©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation


Entrepreneurs in Elevators

Entrepreneurs in Elevators

  • Serial entrepreneur and innovator, David Ollila from SkyPoint Ventures, has teamed up with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to connect with some of the most passionate entrepreneurs and innovative companies across the state. Follow along to hear their stories of trials and triumphs, and learn about the ecosystem that allowed them to bring their ideas to life. Contact the MEDC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Team to learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities in Michigan.

    ProNav Marine - Travis White

    What started as a personal project to improve his own fishing experience turned into an exciting entrepreneurial journey for Travis White of ProNav Marine. With help from MTech SmartZone in Houghton, Travis and his equally outdoorsy business partners created a high-tech marine products company that offers solutions for fishermen, by fishermen.

    C3 3D - Chris Williams

    Entrepreneurs like Chris Williams are at the core of Flint’s revitalization. Williams is the founder and president of C3 3D, a C3 Brands company. C3 3D is elevating traditional manufacturing to the next level using of advanced 3D printing applications.

    Steridev - Rob Zondervan

    In the heart of Michigan’s capital city, entrepreneur Rob Zondervan is working to improve patient care. His startup, Steridev, developed the first fully functional sterile case and transfer mechanism for cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices for use in clinical settings.


    Theramazing - Heather Jose

    In her work as an occupational therapist, Heather Jose identified a need for a functional but subtle product to assist patients with sensory issues. With the help of CMURC, she developed the Theramazing weighted hat—a portable, inconspicuous and effective solution that helps individuals with sensory needs feel calmer and more focused.

    MySwimPro - Fares Ksebati

    Ann Arbor, Michigan is one of the top swimming cities in the country. It’s also a hub of entrepreneurial activity and high-tech startup support, making it the perfect place for Fares Ksebati to develop MySwimPro—the first mobile app of its kind specifically made for swim training.

    Green Glove Dryer - Karen Smoots

    A Michigan mom of two, Karen Smoots needed a solution for the wet winter gear that never seemed to dry out no matter what method she used. Through creativity, enthusiasm, a supportive network and a commitment to Michigan manufacturing, Karen invented the GreenGlove Dryer—a favorite for any outdoorsy family.

    SkySpecs - Danny Ellis

    Danny Ellis of SkySpecs knows it takes a village to raise a startup. His software company has the potential to impact several major industries by changing the way large infrastructure is inspected. He shares his story, lessons learned, and advice for budding entrepreneurs.

    Abcor Industries - J.T. Weis

    JT Weis moved back to Michigan from Paris (yes, Paris!) to lead Abcor Industries, an innovative company disrupting the building and furniture markets with its powder coating technology. The inventive products, collaborative environment and supportive nature of the region drew him in—for good.

    Why Michigan?

    Michigan is rooted in innovation and production. Those same roots are what makes Michigan a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow a business. Coast to coast,  there is an abundance of resources, expertise and financial support help to startups no matter their industry. The thriving ecosystem includes a wide range of state and private groups that collaborate on everything from funding and research, to technology, talent acquisition and retention. From providing mentors to business training and access to manufacturing, there is something here for every one looking to start a business. 

    Contact the MEDC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Team to learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities in Michigan.