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Macomb-OU INCubator
  Incubate. Innovate. Accelerate.

May 2012


Plastomer Lighting Technology, Inc. (PLT)

Plastomer Lighting Technologies, Inc. has developed patent-pending, cutting edge, proprietary lighting technologies and assemblies, initially targeted to automotive interior/ambient lighting applications. Current applications also include lighting for commercial appliances with option to further penetrate non-automotive markets, e.g. in and under-cabinet lighting in addition to numerous other industries and applications.

Since its inception in 2010, PLT has created patent-pending ambient lighting designs and assemblies so unique and cost-effective that the company achieved Tier 1 designation for GM within 12 months. As a result, the company has been awarded highly visible, still-plate lighting business for both the 2013 XTS and 2014 Cadillac Escalade.

With application assistance from the Macomb-OU INCubator, PLT has been awarded $50,000 from the Business Accelerator Fund of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center. PLT is using the funding to enhance its financial infrastructure, human resources and TS 16949 certification and process mapping.




Brar Technology has an Extended Focus

Tenant client Gurdev Brar of Brar Technology, Inc. maintains his expertise on Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) and embedded software systems. However, he has now found another use of the Velocity building, home of the Macomb-OU INCubator.

Brar is now growing vegetables outside his office, more specifically bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, zucchini and squash. He was sure to let us know that anyone from the incubator is welcome to the vegetables, and anything left over will be preserved. Perhaps an end of the summer picnic is in order!

Visit his website to learn more about Brar Technology, Inc.

National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) Conference
Atlanta, Georgia

Julie Gustafson, Executive Director; Larry Herriman, Assistant Director; Rachel Louzon, Grant Research and Compliance Officer; and Joan Carleton, Marketing and Communications Manager; traveled to Atlanta early May for NBIA's 26th International Conference on Business Incubation. This was a very valuable experience, as Gustafson and Herriman completed the first step in the Preconference Institute Incubator Management Certificate Program to enhance their skills and gather tools for successful incubator management. In addition, all four took part in many workshops, networking sessions and tours.

There was great Michigan representation at the conference! There even was time to bring the Michigan group together for a fun-filled dinner, all thanks to the coordination of Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (Mi-SBTDC) Technology Business Consultant and NBIA Board Member, Sandra Cochrane.

Out of over 60 sessions, Mac-OU INC was able to attend well over half. Mac-OU INC is now prepared to take best practices outlined at the conference and put them to use! Expect exciting things with Mac-OU INC!



Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Bus Tour Slides Now Available

Back in April, the MEDC traveled to the SmartZones to discuss different state services and funding opportunities available to growing technology companies. If you missed this informative overview, or would like more information, the presentation slides can now be viewed here.

"The MEDC is a public-private partnership serving as the state's marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth. MEDC offers a number of business assistant services and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration, economic gardening, entrepreneurship, strategic partnerships, talent enhancement, and urban and community development. MEDC, founded in 1999, also developed and manages the state's popular Pure Michigan brand." This, and other information, can be found on the MEDC website.

Julie Gustafson, Mac-OU INC Executive Director, Featured as a Guest Blogger in Metromode

Chosen as a featured guest blogger for Metromode, Julie Gustafson wrote articles under the headings of "Why Start Ups; Why Business Incubation?," "Why Business Incubation in MIchigan?" and "Ramping Up an Incubator." Read these terrific insights into why Michigan is the place to be for growing technology companies, and how business incubation can be an incredible aid.

Metromode posts daily reports on job growth and development for Southeast Michigan cities, from Detroit to Ann Arbor. It is a publication of Detroit-based Issue Media Group, LLC.

Velocity Jr. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S. T. E. M.) Summer Programs

Registration for more than 15 different innovative summer education programs aimed at creating excitement for elementary and middle school students in the areas of STEM education is now open.

The programs will engage students in fun, hands-on learning projects while they learn about industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, underwater robotics, race cars, metal casting, math and more.

Programs will take place at Velocity Jr., which is housed at Rose Kidd Elementary, 38397 Gladstone in Sterling Heights.

Students do not have to be residents of Sterling Heights or Utica Community Schools to take advantage of these opportunities.

This STEM public-private partnership between Utica Community Schools and the City of Sterling Heights is designed to encourage and create a workforce capable of filling future high tech job opportunities that will help Michigan's economy grow.

For more information or to register, visit and click on the Velocity Jr. logo, or call 586-797-6900.

A link to programs can also be found at


Michigan Manufacturers - Join a LinkedIn Networking Group!

A Business to Business networking event for manufacturers was held on Thursday, May 11, put on by the Sterling Heights economic development team and Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. It was designed to provide manufacturers with a forum for exploring collaborative ventures and local sourcing.

As a result of this successful event that brought together nearly 25 manufacturing leaders from Macomb County, a members-only LinkedIn group has been created, entitled "Michigan Manufacturers." For more information on this, and the event, please visit the City of Sterling Heights website.


Coliant's RapidFIRE Heated Jacket Liner Receives Top Ratings from Motocyclist Magazine

A big congratulations to Powerlet by Coliant for receiving five out of five stars from Motorcyclist Magazine! Editor Tim Carrither's reviews the RapidFIRE heated jacket liner as "the best high-tech personal heat source for anything short of space travel."

For the full article, please refer to Motocyclist Magazine.


Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS)

Larry Herriman, Assistant Director, and Mike Brennan, Business Commercialization and Capital Investment Advisor, attended the MGCS in support of client companies, Coliant Corporation and LogiCoul Solutions.

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium is known for attracting the best investors from across the U.S. and showcasing high-quality investable companies. In the past decade alone, over 300 companies have presented. Of those, 70 percent have raised capital totaling more than $1.7 billion in investment and more than 20 percent have realized successful exits.

Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Business Plan Competition

The mission of the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest (GLEQ), and its competition, is to continually encourage and educate entrepreneurs on the creation, startup, and early growth stages of high-growth businesses within the state of Michigan. This is accomplished by linking entrepreneurs pursuing high-growth opportunities with access to a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and capital at every stage of development.

Mac-OU INC is sponsoring Envision and Logicoul Solutions for the upcoming GLEQ Business Plan Competition, taking place June 12. Good luck to both businesses!


Rachel Louzon, Grant Research and Compliance Officer/Oakland University Graduate Student
Rachel Louzon
Grant Research and Compliance Officer
Oakland University Graduate Student

As Grant Research and Compliance Officer at the Macomb-OU INCubator, Rachel Louzon oversees all the Mac-OU INC grants. In addition, she is completing her Master's of Public Administration at Oakland University by 2013. Louzon began her work with the Macomb-OU INCubator as an undergraduate student at Oakland University, studying finance.

Best Oakland Memory: Scholars Program - Global (studying abroad in China) and Theme (studying the economic impact of social and public policies)

Favorite Pastime: Watching Tiger's baseball

Hidden Talent: Ice skating

Favorite Food: Mexican

Last Book Read: :"Liar's Poker" by Michael Lewis


Kathy Ossian, Miller Canfield
Lunch and Launch Series: Social Media: Protecting Your Brand and Other Legal Considerations
May 31  12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Kathy Ossian is a principal and leader of Miller Canfield's Information Technology Team, as well as deputy leader of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Her intellectual property and commercial litigation practice covers 23 years and includes extensive experience in negotiating and drafting software licensing agreements, distribution and maintenance and other information technology agreements, computer law, consulting clients in Internet law and intellectual property dispute resolution. She is a certified faculty member at the University of Phoenix teaching graduate level business law courses.

Ossian is listed in the Information Technology Law Section of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as Michigan Super Lawyers, in the Information Technology/Outsourcing Sections editions. She is a frequent speaker and has published several articles relating to her areas of practice.

Kathy Ossian

Mike McClure
Lunch and Launch Series: Facebook is Not Just for Kids: See How it Can Help Your Business and Brand Achieve Great Success
June 7  12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Mike K. McClure is a decorated Executive Creative Director and social media strategist who specializes in creating strong connections between audiences and brands. His tenure as a creative leader in the advertising industry brings a solid marketing base to new media practices. He has worked with some of the largest brands in the world, from automotive and retail, to medical and financial industries. Currently he handles all social media for The Yaffe Group and their clients. You can read his musings on their blog:

Mike has been at the forefront of social media marketing since it began. He is the current president and a founding member of the Detroit chapter of the Social Media Club. He is also on the editorial board for the International Social Media Club and regularly contributes the latest industry insights to their blogs. Mike has served as judge for international blogging competitions. He has hosted and mediated a number of social media events, and has been interviewed on radio and podcasts. Mike has been featured in publications such Crain's Detroit. He has also spoken at a number of events and regularly presents on Social Media to help different segments of the business world use new media to their full advantage.

Mike McClure


MIchigan First Credit Union Spring Connections Seminar
May 3: Wayne Blizman, Senior Advisor for Commercialization: Trade Booth and Resource Panel

Lunch and Launch Series: Making Sense of Twitter
May 17: Sarah Worsham

Audience Reviews:

"Thank you for hosting this series, very informative. Looking forward to the next session!"

"Good technique, vibrant, good way of presenting information."

"Presentation was concise with well supported references and competent delivery."

"Very conversational and packed a lot of information in. Kept it moving along. Fun graphics in presentation!"

Biotechnology Business Consultant's (BBC) SBIR/STTR Overview
May 21: Trainer Andrea Johnson, Ph.D. principal consultant

This half-day workshop covered the SBIR/STTR program basics, including program purpose, eligibility and sources of funding. It is designed to provide information for attendees to determine if they would seriously like to pursue proposal development.

This workshop was well-attended by technology-based entrepreneurs and small companies seeking funding for research and development.

We are grateful to the BBC and Andrea Johanson for putting on this great workshop!

For more information, please visit the BBC wesbite.



"The Lean Startup"
Eric Ries

By Julie Gustafson

It is the perfect time to do our book review on Eric Ries' "The Lean Startup." Currently, the Macomb-OU INCubator is running a Lean Green Belt Certificate class that is filled to capacity. Among other benefits, the class is teaching organization leaders and staff how to align their resources for the best chance of success. The INCubator is also in the process of developing a new StartUp Lean class, under the premises, "do not wait to become Lean, start Lean." The StartUp Lean class will be ready to run this fall.

Eric Ries' book, although titled "The Lean Startup," is not only about startups; he addresses Lean just as much in industry giants as he does in startups. He emphasizes the importance of "validated learning" when creating new products and services, well before their completion. In other words, do not create a new product and assume your customer is going to like all aspects of it. Develop hypothesis about your product and test along the way. Ultimately, this will lead to efficiencies in development and a better chance of a positive end result for your customer.        

The last thing an industry giant or a startup needs to do is dump untold amounts of money into a product only to find out that it does not entirely meet their customers' needs. The costs to go back to the drawing board might be insurmountable. However, if an organization builds its products in increments and receives customer feedback along the way, they are much more apt to produce a marketable finished product.

Ries' book is a must-read for anybody in business. He cites excellent examples of how continuous innovation is key to a company's success. He also gives a very honest portrayal of the many mistakes he made along the way with one of his own startups, IMVU. He shows how time spent truly learning what his customer wanted, not what he thought they wanted, turned his company around.


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Lunch and Launch Series:
Social Media: Protecting Your Brand and Other Legal Considerations, Kathy Ossian, Miller Canfield
May 31  12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Read More

Lunch and Launch Series:
Facebook is Not Just for Kids, Mike McClure
June 7  12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Read More

Lunch and Launch Series:
Building Beneficial Relationships with Suppliers and Distributors, John Carter, Witzke Berry Carter & Wander, PLLC
June 19  12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Lunch and Launch Series:
Do You Really Need Google+?, David Benjamin
July 12  12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

BBC Presents:
Proposal Prep - DoD/DoE Focus
August 8 

Lunch and Launch Series:
Publishing Content on Social Media Channels, Sola Obayan
August 9  12 p.m. - 1 p.m.