Forged in Flint: Kalm Clothing and Kuhmute
Based in Flint, Michigan, 100K Ideas is a nonprofit with a mission to make the process from ideation to commercialization easier on innovators. Supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 100K Ideas is a community of student professionals who provide entrepreneurs a helping hand in business development. As of February 2020, 100K Ideas has helped grow 481 ideas and given out 340 assessments. Two startups that have grown to fruition as a result of 100K Ideas are Kuhmute and Kalm Klothing.
Kuhmute and Kalm Clothing are featured in MEDC’s Entrepreneurs in Elevators video series, which follows serial entrepreneur and innovator David Ollila as he connects with some of the most passionate companies across Michigan. Follow along with the series to hear these entrepreneurs’ stories of trials and triumphs and learn about how Michigan’s ecosystem allowed them to bring their ideas to life.
Kettering University engineering graduates Peter Deppe and Scott Spitler have a shared mission to provide affordable, organized transportation. They chose Flint, Michigan—a hub for technology and mobility—as the city to launch Kuhmute, an innovative scooter solution.
Kuhmute is the universal charging infrastructure for micromobility, which includes electric scooters and bikes. In response to scooter messes plaguing cities across the country, Kuhmute offers a hub that charges and organizes scooters while costing riders less; a solution that pleases both municipalities and consumers.
Since launching in November 2018, Kuhmute won Best Mobility Hardware Company at the Detroit Hardware Summit, was selected for TechTown Detroit’s DTX Launch Detroit accelerator and was recognized at the Comeback Capital Bowl competition held to support growth of personal electric vehicles and smart-charging hubs.
Struggling to find a job after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Kiara Tyler channeled her inner creativity and drive into a clothing line—Kalm Clothing.
Kalm Clothing is a premium unisex streetwear brand founded and operated out of the Ferris Wheel Innovation Center in Flint, Michigan. Kiara doesn’t use a complicated software during the design process, but rather lays out her designs the traditional way by putting colored pencils and crayons on paper.
Today, everyone from Flint residents, venture capitalists and lawyers to former NFL player Victor Cruz and Grammy-nominated rapper Dej Loaf are donning Kalm Clothing. For more information, visit https://www.kalmclothing.online/.
Contact the MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation team to learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities in Michigan and to gain access to valuable business resources.