MEDC Announces New ‘Economic Gardening’ Pilot Program
A new program announced by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation yesterday will connect 54 Michigan small businesses with a team of national experts, who will provide each company with 35 hours of guidance in the areas of strategy and management; market research and competitive intelligence; Internet and social media strategy; and help with identifying potential customers in other states. The Pure Michigan Business Connect Economic Gardening Pilot Program will be administered by the Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis, MI.
Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation, said the companies and the strategic research teams will meet by phone, where a call leader will serve as a kind of translator as the experts ask the entrepreneurs questions meant to “peel away layers of the onion.”
“It gives companies access to information like market research and GIS data that, in the normal course of events, would be very challenging to get on their own,” Lewandowski says.
The 54 companies, which were nominated by local economic development officials, were chosen based on the type and size of markets they serve, their growth potential, and the likelihood that they would benefit from the service.
Southeast Michigan small businesses participating in the program include:
DNA Software – The Ann Arbor, MI-based startup creates software, including Nucleic Acid CAM and a genome-scanning tool, to biotech, pharma and regulatory agencies to more effectively build diagnostics.
OG Technologies – The Ann Arbor company sells inspection systems based on patented, proprietary image-based technology to the steel industry worldwide.
Pixel Velocity or Epsilon Imaging – Located in Ann Arbor, the company develops and markets advanced, system-level video surveillance and threat detection systems to the homeland security market.
Online Tech – The Ann Arbor company houses and manages clients’ IT servers in its data centers.
Sun Engineering – The Saline, MI-based company provides engineering services and manufactures products for missile handling equipment, ground-based radar systems, tactical trucks, and specialized trailers primarily for the defense industry.
Avalon Breads International Food Manufacturing, Detroit – The Detroit bakery offers organic baked goods with sales to both retail and wholesale customers.
Coliant Corporation (Powerlet) – The Warren, MI-based company manufactures “rugged electrical equipment” that allows for the installation of power outlets and electrical devices in vehicles.
Elite Mold & Engineering – Located in Shelby Township, MI, the company provides engineering, research and development, prototyping, and low production for plastic injection molded products.
Ideal Technology – The Shelby Township-based company is a full-service tooling facility and automotive supplier.
Sharp Model – The Romeo, MI company supplies tooling, fixtures, and models for the aerospace, automotive, and defense sectors.
Continuity Programs – Located in Walled Lake, MI, the company creates customer retention, loyalty, and lead-generating marketing campaigns for a variety of markets, including automotive, banking, and real estate.
Real Times Media – The Detroit company publishes traditional and ethnic-oriented newspapers and directories.
Ventower – The Monroe, MI company fabricates and supplies utility-scale wind turbine towers.
Dynamic Computer Corporation – Located in Farmington Hills, MI, the company provides clients with IT procurement services and RFID systems integration.
Pure Michigan Business Connect, a $3 billion initiative announced by Governor Rick Snyder in June, helps implement the state’s economic gardening philosophy, which calls for nurturing existing or second-stage companies with capital and other support services to fuel economic growth.