but after entering the business world, he focused on turning products and ideas into great companies, a skillset that appears to be lacking in Michigan. Entrprenuerial states like California have many figures like Ted that are able to drive new companies forward. This is the type of skillset that Larry and Ted hope to see in the coming generations of Michigan leaders.
Ted then turns towards a troubling trend he has experienced working with Michigan businesses over the years; a state-wide inferiority complex. Although many Michigan companies have customers all over the globe, area audiences shrug when it comes to "buying local". As Ted puts it, there is a feeling of, "You're built in Michigan. How good can you be?" that has has permeated Michigan's economic mindset. Larry and Ted both point out areas where this feeling of inferiority is disapating due to the tremendous talent, investments, and infrastructure popping up throughout the state.
The podcast closes with a brief reflection on Michigan's upcoming gubernatorial race. After many years working with candidate Rick Snyder, Ted is confident his commitment to accountability is the right leadership to bring Michigan's economy back to superiority.
Mon, 23 August 2010
Note: For optimal listening quality, please lower the playback volume for this week's podcast. Static levels can be heard at higher levels.
Larry Eiler welcomes venture capitalist Eli Thomssen to the studio for this week's edition of Re:New Michigan. Mr. Thomssen has guided many companies to success, including his current company, Armune BioScience, Inc. Armune, based in Kalamazoo is creating a diagnostic test for early stage cancer detection that eliminates the volatile of previous tests. The story of Armune offers many lessons for innovators within Michigan.
As Larry and Eli point out, Michigan provides a very viable landscape for entreprenuers and venture capitalists. The story of Armune serves as a great example. The technologies and tests in Armune's labs were first created at the University of Michigan. This is a great model for companies to follow throughout the state.
Resources like the U of M and the other great research universities within the state provide a stimulating environment for ideas and businesses. But as Eli articulates, more investment in these ideas is necessary. Surprising to some, Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in terms of grant money, with the top ranking states coming from the East and West coasts.
Larry and Eli continue the conversation, covering Eli's career path and the entrepreneurship history. For more information on Eli Thomssen, his involvement in our state's biotechnology leadership, and Armune's product development, please see his LinkedIn Page and the Armune homepage.
Thu, 12 August 2010
This week's edition of Re:New Michigan features a very interesting conversation with serial entreprenuer Al Newman of ReCelluar. ReCellular, headquartered in Ann Arbor, is the world's largest collector, reseller and recycler of cell phones used and refurbished. On his way to success with ReCellular, Al Newman encountered many other successes, but many failures as well. As Larry and Al point out, it is in failure that entreprenuers learn the important lessons.
The stimulating conversation opens with Al's first adventure in entrepreneurship in which he turned a coin collection into a $20,000 boon over summer vacation in the 9th grade. From here he moved into the computer resale business. These success stories reveal several key factors for entrepreneurial success; one being to never fear failure.
The conversation closes with Al's recent experiences in mentorship. While serving as a mentor to the Business Side of Youth, several Eastern Michigan University students and ex-sex workers, Al sees the fear of failure all to prevalent in today's business community. He seeks a framework wherein failure does not keep Michigan residents from enacting change.
For more info on Al Newman, his great message and ReCellular, please visit www.recellular.com.
Thu, 29 July 2010
This week Larry sits down with Ian Bund of Plymouth Management Company for another edition of Re:New Michigan. Continuing with the program’s focus on stories of economic inspiration and motivation, Larry and Ian discuss a topic of interest lately, Economic Gardening. Plymouth Management Company (PMC) is heavily involved in financing and adding value to growth stage companies in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Ian has been active in venture capital for over 40 years and brings a keen economic perspective to conversation.
Ian and Larry identify three factors that Michigan’s population must be aware of in order to grow and renew the state’s growth cycle. As Larry puts it, “Michigan has an inferiority complex when it comes to economic growth. It’s important to tell the positive stories that are around our state.” PMC and similar investment firms serve as catalysts to fuel and assist companies with an emphasis on growth and “doing”.
The conversation closes with the elements Mr. Bund feels will spur the Michigan economy most effectively. Make sure to listen to this week’s podcast. If you would like more info on Ian Bund or Plymouth Management Company, please visit their homepage: www.plymouthvc.com.
Tue, 20 July 2010
Larry sits down with Bill Van Cleve in this week's edition of Re:New Michigan. Re:New Michigan is a weekly podcast dedicated to the ideas, companies and organizations propelling Michigan's movement away from automotive manufacturing and into the technology and creative market.
Bill Van Cleve, owner and CEO of Paragon Display Group, is a leader who has guided his company through many adaptations, keeping with the ever-changing technologies available to his visual communications production facility. Bill and his business partner,Gerry Snyder opened the doors of a Foto 1 in 1982 in Ann Arbor, MI. Originally a 1 hour photo production and processing operation, the two continued to evolve the company, while maintaining their keen eye for visual display and production.
Today's version of Foto 1 focuses on Imaging Technology, assisting both consumers and commercial clients. One of Bill's current projects involves producing the art and displays for each suite at the newly renovated Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI.
Listen in as Larry and Bill discuss the details of Paragon's evolution, adaptation and new business models in this week's podcast. For more information visit Paragon Display Group's website where you can contact Bill directly.
Wed, 14 July 2010
In this edition of Re:New Michigan, Larry Eiler sits down with Amanda Ross of Stunning Creative. Stunning is a digital consultancy in Ann Arbor with expertise in web & graphic design as well as social media, SEO and analytics strategy. In the interview, Amanda shares a story about Stunning’s unique marketing and outreach approach. Recently, Amanda won three auctions on eBay, but these weren’t bids on antique lamps or baseball cards. Rather, Amanda won three trips to Silicon Valley for her and colleagues to meet with the biggest and brightest names in the tech industry. With one successful trip already in the book, Amanda is looking for internet CEO’s and tech leaders in the Ann Arbor area to join her on her next trip on July 20th.
This type of marketing and client outreach represents the unique approach Stunning Creative brings to the table. Rather than wine-and-dine clients and prospects, Amanda and her husband, Andy (the creative force behind the company) choose to provide actionable value. Those that have accompanied Amanda so far have benefited from the increased exposure and access to the Angel investors and venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley.
If you would like more info on Stunning Creative or would like to contact Amanda for her next trip to Silicon Valley, please visit www.StunningCreative.net.