©2014 Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Launched in 2005, 906 Technologies offers a full range of services including IT support, website design, app development and custom software programming. Since it opened its door, 906 has doubled its revenue each year and projects a 50 percent increase in 2013. This success hasn’t gone unnoticed as they were the proud recipient of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award in 2013.
How do you solve the problem of toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes? The answer to that question became the impetus for Algal Scientific, which was founded in 2009. Its mission is to use algae to treat high-strength wastewater from a variety of industries. After winning several prizes and awards for innovation, the Michigan company was able to obtain cutting-edge biotech lab facilities at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center. Algal further expanded its research team with world-class experts in Michigan and is now commercializing a technology to produce high-value nutraceutical compounds from pure algal cultures.
With just a 15-gallon soup kettle and a quest for better beer, Bell’s Brewery got its start in 1985 when most didn’t even know what a Russian Imperial Stout or even an IPA was. Since then, they have grown into a regional craft brewery that produced 216,000 barrels of award-winning beer in 2012. Expansion efforts are underway in Comstock with the addition of a canning line and additional fermentation space. Also, a division of Bell’s called Upper Hand Brewery will open in Escanaba to brew and bottle an entirely new line of beer for distribution across Michigan’s U.P. and neighboring northern states, part of a company-wide investment of $15 million.
Rated a Top 10 Wine Country Inn, Chateau Chantal was founded in 1993 along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay. In 2003, the winery and B&B was expanded with a 15,000-square-foot addition. The 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula provides guests with a unique destination that combines vineyards and a winery, a bed and breakfast, winding roads, fresh air and beautiful views. Chateau Chantal focuses on vinifera varietals of wine including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other varietals.
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Cherry Republic started over 25 years ago as a T-shirt sold out of the trunk of a car. Since then, the company has grown to sell over 175 different cherry products. Cherry Republic now has four stores, a large catalog and Internet business and they sell their products to 450 other stores in the Midwest. Located in Glen Arbor, the company’s main campus is home to the Grand Café, featuring an everything cherry bakery, ice creamery and sandwich counter; the Stomphouse Winery, which offers cherry wine and soda pop tasting for all ages; and finally, the Great Hall, a sampling and gifting cathedral to everything cherry. During the holidays, the company employs 275 employees.
Ranked among America’s best children’s hospitals in U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Hospital of Michigan is the first and most experienced hospital in the state completely dedicated to treating and researching childhood illness and injury. With more than 40 specialties, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan sees more kids and trains more pediatric medical and surgical experts than any other hospital in the state. Additionally, Parent’s Magazine named Children’s Hospital of Michigan one of the 10 Best Children’s Hospitals for Emergency Care and Preemie Care in 2013. Children's Hospital of Michigan is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC).
It’s not a stretch to say Connor Flooring is the champion of wood gym flooring. After all, the company has made courts for the NCAA Final Four tournament, as well as courts for the NBA and USA Volleyball. With a key plant in Amasa, Michigan, the company uses hard maple from the Upper Peninsula and employs over 125 people in Iron County. That prized Michigan lumber is put to good use on over 750 new playing courts every year.
After winning the $500,000 grand prize at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, DeNovo Sciences never looked back. They are now one of the leading companies in the development of cutting-edge technology for early cancer detection. With access to two world-class cancer hospitals and an ideal mix of talent and resources, DeNovo Sciences is utilizing the resources of Michigan to succeed worldwide.
Detroit Bus Company is a private bus line designed to fill the current transit gap in the city. The company offers daily routes, special events and private rents that will help alleviate Detroit’s growing transit issue, get people back to work and make it easy for more people to travel into Detroit. DBC is hoping to relieve Detroit of much of its car-based problems which involve traffic congestion and parking scarcity. The company’s goal is to develop a new system that will help people, and students, travel efficiently.
Graphic designer Tommey Walker designed album covers for some of Detroit’s biggest names in music. But then he launched Detroit vs. Everybody, an effort to inspire the city and promote unity. And when his line was featured on Stephen Colbert’s comedy show, sales took off. Sales have skyrocketed and walk-in business at his store in Detroit is booming. Walker believes his Detroit vs. Everybody line of apparel is helping remind people of how much Detroit has contributed to the culture of America.
DTE Energy was established 1903 and is Michigan’s largest energy company. For more than 150 years, DTE has served the homes and businesses of Michigan with reliable and affordable electric and natural gas service. Currently, DTE Energy has more than 2,500 employees and services an area of nearly 7,600 square miles. The company’s operations include about 1 million utility poles, 44,000 miles of power lines, nine fossil fuel generating plants as well as the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant. In addition to relying on Michigan’s abundant supply of natural gas, DTE Energy uses its pipelines to link customers to energy sources in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, the Rockies, the Gulf of Mexico and Western Canada.
East Jordan Iron Works is now EJ. Founded in 1883, EJ is the global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of infrastructure “access” solutions for water, sewer, drainage, telecommunications and utility networks – requiring modern and innovative features. In early 2012, East Jordan Iron Works and its affiliated companies around the world began doing business using the same name and brand, EJ. One identity and brand has unified the company and supported its vision of market leadership. EJ remains a family owned and operated company. It has a commercial presence in several European countries, Canada, Mexico, China and Australia – including sales offices, best-in-class manufacturing facilities, and research and development centers, with product distribution worldwide.
Empirical Biosciences, LLC, is a company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company, with its focus on the rapidly changing life sciences industry, develops products that are fundamental components of life science activities involving DNA. Empirical Biosciences’ vision is to lower the cost of biological reagents to foster life science research and education to make diagnostics more affordable. The company, which began in an attic in Southeast Michigan, found a home in Grand Rapids at the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative in 2010. Additionally, the company received a $100,000 investment from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund in 2011.
Construction of the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, began in 1917 and was completed in 1928, when it became the largest integrated factory in the world. Today, this industrial park includes six Ford factories on 600 acres of land. The Rouge is still Ford’s largest factory and employs close to 5,000 workers. Recently, the factory has been reimagined as a model of sustainable manufacturing by using natural processes, bringing daylight and fresh air back into the complex and cultivating North America’s largest living roof.
In 1996, the Busley family quit their jobs and risked everything they had to open the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Now, there are 15 shops across Michigan and Indiana serving gourmet soups, sandwiches, salads, pot pies, quiche, espresso and 40 varieties of pie. The company’s slogan is “Warming Hearts and Community through Pie.” Committed to quality products, warm and friendly service and truly making a positive difference in their customers’ day, the company has just opened its newest GTPie Shop in Portage, Michigan, and its products are available for delivery across the country by Foodydirect.
A third and fourth generation family business, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch provides premium eggs for local, regional and national customers. The company’s roots go back to the 1920s. Thanks to a focus on the highest possible standards and a commitment to excellence, Herbruck’s has grown from 3,000 laying hens in the 1950s to six million today. The Ranch is currently embarking on a $17 million expansion that will add numerous jobs over the next three years.
Formed in 2004 to pursue the development of renewable energy facilities, primarily wind energy, Heritage Sustainable Energy, LLC has successfully developed a series of wind farm projects in Michigan and continues to develop Michigan-based projects based on that success. The company has developed a strong reputation with landowners, utility companies, contractors, local community residents and all branches of government. Heritage is widely viewed as the best choice of Michigan’s utilities to maximize their investment in wind energy generation, not only to meet Michigan’s renewable energy mandates, but to achieve the most cost-effective renewable energy generation for their customers.
InfoReady is an IT company that creates apps to help other companies manage their data more efficiently using their Knowspace platform. The company is led by veteran technology entrepreneurs Bhushan Kulkarni and Jim Diggs. Kulkarni has won a host of awards, including “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, and a Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” award. Diggs was an original executive team member of the successful start-up, BlueGill Technologies. InfoReady is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and its resources are used by more than 35 universities, economic development organizations and local governments.
A downtown Detroit green space and urban garden, Lafayette Greens was created by Compuware to beautify downtown Detroit in an innovative and hands-on manner. The space provides an opportunity for employees, as well as downtown neighbors and visitors, to learn about and enjoy gardening in an urban setting. The produce grown in the garden is donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank, Freedom House and other organizations and food distributors. Volunteers who work and help maintain the space are also able to take home food.
Capital Region International Airport is a public airport three miles northwest of Lansing, Michigan. The airport serves a population of over 6 million people and is an important asset that generates $1 billion every year to the area’s regional economy. Hundreds of thousands of travelers use the airport each year to connect to the world through major airlines. Recently, the airport was awarded a federal grant for infrastructure improvements. The grant will fund the airport’s repaving some runways, upgrading the runway lighting system and removing trees. Additionally, the airport has been designated as an International Port of Entry into the United States, with a Federal Inspection Station and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on duty to process international passengers and cargo.
Launch MI Lab offers wet-lab and bench space, state-of-the-art equipment, professional analytical services as well as business expertise for biosciences companies. Housed in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Launch MI Lab has the technology and skillset to accelerate research and lower the expenses of life sciences businesses. Launch MI Lab strives to set the national standard for laboratory support and analytical expertise for new and existing life sciences organizations and entrepreneurs.
Kiteboarding icons Matt and Keegan Myers, also known as “The Broneah Brothers,” fell in love with M-22, a highway in Northern Michigan associated with bays, beaches, bonfires, dunes, vineyards, cottages, and friends and family. In 2003, the brothers produced T-shirts and stickers with the M-22 road sign. The brand sparked a passion and sales blossomed. The product line has continued to expand with new apparel and accessories. M22.com and an M-22 company store opened in downtown Traverse City and the distribution of the growing M-22 product line has taken off.
The Mastronardi family pioneered the North American greenhouse industry in the 1940s and now grows gourmet tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico under their SUNSET® brand. Recently, an extensive search for the next location of a major greenhouse led the company to Coldwater, Michigan, where they will produce and ship millions of pounds of tomatoes year round. With an emphasis on developing new commodities, Mastronardi/SUNSET® now also exports to Japan, the Caribbean and, most recently, Taiwan.
The MSU Broad College of Business was recently recognized in national ranking as #1 in supply chain management education. Programs range from undergraduate and graduate degrees to executive education and corporate learning programs. The program creates a close-knit learning environment while teaching students to apply their new-found knowledge to the real world through practical, hands-on activities and projects. Professor David Closs, a Michigan State University supply chain expert, has been appointed to a newly formed state commission on transportation and logistics issues.
In 1985, Neal Krieger purchased Universal Farm Sales, changed the name to Michigan Valley Irrigation and moved the company from Carrolton to Vassar, Michigan. The company is a full-service agricultural irrigation company for specialty crops as well as irrigation for hay. The company also manages waste water and is equipped to design and install every aspect of a new irrigation project.
Begun at Wayne State University, MitoStem specializes in turning human adult cells into pluripotent cells that can be used to replace damaged tissue cells in that same individual. In July 2012, MitoStem won a $100,000 prize that will allow it to further develop its technology. More recently, MitoStem hired a new CEO and a new CFO to help the company raise $500 thousand in angel investor funding.
Technology that specializes in control systems to make alternative fuel vehicles run smoother and more sustainably is the focus of New Eagle. Owners Rich and Mickey Swortzel launched New Eagle in 2008. New Eagle is continuing its growth streak in Ann Arbor thanks to new partnerships with other automotive firms. The company recently achieved certification on General Motor’s 8.0-liter block engine, with up to 350 horsepower, that is modified for dedicated liquid propane. This certification has positioned New Eagle as a leader in the market and has allowed New Eagle to grow its expertise in engine systems through additional staff and facilities.
Founded in 1991, Plymouth Technology is a dynamic, privately owned water treatment company. In 2010, Amanda Christides, president and CEO of Plymouth Technology, was named AT&T Innovator of the Year in the Detroit area. She was also named to the 2011 “40 under 40” class by Crain’s Detroit Business. Record sales in 2010 and 2011 have helped the company expand. Plymouth Technology has grown from about eight employees to 31, including 15 chemists working on R&D at its 10,000-square-foot Rochester Hills SmartZone headquarters.
The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (DWCPA) was established to promote Detroit as a distribution hub and foster economic growth in the city of Detroit, Wayne County and the state of Michigan. Each year, the Port of Detroit sees more than 17 million tons of cargo at 29 private and public sector terminal facilities across the region. The Port Authority opened the $22 million Port Detroit Public Dock and Terminal on July 18, 2011, to attract Great Lakes cruise ships, and possibly to begin passenger ferry service between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Founded in 1980 by William Siegmund, CWS-V, Pure Water Works is a Michigan company created on the philosophy of changing the quality of life with quality water. Located in Traverse City, Michigan, Pure Water Works has pioneered standards and new developments for the water industry. The company sells, rents, assembles and services complete lines of water treatment equipment, including UltraPure™ Cleanroom systems and utilizes scientific analysis with a state certified lab and a well-trained staff with a combined 70 years of work in the field.
What began in 1976 as Jack Roush Performance Engineering is now recognized internationally as a premier provider of engineering and systems integration solutions with over 3,500 employees in facilities across the globe. With a belief that Michigan has excellent talent, capital and skill, Roush Enterprises acquired a new 60,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing campus in Livonia, Michigan, to accommodate the growth of Roush Clean Tech.
Located in Ann Arbor, Seelio is an educational services and technology company that lets students easily and beautifully document their works, projects and passions with professional online portfolios. Initially, the platform was open only to students at the University of Michigan, but in August of 2012, Seelio launched to the world with a vision that college students everywhere could use it to show who they truly are and what they can accomplish. Seelio enables students to create a professional persona and allows them to take control of their online presence in a way they can’t on popular sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Backed by investors with decades of experience in higher education, Seelio is deploying full-service, custom portfolio networks for leading universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin and West Virginia University.
Shinola was created in the fall of 2011 with the belief that products should be built to last, and they should be built right here in America. As makers of modern, handcrafted watches, bicycles, leather goods and journals, Shinola is proud to be based in Detroit, a community-minded city with a strong manufacturing legacy. This past spring, Shinola’s initial launch of 2,500 limited edition watches sold out across the country in a little over a week. The story of the Shinola brand, its factory and quality products will hopefully be a blueprint for how to save elements of American industry, and spotlight a unique approach to creating new American brands, right here in Michigan.
For the founders of Stik.com, a service that helps companies collect and showcase customer reviews, true success didn’t coincide with their arrival in Silicon Valley. More accurately, it came with their departure from Silicon Valley and a return to Detroit. In Michigan, they found an unbeatable talent pool, a vast support network, and a culture of innovation. Now, Stik.com is growing faster than ever before, right here in Michigan.
In 2001, Bob Jacquart, CEO of Jacquart Fabric Products in Ironwood, Michigan, learned that the Kromer Cap Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was about to discontinue production of its legendary Blizzard Cap. Less than a month later, Bob was the proud new owner of the Kromer Blizzard Cap. He quickly made a few subtle changes to the iconic headgear, including changing the name to the Stormy Kromer Cap. Over the next 10 years, Bob invested in Stormy Kromer and today, annual production of the caps is 20 times what it was in 2001 and the product line has expanded from 16 to over 100 SKUs in men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, all made in the U.S.A.
TekWissen is a technology services company that specializes in global innovation and design. Established in 2009, the firm’s founder selected Michigan based on its talented pool of well-educated experts in the technology field. Utilizing these resources has been a boom to the company as it keeps its fingers on the pulse of a rapidly changing industry. TekWissen has built an enviable portfolio of capabilities and is continuing to develop new and innovative projects.
In the early 1980s, two brothers from Lansing started the company Two Men and a Truck. Since then, the company has grown into a fleet of 1,500 trucks and is the nation’s largest franchised local moving company. A true Michigan success story, Two Men and a Truck show no signs of slowing down, with plans to expand internationally.
UpTo is an innovative tech start-up that is redefining the calendar. UpTo’s calendar app for iPhone and Android offers consumers an all-encompassing view of what’s coming up based on their own schedule, their likes and their interests. UpTo offers businesses and organizations a modern calendar that transforms static lists of events into beautiful, social and engaging calendar experiences. The company’s founders, all Michigan natives, chose to locate their business in Michigan to take advantage of the area’s incredible resources, including creative talent, tech know-how, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial energy.
Think Tank. Lab. Studio. Vectorform invents digital products and experiences with a focus on innovative mobile and emerging technology solutions. They work to deliver best-in-class contemporary insight to create game-changing experiences for the world’s most influential brands, including Microsoft, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Nike and Disney. Vectorform was founded in 1999 by Jason Vazzano, Kurt Steckling and Karl Steckling. The company is headquartered in Royal Oak and has five offices globally.
A U.S.-based global automotive parts company spun off from Ford Motor Company in 2000, Visteon now has approximately 22,000 employees and more than $13 billion in sales annually (2013). Through its core growth businesses, including Halla Visteon Climate Control and Visteon Electronics, Visteon designs, engineers and manufactures innovative components and systems for virtually every vehicle manufacturer worldwide. Visteon is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Michigan, where it consolidated its southeast Michigan operations in 2005, citing excellent support, efficiencies and cost savings.
Founded in 1911, Whirlpool began by producing electric, motor-driven wringer washers. Today, Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.
300 N. Washington Sq., Lansing, MI 48913