The Michigan Opportunity

Through dynamic discussion, The Michigan Opportunity markets the state and promotes Michigan as a world-class business location. The podcast serves as a forward-thinking voice for Michigan as a conduit to global trends and applications in the new global economy.


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The Michigan Opportunity Podcast Now Airing on WJR’s The Great Voice

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast

Season - 1 Episode 52

Michelle Grinnell - MEDC Senior Vice-President & Host Ed Clemente, Senior Advisor for Trends and Development

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast is celebrating it’s one year anniversary! Join Michelle Grinnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for MEDC who puts Ed on the hot seat with a ‘year in review.’

Join Michelle Grinnell, MEDC Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications as she grills host Ed Clemente about the 50+ economic development guests over the last year. Though Ed has a very nontraditional background, it “uniquely” compliments MEDC’s The Michigan Opportunity Podcast. Learn the sage advice from the many economic development guests, especially in areas of their unique career paths, their elevator speeches, future trends and disrupters, career advice and what they like best about Pure Michigan. Listen to the many stories of the Michigan geographic ecosystems and trends observed over the year such as: variety small business, connectivity, mobility, talent, higher education, finance, Industry 4.0, digital nomads, supply/block chain, edge computing, international footprints, digital nomads, BIO R&D, infrastructure, CED and what Michigan could look like by 2050! And so much more!

Season - 1 Episode 48

Eric Roberts - Executive Director, 20Fathoms

What is an Incubator, a Tech start-up, VC, and do Angels really exist in Michigan? Find out answers to these questions and more with 20Fathoms' Executive Director.

Join Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms for a fast-paced discussion with host Ed Clemente about a Traverse City-based niche industry of helping emerging innovators get started and nurtured. 20Fathoms is a membership organization for the region’s entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators. They provide services, resources, support, and a robust support network to help their members accelerate careers and businesses. Eric also shares discusses Northern Michigan Angels, what it’s like working in Silicon Valley, as well as why he chose to come back to Michigan near his Yooper roots after living all over the country. Eric also clears up any confusions between the terms venture capital, incubator, tech start-up, SmartZones and more!

Season - 1 Episode 45

Charlie Tyson, Technology Activation Manager, Office of Future Mobility & Electrification, MEDC

What happens in Las Vegas doesn’t always stay there. Hear about self-driving tractors, cars that can change colors, and a ton more on the growing presence of mobility and electrification at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Join Charlie Tyson Technology Activation Manager, in the Office of Future Mobility & Electrification, at the MEDC, and host Ed Clemente as you get a firsthand account of the many activities at the Consumer Electronics Show and how it creates multiple benefits for the Michigan economy. You will hear about the fast-moving mobility sector, autonomous vehicles, electrification platforms, what Michigan companies are there. Also, about a car that can change colors, autonomous farm equipment and more drones!

Season - 1 Episode 41

Dr. Tarek Sobh, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost, Incoming LTU President

“If you are wondering what the future will be like for careers, take out your notebook and follow this discussion with the new incoming LTU President!”

Join Dr. Tarek Sobh, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost, and the incoming President for Lawrence Technological University and host Ed Clemente, for an innovative discussion on entrepreneurship, engineering, robotics, design, global fingerprints, and many other future trends and careers! LTU is recognized for its transformative STEM and Design education structures that develops leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset and global perspective. Find out about Dr. Sobh and his ‘boots on ground’ academic passion that led him on a path from Alexandria, Egypt to Michigan.

Season - 1 Episode 40

Olga Stella, Executive Director – Design Core Detroit & VP of Strategy and Communications – College of Creative Studies

Learn about the institution’s core mission, not only the aspirations for their students, but it’s fabled history in the automotive and design world.

Join Olga Stella, Executive Director, Design Core Detroit & VP of Strategy and Communications for the College of Creative Studies and host Ed Clemente, for a creative discussion on design, form & function, art, business, international footprint, and a rich learning history! The college educates visual artists and designers, knowledgeable in varied fields, who will be leaders in creative professions that shape society and advance economic growth. CCS alumni are entrepreneurs, they are working artists, Fortune 500 companies hire them, and the impact CCS alumni are making in the art/design world.

Season - 1 Episode 30

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II

Lt. Governor Gilchrist II mission to help leverage technology as a tool to help those in need and help close the Digital Divide.

Join Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and host Ed Clemente as they discuss his early passion for technology and at 16 years old starting a computer Lab in a Detroit Rec Center. This helped guide him to get UM degrees in Computer Science & Engineering. Which led him to Microsoft in Washington State and becoming a tech entrepreneur in the process. Also, some of his initiatives in our nation’s capital. Learn about his passion for helping those underserved communities and the imperative of the digital divide and how this was accelerated during the pandemic. A guest on our podcast, happened to have his very own, award-winning podcast as well.

Season - 1 Episode 28

Damian Porcari, Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office

Find out who was the “Real McCoy,” the real world of patents and inventions and where the trends are heading.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office (MWRO) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is located in Detroit serving Michigan and eight additional states. Their goal is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs — including professional development for teachers, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. Join Damian Porcari and host Ed Clemente as he highlights the differences between a patent and a trademark, including international patents, his unique story, and how it led him to jobs with the U.S. Army and Ford Motor Company. We also get some history of the creation of the patent office and famous inventors, most importantly, Elijah McCoy. Along the way we also get some insights about future trends in patents and inventions.

Season - 1 Episode 22

Dr. Weisong Shi, Associate Dean & Professor of Computer Science

A peek into the future. Dr. Shi demystifies connected and autonomous vehicles, edge computing and wireless health wearables including how and why all of these will affect you sooner than you think.

Dr. Weisong Shi is a professor of computer science and Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, at Wayne State University. He has published books and multiple other publications and has more than 3,000 cited references. Join him and Host Ed Clemente to learn about the Mobile and Internet SysTems Laboratory (MIST) and Connected and Autonomous dRiving Laboratory (CAR) at WSU. They also discuss the expanding world of quantum computing, edge computing, cloud computing and their differences as well as the future of connectivity, autonomous vehicles, LIDAR, cybersecurity and potential career paths in these areas, as well as wireless health and wearables.

Season - 1 Episode 21

Dr. Steve Melnyk, Professor Supply Chain Technology, Michigan State University

What do these hot issues of supply chain, logistics, cybersecurity, blockchain and many other moving parts have in common? Professor Dr. Steven Melnyk.

Dr. Steven Melnyk is a Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Management, Broad College of Business, at Michigan State University. He has co-authored 20 books, and over 90 refereed journal articles. Join him and Host Ed Clemente and learn about the difference between supply chain and logistics, how cybersecurity and supply chain are linked, and how there needs to be more than just blockchain to prevent hacking.

You will also learn how Amazon has capitalized on consumer driven data to become an expert in the field of supply chain, and how China is changing the world in future distribution paths. Learn why university research is critical for strategic planning for the U.S. and in career opportunities for individuals. Also, how does the automotive industry change with a new ecosystem of supply chain and other trends?

Season - 1 Episode 18

Daniel Garrison, Office Managing Director, Accenture, Detroit Innovation Hub

Here come the fresh ideas of how we move into the New Economy and Accenture is providing the global pathway options.

Accenture has 500,000+ employees globally, they are in 50 counties and have clients in 120 countries. Accenture's Detroit Innovation Hub is designed to help clients grow, compete and transform in the digital economy through strategic consulting. Follow Dan, Accenture's Detroit Office Managing Director, as he sees the future and the opportunities for Michigan, and how everything from digital nomads to Starlink will change the way how we live, work and play in the future. Along the way, learn a little bit about quantum computing, innovation and digitization, as Dan was an international work traveler seeing how the world of business is evolving first hand.

About the Host: Ed Clemente

Ed Clemente joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2020 as the Senior Advisor for Trends and Development.

From 2012-2020, Clemente served as a two-term governor appointed Hearing Commissioner for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Executing over 7,000 judicial Orders/Decisions, over the tenure of service. Prior joining the MLCC, Clemente launched Michigan’s Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) establishing it as 501c3 and 501c6 entity and serving as its first President.

Ed Clemente was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004 representing parts of southern Wayne County. During his three terms in the State House (2004-2010) he led task forces on electric vehicles, biosciences, film industry, Brownfield restoration, economic development, quality of life and advanced energy. Before his tenure as a public official, Clemente held several leadership roles at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce, including President and Director Economic and Business Development. He also previously chaired the Economic Development Committee of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and was elected as a Trustee for Wayne County Community College District, serving four terms.

Clemente has earned degrees from Ferris State, Michigan State University and Sienna Heights Universities. Clemente was awarded with a prestigious fellowship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and The National Judicial College for Administrative Law. He graduated from several political leadership development programs, including Leadership Detroit, Michigan Political Leadership Program, and Leadership 21. He is a previous small business owner and has taught at Northwood University. Additionally, he hosts a “Critical Conversations” podcast and is a member of the Workforce Advisors for Wayne County Community College. Ed serves on the Board of Directors for Global Ties Detroit and the Motor Cities National Heritage Area. An avid traveler, Ed has visited more than 80 countries and territories, 150+ UNESCO World Heritage sites, many to play rugby tournaments, others for professional exchange and some for just intellectual curiosity.

The Michigan Opportunity is brought to you by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, MEDC markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state.