Michigan and Entrepreneurial Success Being Part of the Solution is a Choice

I returned to Michigan in 2008 after roughly a decade in New York and the good fortune to work in a number of cities around the world. Having completed the first half of my career in Detroit it was time to return home. Certainly, there was common surprise from colleagues and friends alike -” why return to Michigan? “-¦It’s a dying state, talent is leaving, there’s no innovative spirit or talent to lead the way through a competitive turnaround -¦” For a brief moment I began to believe they were right.

The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurs 2009 (ACE ’09) was my first glimpse into the amazing entrepreneurial community that exists in Michigan, and the reality that innovation, entrepreneurial success, and business growth are a part of the fabric of this state, with business creation and job growth a daily occurrence. Although it may not rival the dominance of the auto industry just yet, success in Michigan is far more consistent than the news headlines suggest. The entrepreneurial and investments communities are alive and well in Michigan, and leading the way in a number of growth industries in the world.

I offer a challenge to those reading this piece-¦for those of you that don’t believe in the success of Michigan and its entrepreneurs, join us at ACE ’10, Jan. 21, 2010 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm, and experience the energy and success first hand. For those of you that do believe, please ensure you join us so that we continue to raise the collective knowledge of success both within and outside of the state.

A bit about ACE ’10-¦
From its origins as a joint meeting between New Enterprise Forum and the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Great Lakes in 2001, ACE has grown into a dynamic, value-packed event that promotes this region’s development and commercialization of high-growth potential, innovative, and technology business ventures with national and international potential.

Today, ACE provides networking, deal making, learning and business pitch opportunities to serial entrepreneurs, new business owners and growing enterprises across the state of Michigan. ACE ’10 is expected to draw roughly 700 colleagues for an extraordinary night of business development, company showcases and networking.

Visit the ACE ’10 site to register and for more information at www.ace-event.org.

I’ve made Michigan a choice. Being part of the solution is also a choice. The challenge and invitation are open. I hope you’ll join me.

Vita Merlotti is the Communications Chair for ACE ’10 and president, Avalon LLC. For information, visit
www.ace-event.org or e-mail [email protected].

(Editor’s Note: Corp! is a media sponsor of ACE ’10.)

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Richard Blanchard
Rick is the Managing Editor of Corp! magazine. He has worked in reporting and editing roles at the Port Huron Times Herald, Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News, where he was most recently assistant business editor. A native of Michigan, Richard also worked in Washington state as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Anacortes American. He received a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix.