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With the acquisition of a West Michigan company, a California-based producer of specialty mushrooms plans to reinvigorate operations at a mostly idled food processing facility in Scottville, where it expects to grow
1 million pounds of fungi annually.

A new expansion by Kalamazoo-based Tibbs Brewing Company Inc. promises to double its production capacity and streamline the company’s operations.

Stakeholders in Site 36, the sprawling vacant property near the intersection of 36th Street and Clay Avenue SW in Wyoming, maintain that they’re still being picky in finding the right one or two companies to develop the industrial location.

Blackford Capital eyes new $100M fund

Written by | Sunday, 29 March 2015 22:00 |

Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital plans to launch a second private equity fund later this year that, like its predecessor, will focus on investing in manufacturing businesses in Michigan, MiBiz has learned.

Metabolic Solutions Development Co. plans to seek $25 million to $35 million in additional capital later this year to support the continued development of its new drug targets.

A combination of cost-cutting initiatives and pressures from customers to globalize production may prove to be a challenge in the coming years for West Michigan companies in the automotive supply chain.

While oil and natural gas production can be a fickle business, one West Michigan manufacturer has used the industry’s boom-and-bust cycle to catapult its long-term strategic growth.

Every three years in late March, companies from across the plastics processing industry gather for NPE, a trade show and conference that is billed as the mecca for anyone wanting to see the latest in materials, machinery and technology.

Michigan’s business community appears to lack a unified front as the May 5 election approaches for Proposal 1, a major ballot measure seeking to overhaul the state’s mechanism for transportation funding.

It turns out that Hollywood, like most other industries, doesn’t like uncertainty.

If two recent examples are any indication, companies in West Michigan seem attracted to the promise of securities-based crowdfunding, but often find better and more lucrative offers from traditional investment avenues.

Six weeks ago, when Family Christian LLC first filed for bankruptcy, the retailer articulated a plan that would save the company and help it emerge from its proverbial mountain of debt.

Millennials, as they pertain to nonprofit organizations today, may carry the “next generation donor” label. But in just five years, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce and create a defining culture of givers, according to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report.

The competitive landscape is changing for West Michigan companies.

Conceived two years ago as a car full of designers traveled back to West Michigan from a trade show, West Michigan Design Week is back for its second iteration. The weeklong series of events, which runs from Monday, April 6 through Saturday, April 11, features a variety of talks, exhibits and networking events.

Heading into its second year, West Michigan Design Week hopes to build on the success the program had in its inaugural year. Architect Greg Metz, a principal at Lott3Metz Architecture and a co-founder of West Michigan Design Week, spoke with MiBiz about what design culture means to the region and how architecture has an impact.

Tucker Viemeister was born of industrial design. His father, industrial designer Read Viemeister, named his son after the vehicle he was designing, the 1948 Tucker Sedan. Since growing up in the industry, Viemeister went on to found national design firms including Smart Design, frogdesign NY and others. He was also responsible for designing the OXO Good Grips line of kitchenware. Viemeister will be speaking on April 7 during West Michigan Design Week. Prior to the talk, Viemeister spoke with MiBiz about the future of the industrial design field and his career.

The design process doesn’t have to be inclusive solely to designers. That’s the philosophy of Liz Sanders, a professor of design research at Ohio State University and founder of Make Tools. Sanders, who originally studied anthropology and who holds an advanced degree in experimental psychology, has spent her career encouraging designers to collaborate with end users and other disciplines to produce better products. Prior to her talk April 10 during the West Michigan Design Week, she spoke with MiBiz about her design philosophy, its impact on businesses and society and how design will be shaped in the future.

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Birgit Klohs - Lifetime Achievement Video

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