New Michigan Incubator, NextWave, Helps Businesses Get Capital, Exposure

8/17/10

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some big old Campbell-Ewald [a large, Warren, MI-based ad agency] and then have a huge multimillion-dollar campaign,” Skinner says. “But with the state of the art of technology, and with hungrier, more creative little teams like mine here, you don’t need to do that.

“We can sit down and help you figure out what your message is, how to develop content around it, how to deliver it to the audiences that you need.”

She’s currently working with DuPont Automotive on some humorous videos that she hopes will go viral.

NextWave’s main purpose is to house later-stage companies such as Silk Route Global, a $10 million company that develops supply chain software. Silk Route has 90 employees worldwide, with offices also in the United Kingdom and India.

The incubator is run by Jeff Sloan of Aria Equities, whom I profiled in Xconomy back in May.

NextWave is owned by the Troy-based VC firm Indus Capital, and its principal founder is Amjad Hussain, formerly the CIO of Handleman, a now-bankrupt music distributor. NextWave works with Wingspan Capital Partners in Birmingham, MI to help fund second-stage companies in the targeted industries of nanotechnology, alternative energy, IT, supply chain logistics, and media.

NextWave currently houses four early-stage companies and five later-stage companies. The goal is to house 14 companies. NextWave is also working on opening offices in the United Kingdom and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They’re not interested in opening incubators in places like New York or Singapore. They’re looking for more areas like Detroit, where there’s tons of talent, but underdeveloped business enterprises.

“We’re looking for good ideas. We’re looking for entrepreneurs. We’re looking to help people,” Skinner says. “A lot of people have good ideas. They just don’t do anything with it. We can help them with all the resources we have and all the combined experience.”

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