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Monday, February 22, 2010

February TechTown eNewsletter

TechTown logo
Volume 3, Edition 2 
In this issue...
Save the date!
Is your funding search driving you over the edge?
FastTrac grad picks up useful tips from SmartStart
Hats off to Clean Emission Fluids
Making the Motor City a Maker City
Asterand gives to Nie Edwards trust fund
New Economy News February 2010
Dear Sylvia,  

Governor Granholm at TechTown
In her State of the State address earlier this month, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced $200,000 to support FastTrac entrepreneurial training programs across the state and $43 million in small business loans through the Michigan Credit Union League.
"Our focus this year must be on creating jobs by creating employers, in addition to bringing employers here," Granholm said during a visit to TechTown the next morning. She heard testimonials from several entrepreneurs, including a TechTown company, who graduated from FastTrac and shared how the program helped them through the startup process. 
"What we've got here in Michigan is the start of an innovation revolution in which young companies can get access to support that didn't exist 10 years ago, even five years ago," said TechTown Executive Director Randal Charlton.
Our Sponsors
Visit our sponsor
Let's meet The Gambia and do business!
Friday, February 26
9:00 to 10:30 a.m.

An African business forum sponsored by the African Business Chamber of Commerce
Come hear featured speaker Yusupha Kamara as he highlights business opportunities in The Gambia, showcases the thriving Gambian economy, and offers a better understanding of the process of exporting U.S. products to The Gambia.
First Friday
Friday, March 5
4 to 6 p.m.
Network with nearly 300 entrepreneurs, innovators, service providers and mentors at TechTown's monthly First Friday event.
Ticket to the FastTrac
Monday, March 15
3 to 6 p.m. 
Entrepreneurs, mark your calendars!
TechTown is giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet one-on-one with advisors who help them select and enroll in the program best suited for their business goals.
The March meeting will be held on the campus of Wayne County Community College.
Moving, Packing, Sorting, Stacking: Starting a Logistics and Supply Chain Management Company in Southeast Michigan
Monday, March 22
1 to 2 p.m.
Starting a logistics and supply chain management company in Southeast Michigan and want to do it right?
Don't miss this discussion with Mark Lundquist, President and CEO of Fulcrum Edge, about the many opportunities in logistics for entrepreneurs.
Save the date!
FastTrac to the Future returns on May 25 and 26

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur who missed the FastTrac to the Future conferences last summer, mark your calendar! The popular day-long conference for emerging entrepreneurs is back, and it's being offered two days this year, May 25 and 26.
The conference will feature an inspiring keynote speaker and breakout sessions on entrepreneurial topics, plus information tables and an opportunity to sign up for FastTrac and other entrepreneurial training courses.
A special reunion session for graduates of the FastTrac training program will be held on May 24, by which time nearly 1,000 people in Southeast Michigan will have finished the award-winning programs. This half-day session will point FastTrac grads to additional resources to help them on their entrepreneurial adventure.
Keep your eye on this newsletter for more details!
SmartStartIs your funding search driving you over the edge?

Get back on track with SmartStart, TechTown's business accelerator program, which can help companies qualify for funding opportunities like Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund (up to $250,000) and the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund Micro Loans ($10,000 to $50,000). 
Also, startups admitted to SmartStart are now eligible to compete for a $100,000 SmartZone Award sponsored by the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest (GLEQ). Best known for its high-profile business plan competition, GLEQ helps Michigan entrepreneurs build high-growth, new economy business ideas into real, profitable ventures. Learn more about GLEQ.
SmartStart works with innovative startups to provide one-on-one coaching, mentoring, workshops on many aspects of business ownership and much more to give them the competitive edge they need to reach maximum revenue growth. 
Click here for the free SmartStart application, due March 12.
Geraldine HooksFastTrac grad picks up useful tips from SmartStart Logistics

When Geraldine Hooks began mapping out her idea in for a logistics company that would provide transportation services for dialysis patients in Detroit, the last thing on her mind was a business accelerator program.
"I thought I was ready for a startup," Hooks said. "Then I took a FastTrac class, and that's when I realized how much work I had to do."
Oliver BaerHats off to Clean Emission Fluids

In its March edition, Fortune magazine gave readers a small taste of why Oliver Baer and Clean Emission Fluids (CEF) have become one of TechTown's top buzz-worthy companies.
"We aren't waiting on the auto industry to come save us,'' Baer said of his company, which engineers and markets custom-designed biodiesel blending stations. "We're going to save ourselves.'' 
Around TechTown, Baer's can-do attitude extends well beyond the aggressive growth goals he's established for CEF. His faith and willingness to help grow TechTown are just as strong. Baer, if you haven't heard, was the man behind the very generous and unique donation of beer for TechTown's February First Friday. 
TechTown meets Hockeytown
 TechTown meets  Hockeytown
TechTown stormed the ice at Joie Louis arena February 11 to take on the San Jose Sharks in an epic battle of hockey glory!
Welll... not exactly.  But TechTown tenants did get free tickets to the February 11 Red Wings-Sharks game plus a special pre-game reception featuring giveaways, food and fun with Comcast, TechTown's new tech partner.
Thanks to Olympia Entertainment, Comcast and TechTown Real Estate and Facilities Director Henry Argasinski for a fabulous night in Hockeytown.
Let's go, Red Wings!
Stout SystemsStout Systems celebrates banner year

What a year 2010 is already shaping up to be for Stout Systems, a TechTown-based software consulting and staffing company.  
John W. Stout, company founder and president, said the company is thriving based on momentum started in 2009, a year which opened the door to many new "highest ever" goal achievements, including the highest ever number of customer requests (more than 160) for its consulting and staffing services. Stout also racked up records in increased sales activity with existing and new customers, and welcomed its largest number of staff ever (38), doubling its business development and internal administrative staff to a total of eight people.
"I attribute this success in part to our branding," said Stout. "We correctly brand ourselves as a technology consulting company fueled by the most powerful technology available: human intelligence."
e200SBA seeks Detroit small biz owners for second round of e200 initiative

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Michigan District Office is seeking small business owners for its second round of the Emerging 200 Initiative (e200), an in-depth training program for senior executives.
Last year, 16 Detroit-based small businesses successfully completed the program. Roger Pappas, president of Vulcanmasters Welding Company, was one of the executives who graduated from e200. "As a result of the business skills training acquired through e200 in the areas of marketing, accounting, finance and networking, we've obtained several new accounts and expanded our existing accounts," Pappas said. "Since graduation in November 2009, we have increased our bottom line by 14 percent over the same time period and expect to see additional increases in sales in the future."
Read more here.
Maker FaireMaking the Motor City a Maker City
National innovation fair comes to The Henry Ford this summer

TechTown is proud to help promote a new collaboration that is sure to help drive Detroit forward. Through a partnership with Make magazine, The Henry Ford in Dearborn will bring "makers" from across the nation this summer for a two-day event designed to celebrate and spur creativity in people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and culture. 
The event, known nationally as Maker Faire, takes place July 31-Aug. 1, 2010. Thousands of makers are expected to descend on Detroit.
"At its core, Maker Faire Detroit is about the possibility of what ordinary individuals can do," Henry Ford President Patricia Mooradian said in a news release earlier this year. "It's about people being resourceful and innovative.''
AsterandAsterand gives to Nie Edwards trust fund
Fundraiser brought in $300

Thanks to Asterand for its generous donation of $300 to the Nie Elizabeth Edwards trust fund. The company recently auctioned off IT equipment and gave the proceeds to its employees' charity of choice. 
To date, the TechTown community has raised approximately $2,000 to help secure the future of young Nie, a toddler orphaned after her father and mother were killed in a car accident in October. Nie's father, Nathaniel Edwards, worked for Qwk2lrn, a long-time tenant company at TechTown, specializing in restoring old computers later distributed to schools across metro Detroit.
Donations to the Nie Edwards trust fund are still being accepted. For more information, contact the TechTown marketing department at (313) 879-4478.
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About us

Detroit's fastest-growing business incubator, TechTown is serving and assisting more than 160 emerging companies with business accelerator programs, space for lease and educational forums. Learn more here.

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