COVID-19 Update: Virtual Detroit Jazz Festival Attracts Nearly 1M Viewers, City Year Detroit Unveils New Chroma Building Home, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Oct. 31

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Virtual Detroit Jazz Festival Attracts Nearly 1M Viewers
The Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage attracted a virtual global audience of nearly one million listeners/viewers during Labor Day weekend.

Jazz enthusiasts — from across the country and in more than 30 countries – took in the first-ever virtual live jazz festival, streamed and broadcast for free.

The festival featured more than 40 hours of live/real-time continuous jazz programming, including live performances from Detroit-area artists as well as special sets from jazz luminaries like Pharoah Sanders and Robert Glasper.

All live performances were streamed and broadcast for free on the festival’s social media channels (Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, website) and on Channel 22, Detroit’s new Arts and Entertainment Channel, Detroit Public Television, WRCJ 90.0 FM, WEMU 89.1, WDET 101.9 FM, and WJBK FOX 2 (via In addition, the festival was made available on the proprietary Detroit Jazz Fest LIVE! app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to showcase our Detroit world class talent and our Detroit sound to the global jazz community,” says Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. “Looking back, we can now truly appreciate the cultural event we created for the worldwide jazz community and all of the effort to keep our mission of free jazz alive during a global pandemic that sidelined most of the other major music festivals around the world.”

All performances took place on three large indoor sound stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, while maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions. Each stage mimicked the size, sound, lighting, crew and gear of traditional festival stages.

City Year Detroit Unveils New Chroma Building Home
City Year Detroit, which helps school and students succeed, last week virtually unveiled of its new office and community space located in the historic Chroma Building at 2937 E. Grand Blvd.

The 7,700 square-foot office provides a purpose-built, future-forward flexible space for City Year’s growing team of staff and AmeriCorps members.

“Despite the changes in day-to-day learning, City Year AmeriCorps members continue to work alongside Detroit students to prepare them for the future by providing tools and resources they need to thrive,” says Andrew Stein, vice president and executive director of City Year Detroit. “Our city’s greatest assets are its people and its sense of community—and our new location will allow us to continue to connect with the community and make a positive difference in the city we are proud to call home.”

The new office space is separated into four quadrants — North, South, East and West — based on City Year’s Leadership Compass.

The North side of the office is designed to accommodate large group collaboration. Coined the MLK Space, the North side features an auditorium style room with seating for up to 100 and a separate smaller room that seats around 50. The MLK Space can be divided into smaller spaces using a curtain, accommodating 15 people comfortably in each divided space.

The East Side of the office is an open workspace with 36 reconfigurable desks where staff and AmeriCorps members can work on individual projects.

The South side of the office features a kitchen, self-care room and a family room. For team members looking for privacy or a quiet moment alone, they are welcome to utilize the self-care room. The family room is a dedicated space where City Year staff and AmeriCorps members can relax and students can convene. The space offers comfortable seating, writable surfaces and a TV.

The West side of the office offers private offices and two focus rooms. The focus rooms are designed for one-on-one conversations, interviews and a quiet place to work. Also on the West side are five private offices with the original historic brick wall on display.

City Year worked with Detroit-based companies Gensler and the Platform to design and develop the new office location. City Year Executive Director and Vice President Andrew Stein was joined by Gensler Design Director Lily Diego and The Platform Senior Development Manager Andrew Sherman at today’s announcement.

Mercantile Bank of Michigan Expands into Ohio
Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank of Michigan, a subsidiary of Mercantile Bank Corp., has opened a new mortgage lending center in Cincinnati, Ohio, the bank’s first location outside of Michigan.

“The decision to expand our lending presence to the Cincinnati Tri-State Area was driven by our confidence in the exceptional mortgage bankers joining the Mercantile team, coupled with our personal approach to the mortgage lending process,” Ray Reitsma, president of Mercantile Bank. “We look forward to joining the greater Cincinnati community where we believe that our people and commitment to providing an exceptional mortgage loan experience will be a welcomed addition.”

Mercantile Bank provides banking services to businesses, individuals, and governmental units, and says it differentiates itself on the basis of service quality and the expertise of its banking staff. Mercantile Bank has assets of approximately $4.4 billion and operates 39 banking offices.

“Our mortgage lenders in this office will offer a robust set of residential mortgage loan products to customers. From new purchases, to home refinancing and new construction loans, we are committed to providing innovative options and exceptional service, both of which have made us a premier choice for home loans in Michigan,” says Scott Setlock, senior vice president, of mortgage and consumer lending at Mercantile Bank. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our lending footprint into, and become part of, the Cincinnati Tri-State market.”

Shoulder Innovations Announces Equity Financing of $21.6M
Shoulder Innovations, an emerging developer of shoulder replacement systems in Holland (southwest of Grand Rapids), has closed an oversubscribed $21.6 million equity financing.

The fundraising, led by U.S. Venture Partners together with Lightstone Ventures, also included participation by Alumni Venture Partners, Wakestream Ventures, Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center of Western Michigan University, Invest Michigan, and the Michigan Angel Fund, among others.

“With a full platform of products, Shoulder Innovations is in a position to accelerate its impact on the shoulder replacement market,” says Dave Blue, CCO of Shoulder Innovations. “We are proud of our partnerships with USVP, Lightstone, and AVP, which have put SI on a financial foundation that will drive high growth rates.”

Founded in 2009 by Dr. Stephen B. Gunther and Mike DeVries of EDF Ventures, Shoulder Innovations set out to develop a glenoid technology fixation solution for anatomic shoulder arthroplasty. In the five years that followed, Shoulder Innovations secured patents, 510k clearance for the novel technology, and provided evidence to the surgical community through publication of multiple peer-reviewed publications.

In 2015, Genesis Innovation Group partnered with Shoulder Innovations to provide financial capital and operational leadership focused on commercializing the technology. The following year, Shoulder Innovations was able to report its first commercial sale of the InSet glenoid.

Publication of almost 10-years of clinical outcomes of SI’s InSet glenoid product served to increase interest and commercial acceleration of the product.

“When I first conceived of the InSet glenoid years ago, I knew it would solve the problem of glenoid loosening,” says Gunther. “We now have the science and the commercial success to back it up.”

SubSummit Virtual Conference Targets Subscription Industry
The Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA), based in Troy, is hosting its fifth SubSummit Conference virtually Nov. 11-13.

Billed as the largest event dedicated to the direct-to-consumer subscription industry, the 2020 conference is expected to draw thousands of people from around the world who are driving the evolution of how consumers discover, buy, and experience new products.

“It’s estimated that 75 percent of direct-to-consumer companies will have a subscription model by 2023,” says Paul Chambers, co-founder and CEO of SUBTA. “This is a rapidly growing industry, and this year has provided a unique opportunity for subscription brands to get attention from even more consumers. Even though we had to adapt to a virtual conference, like many others, this is still a can’t-miss event for anyone looking to make an impact in the subscription industry.”

SubSummit is designed for those who work in or alongside the subscription commerce industry, from start-ups to experienced merchants looking to learn how to launch, scale, and improve successful subscription businesses.

Attendees will be able to access more than 40 sessions and presentations by more than 100 dynamic speakers discussing industry trends, best practices, scalable business models, marketing, corporate responsibility, profitability, and more.

SubSummit also will present the SUBTA 2020 CUBE Awards, sponsored by USPS, recognizing and celebrating innovation, excellence, and customer delight within the subscription commerce economy. A panel of judges will decide the winners for a total of 10 awards, including best subscription box, best streaming subscription, best customer experience, social good award and more.

Ticket options include free general attendance as well as premium level, which includes an exclusive welcome box, session recordings, access to the virtual VIP Networking Lounge Access and more. For more information and to register, visit here.