©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Why Michigan

PM Why MI Gradient

Pure Michigan Business Success Stories Q-Z

  • Success Stories Home

     Return to Success Stories Home Page 

  • Roush Enterprises

    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.

  • Rush Trucking

    Andra Rush, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

    Rush Trucking is a minority-owned freight transportation firm founded in 1984 by Andra M. Rush, chair and chief executive officer. Headquartered in Wayne, Michigan, Rush Trucking is an industry leader for cost-effective truckload and milk run transportation solutions for local, over-the-road and just-in-time operations. Rush, a Mohawk Native American, borrowed $5,000 from her parents and used her credit cards to launch her company more than 30 years ago with one van and two pickup trucks. Today, Rush Trucking transports goods across the U.S. and Canada with 850 tractors, 1,450 trailers and 800 employees for Fortune 100 companies, including Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

    Rush Trucking
  • Seelio

    Moses Lee, Michael Deming, and David Jsa , Co-Founders

    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

    Detroit is where America drew its blueprints for manufacturing. Surpassing its goal of manufacturing 170,000 handmade watches, along with bicycles, leather goods and more, Shinola and its growing leather and watch factories are contributing to Detroit once again becoming the nation’s manufacturing capital.

  • SocialProof

    Nathan Labenz and Jay Gierak, Founders, SocialProof

    For the founders of SocialProof, 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, SocialProof is growing faster than ever before, right here in Michigan.

  • Stardock

    Brad Wardell - President/CEO, Angela Marshall – COO

    Founded in 1991 by technology expert and CEO Brad Wardell, Stardock is a developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software located in Plymouth, Michigan. When asked about expanding his business in Michigan, the CEO stated, “We think Michigan is well placed to become a hub for technology companies thanks to new programs from the state to make Michigan more competitive to do business in. We look forward to continuing our strong growth with additional development projects over the next couple of years." Michigan's aggressive film incentive package also applies to the gaming industry, making it one of only two states to offer enticements to the rapidly-growing industry.

  • Stormy Kromer

    Gina Thorsen, Vice President

    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.

    Stormy Kromer
  • Stryker Corporation

    Kevin Lobo, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Stryker Corporation

    Meeting the unmet needs of medical patients since 1941. That’s been the goal of Stryker, a FORTUNE 500 medical technology company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Driven by over 26,000 employees worldwide, Stryker offers a diverse array of innovative medical products and services to help people lead more active and satisfying lives. This dedication resulted in the Prix Galien USA 2014 Award for Best Medical Technology.

  • TekWissen

    Manish Senta, Director of Business Development, TekWissen

    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.

  • Two Men and a Truck

    Brig Sorber, CEO, Mary Ellen Sheets, Founder, Melanie Bergeron, Chair, and Jon Sorber, Executive V.P.

    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

    Greg Schwartz, CEO and Co-Founder; Chris Kaufman, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder; Mat Piccinato, Chief of Mobile and Co-Founder; Dave Webber, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder

    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.

  • Vectorform

    Jason Vazzano, CEO & Co-founder, Kurt Steckling, CEO & Co-founder

    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.

  • Visteon

    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.

  • Whirlpool

    Jeff Fettig, CEO

    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.

  • Zehnder’s Splash Village

    Zehnder’s Splash Village

    Creating a premier, four-season family vacation destination. That was the goal of the $20 million invested in Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark expansion, finished in 2014. With help that included financial assistance from First Merit Bank and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the waterpark now offers families over 50,000 square feet of aquatic adventures including two, six-story thrill rides, 178 guestrooms and a unique retractable roof.