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Helping the community is not just something Dolores Trese does in her free time as a way to give back. It’s a way of life.

Launch MI Lab seeks lean bioscience startups

Written by | Sunday, 09 December 2012 23:11 |

In 2010, Richard West caught the entrepreneurial bug and founded his self-described dream company, West Labs Scientific LLC.

When seasoned advisers help out startup businesses, the benefit of that relationship goes both ways, according to Kim Klap, director of portfolio relations at Start Garden.

Companies can startup and launch new products while being economical with their available resources.

Having spent the first part of her career as a sales and marketing executive in the computer and software industry, Cheryl Schuch found herself looking for a change when her family moved back to West Michigan from Chicago.

What started as a surprise 40th birthday party in 2010 for chef Tommy FitzGerald has turned into an annual event benefiting many hungry children around West Michigan.


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Michigan's Healthiest Employers

Written by | Thursday, 01 November 2012 17:12 |

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Helping small businesses and startups is just what Doris Drain does.

An independent graphic designer, Jason Six joined the ranks of Grand Rapids’ growing design community after a stint in the United States Air Force. He earned his graphic design degree from Grand Valley State University, but he got his experience in design at local firms Peopledesign and Highland Group, where he worked on campaigns for Guilford of Maine and izzy+.

Exposed to design at an early age, Joey Ruiter is an independent industrial designer whose clients include Nucraft Furniture Company and izzy+. Ruiter cut his teeth working on engines in his garage before attending Ferris State’s Kendall College of Art and Design, where he discovered industrial design and product development. Ruiter’s designs have won awards at trade shows such as NeoCon and have been featured in the New York Times.

When Mark Tanis founded Holland-based The Image Group in 1985, he intended it to be a sole-proprietorship, but as the years went by, the company expanded to serve large clients such as Western Michigan University and Metro Health. Now, The Image Group has more than 10 employees and has strong ties to Holland’s freelance talent pool.

A professor at Ferris State’s Kendall College of Art and Design, Dow specializes in teaching graphic design in advertising. During her tenure at KCAD, Dow helped develop the annual New York seminar for graphic design students as well as the college’s new digital media program.

Hernandez first stumbled across industrial design when a friend mentioned that he was looking into the industrial design program at Western Michigan University. Now, Hernandez runs Tiger Studio, a product design firm based in Holland.

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