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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Managing Editor

[email protected]

A consortium of companies including casual footwear maker Wolverine World Wide Inc. on May 1 announced plans to acquire Collective Brands Inc. for nearly $2.0 billion, including the assumption of debt.

While the Sorber brothers initially started Two Men And A Truck, it was their mother, Mary Ellen Sheets, who really helped set the vision and create the culture for the growing international moving company. President and CEO Brig Sorber discusses how the company grew during a time of economic turmoil and became complacent because of that growth. When the company realized it had to restructure, Sorber knew he could always turn to the advice his mother gave him.

Amway scion and ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos has launched "an unconventional venture capital fund" that blends elements of elevator pitch competitions, business mentoring and community engagement.

DeVos introduced Start Garden LLC, which is backed by a $15 million commitment from the DeVos family, on April 26 at a press event at the JW Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids. The company will make initial $5,000 investments in new companies each week and then participate in follow-on investments of up to $500,000 as some of the ideas mature and develop into projects or businesses. Companies or individuals can submit ideas via the company's website, www.startgarden.com.

GRAND RAPIDS — Businesses want people who can work across disciplines, and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University has a new program aimed at developing multi-talented designers to fit the bill.

KALAMAZOO — A life sciences company developing spider venom-based bio-pesticides tapped new and existing investors to raise $10.2 million in Series B preferred stock financing.

KALAMAZOO – A West Michigan-based life sciences company with Pennsylvania roots has secured $2.0 million in seed financing.

Thursday, 10 May 2012 09:40

Haworth sells Quebec-based company

HOLLAND — Office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. announced Wednesday that it sold one of its companies, the Quebec, Canada-based Groupe Lacasse.

A startup in Lowell hopes to prove that one firm’s waste is another company’s power.

A consortium of companies including casual footwear maker Wolverine World Wide Inc. today announced plans to acquire Collective Brands Inc. for nearly $2.0 billion, including the assumption of debt. The long-rumored transaction will be "transformational" and a "game changer", according to executives of Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine.

Founded in 1987 by John Lowery, Applied Imaging now has six offices in Michigan and is pushing an effort to further its footprint into the Metro Detroit market.

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