Three Takeaways: DornerWorks

Courtney Overbey

Monday, October 4, 2021

Grand Rapids entrepreneurs David Dorner and Gregg Wildes of DornerWorks share their “bottom line” advice for budding entrepreneurs looking to expand and grow their business in Michigan.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, DornerWorks was founded in 2000 by David Dorner. What started as a basement company with just one client, DornerWorks now ranks in the top tier of embedded development teams in the country. The company helps clients cut through the fog of new technology by providing expert guidance and customizable design, engineering and manufacturing support.

In this special two-part addition of 3 Takeaways, DornerWorks Owner and Founder David Dorner and Business Development Manager Gregg Wildes share their advice for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their business in Michigan.

Part One: David Dorner

  1. Michigan is a recruiting tool. Michigan is an ideal place to recruit talent because it’s a great place to live, work and play. When recruiting someone from outside of Michigan, you aren’t just recruiting that individual person, but their family as well, and Michigan has a lot to offer.
  2. Explore university talent pools. Michigan has a built-in talent pool with the colleges and universities as their educating students in engineering and high-tech fields such as business and math.
  3. Partner with local companies. Michigan has many local companies and subcontractors to do business with. The business synergy in Michigan is rewarding for all parties.

Part Two: Gregg Wildes

  1. Prioritize talent. Talent should not be looked at as an expense, but rather an investment. Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) has played a critical role in DornerWork’s recruitment and hiring efforts, offering resources and programs to support workforce needs.
  2. Work with the MEDC to enhance facilities. The MEDC is a great partner for businesses looking to upgrade their facilities, whether it be high speed internet, electric capabilities or technology.
  3. Build your network. Networking events like those organized by the MEDC help Michigan grow together by creating opportunities for collaboration that benefit all parties involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

To learn more about how MEDC can help businesses of all sizes expand and grow in Michigan, go to

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To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.