Entrepreneurship :Innovation & Job News

520 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All

Cinnaire offers unlimited paid time off, hires 14 new employees

Unlimited paid time off empowers employees to continue to commit to the cause at a community development and finance institution in Greater Lansing.
 

Klimb Creative helps small businesses reach new marketing heights

Experienced marketing coordinator helps small businesses overcome marketing anxieties and fill publicity and communication gaps through newly launched company.
 

Lansing-based creative companies join forces to help Michigan businesses prosper

A strategic business alliance between two creative agencies in Lansing will enable the firms to broaden and expand services while meeting the needs of their clients.
 

Local clinic launches breakthrough online mental health service

Licensed therapist launches online, confidential resource to help individuals assess personal needs for professional mental health services. 
 

The beat goes on as new performance and events venue opens in Old Town

Old Town's new Urban Beat Events Center transforms a once vacant storefront into a customizable gathering place for performances, corporate meetings and intimate special events. 
 

McCartney Academy of Irish Dance opens, moves to new spot as demand jumps

Championship dancer gives kids through adults the chance to jump, stamp and make lots of fantastic noise through her newly-opened academy focused on the art of Irish dance.
 

Clothing company sports Lansing pride

Designer makes Lansing home and shows his Lansing pride through newly launched clothing line.
 

Chamber recognizes established business leaders through new initiative

A new initiative acknowledges the contributions of the boomer generation to the ongoing growth and development of Greater Lansing.

Online marketplace of gently used clothing a perfect fit for tall community

Two entrepreneurs take fashion and clothing business to new heights through an innovative, online marketplace for the tall community.
 

New business accelerator launched through LEAP

As part of its charge to support entrepreneurial and startup activity, the Lansing Area Economic Partnership launched a business acceleration program in December to help companies move products from the concept phase to the marketplace.

Tax resolution service moves headquarters and staff of three to downtown Lansing

As the vice president of ALG Tax Solutions, Mark Hampton and founding partner A.J. Gross focus on providing clients with tax resolution, tax audit and litigation services, and tax preparation during the tax season. He's here, he says, to help you fight the IRS so you can focus on business.

Long-time restaurant manager opts for scraps

Todd Powell has always found the value in things meant for the scrap heap.
 
Got an old washing machine, baby swing, furniture, or even a furnace? He'll take it. Worn-out file cabinets jammed with office paper? He'll take that, too. Any yard waste, old lumber or firewood? Give him a call. He'll be there to haul it away for free.
 
Powell founded Scrap King in late December after eight years of scavenging scrap metal, junk, and the assorted things people pitch and toss aside in modern life. He collects junk curbside, from people's homes and basements, and from an occasional dumpster. He picks up and hauls daily, making the rounds in Eaton, Ingham and Clinton counties, in search of aluminum, steel, copper and other items and materials he can exchange for cash at scrap yards, recyclers and second hand stores.
 
"The best thing is I'm on the road," says Powell. "It's a different situation every day—a different job, a different location. You meet a lot of different people. That's another nice thing about it."
 
Powell swapped a full-time job managing a Panera franchise for life as a scrapper. It was a leap of faith, he says, but it was more than a fair exchange, giving him the time and flexibility to spend with his wife, Kelly, and two baseball-playing kids.
 
The Charlotte-dad says he draws daily on his 25 years of experience in customer service-related businesses to bring a personal, professional tone to his new enterprise. For the naturally-friendly Powell, that comes easy, even on the most demanding days.  And it's paid off, with referrals and word traveling fast among friends, neighbors and businesses looking to clean house.
 
Powell recently brought on two part-time staff to help with heavy lifting. His two sons sometimes ride along, providing a keen eye for the overlooked and unwanted.
 
"They think it's a treasure hunt," says Powell. "They absolutely love it."
 
Source: Todd Powell, Owner, Scrap King
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
    
Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Lansing Bike Co-op offers a shared space to keep cyclists rolling

Building on the bones of an old mechanics garage, a group of innovative bike enthusiasts are providing a space where Lansing residents can rebuild, repair and tune-up their bikes with a little help from their new-found friends.
 
In the works for about a year, the Lansing Bike Co-op opened for spring and summer hours, offering tools, space and knowledge for anyone wanting to learn the mechanics of their non-motorized two-wheelers.
 
"There are a lot of people who need to know how to fix their bikes, or have a bike that isn't worth taking to shop," says co-op president Aaron Fields. "Whatever the case, they rely on their bike for transportation. We saw that need and in the community and wanted to provide the resources."
 
The idea, Fields says, is for people to come to the co-op, get a diagnosis on what needs fixing, and then receive guidance on the tools and steps to follow to keep their bike rolling.
 
"We provide the guidance, you do the fixing," says Fields. "We're an educational resource."
 
The Lansing Bike Co-op received a $3,000 grant this spring from the Tri-County Bicycle Association and matching funds from the Ingham County Land Bank to renovate and equip the garage with plumbing and heat. 
 
"After we get those things installed we can go year round," says Fields. "For now we can only store stuff here and work in the parking lot."
 
The co-op is typically opened Wednesday nights until nightfall, with other hours posted on Facebook. The co-op also holds a "judgment free zone" Ladies Night on the first and third Sundays of the month.
 
"I learned how to fix bikes here," says Fields. "Taking a bike apart demystifies things pretty quickly. There's not as much to them as you think, and once you start messing around with them, you find out that they're pretty straight forward."
 
The co-op shares the two-bay building with Go Green Trikes—Greater Lansing's trike courier service. The Lansing Bike Co-op is all volunteer-based, with board members including Fields, Mike Tostoh, Emily Petz and Carrie Nelson. About 15 to 20 people on average stop in during open nights, with a donation of $10 per hour of stand time suggested but not required.
 
Source: Aaron Fields, President, Lansing Bike Co-op
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Franchise junk hauler and soon-to-be mover cleans up dirty job

There's a new business in town that's cornering the market on "hunkiness."
 
Beginning in July, College Hunks Hauling Junk will dispatch well-trained, personable, and well-groomed staff to whisk away those piles of debris, useless furnishings, old appliances and electronics, and other unsightly items and scraps that invade the space of any household or commercial office.
 
"Will 'hunks' really show up at your door?" says Clark Burkle, owner of the new franchise. "We say yes. That's because each and every staff member represents the acronym of what 'hunks' stands for."
 
Hunks, Burkle explains, stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable Service. While being a student isn't a qualifier for being on the College Hunks team, image, customer service, and reliability are when it comes to serving clients.
 
"We're very solid about setting and keeping appointment times," says Bill Willbrandt, Burkle's business partner. "We don't just give you a window or time range. We're working hard to bring professionalism to what's sometimes considered a 'dirty job.'"
 
The College Hunks franchise will be the first in Greater Lansing for the national company. With headquarters in Tampa, Fla., the franchise offers home movers, officer movers, junk removal, donation pick ups and moving labor services across the United States and Canada. Burkle's operation is one of a handful in Michigan, and among about 50 nationwide.
 
The East Lansing-Okemos based College Hunks will focus on the junk removal side of the franchise for starters, then expand into local moving services come fall. Burkle says he and Willbrandt decided the franchise would be a good fit for the area—both based on the availability of a labor pool, a mobile university community, and the growing population of downsizing seniors.
 
"One man's junk is another man's treasure," says Burkle. "A lot of what we remove we'll recycle. We'll be working very hard to minimize what goes into a landfill and to find a home for every piece we collect."
 
Burkle plans to hire eight part-time employees. The franchise will have two trucks—one for junk hauling, the other for moving come fall.
 
Source: Clark Burkle, Owner, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
    
Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.

Computer engineer connects patients and caregivers through remote system

Nevin Brittain started his career in engineering technologies helping large corporations securely share data and collaborate. Two years ago, he began applying his expertise to help caregivers securely and safely monitor patients and loved ones living at home.
 
Brittain says he wasn't necessarily looking to change the arc of his career when he launched Health Numeric, but rather to address a problem he had seen first-hand.
 
Shortly before graduating from college, his great-grandmother died from complications of diabetes. Her health, Brittain says, had been affected by the absence of common and collaborative communication among caregivers, as well as the lack of an effective system for monitoring her in-home care.
 
"I knew one day that I wanted to pursue and solve that problem," says Brittain. "After graduating and working for a while, I had the knowledge to provide a solution."
 
Brittain went on to develop a HIPAA compliant cloud platform and support service that aids physicians, nurses, family members, and others involved in a patient's care. Comprehensive information obtained through a remote monitoring system allows caregivers to monitor a patient's daily health vitals, generate progress reports, and receive notifications when measurements go beyond a set range.
 
Health Numeric works by pairing medical devices a patient uses to check weight, glucose blood pressure or other conditions with Bluetooth technology. The technology then transmits real-time data to a cloud-based platform that can be accessed by caregivers.
 
"It's very simple to use," Brittain says. "It connects to devices that are familiar to the patient and doesn't require the patient to have Internet access. Once we install the system in the home, it feels no different to patients than what they've been doing in the past. Now there's simply someone at the other end, providing another level of comfort."
 
Brittain says the goal of Health Numeric is to help patients be more successful in staying in their homes by reducing the probability of medical complications and hospital readmissions.
 
Health Numeric is headquartered in the East Lansing Technology and Innovation Center. Brittain works with four onsite personnel and about 10 developers and contractors. A frequent blogger and information provider, Brittain is also engaged in a pilot study through Wayne State University that examines the efficacy of monitoring patient care from home.
 
Source: Nevin Brittain, Founder, Health Numeric
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
    
Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.
520 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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