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The number of startup companies spun out of Michigan’s top three research universities trended higher as of mid-decade, a possible product of heightened support for entrepreneurship in recent years.

2016 Commercial Real Estate Projects That Matter

Written by | Sunday, 03 April 2016 15:57 |

Most research firms project the commercial real estate market in West Michigan will maintain slow but steady growth in 2016. 

BIFMA upgrades forecast for 2014

Written by | Sunday, 08 September 2013 16:25 |

An updated office furniture industry outlook shows business picking up. The quarterly outlook from the Business and Institutional Manufacturers Association in Grand Rapids now projects North American shipments to grow 4.1 percent in 2013 to $9.6 billion.


The main conference events concluded this morning with Gov. Rick Snyder's keynote address. The noticeably smaller, yet very enthusiastic, crowd was revved up and ready to listen to the governor talk about the future of Michigan and how we need to make tough decisions to keep moving Michigan forward. It all started with a question: "In the last five years, how many of you here thought Michigan's best days were ahead of us or behind us?"

The final day of this year's conference reinforced the three pillars of the policy: education reform, competing in the 21st Century global economy and changing our culture. First up, this morning's bipartisan policy discussion was led by WJR broadcast personality Paul W. Smith and included Reps. Jase Bolger and Tim Greimel and Sens. Randy Richardville and Gretchen Whitmer.

What to do? Public and private computer networks are under escalating siege from hackers across the globe, including misguided youths, terrorists and even other countries – both friend and foe. A 2012 study on cyber security from Deloitte noted that government agencies have lost more than 94 million records of citizens since 2009. At a cost of $194 per record, the expense is staggering.

A shot of espresso with your Afternoon Joe? The afternoon session started with a bang, with MSNBC "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski bringing a national perspective to the Island.

Do our schools need to be fixed? Is organic change required? Yes, according to Ann Arbor-native Michelle Rhee, CEO of Students First. Most definitely, yes.

It's day two of the Mackinac Policy Conference, and we're off to a great start. The unexpected sunshine and (finally) seasonably warm temperatures have certainly lifted spirits and improved the mood on the island.

"We need to make sure that schools are able to help fill the pipeline with students that are capable of taking on the tough challenges, whether on the plant floor or in the engineering office." 

For those who pronounced the auto industry in Michigan dead during the depths of the recession, the speakers on this afternoon's auto supplier panel beg to differ. To paraphrase Mark Twain, news of that death turned out to be greatly exaggerated.

“This conference is an opportunity to reflect on the state's strengths (and capitalize on them) and assess our weaknesses (and come up with innovative solutions) in order to move Michigan forward.” Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of RLJ Companies and Black Entertainment Television, delivered today's second keynote address, which focused on engaging men and women of color to become part of the economic engine of the United States.

Mackinac Policy Conference: Game on

Written by | Wednesday, 29 May 2013 16:11 |

“It is truly amazing that the leaders of so many businesses, governmental entities and nonprofits have converged on this small chunk of rock in Lake Huron to continue the mission of solving our state’s fundamental issues.”

With this as the backdrop, Sandy Baruah kicked off the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference at 1 p.m. today. The Detroit Regional Chamber CEO and president laid out the three pillars of conference – education reform, cultural change and the 21st century global marketplace – along with his organization’s commitment to increase the state’s population, improve the economy and help Michigan’s auto industry.

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