DBusiness Daily Update: Knightscope Robot Roadshow Coming to Detroit, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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Knightscope Inc. is bringing its Robot Roadshow to the Detroit Smart Parking Lab June 21 and MotorCity Casino Hotel June 23. // Courtesy of Knightscope
Knightscope Inc. is bringing its Robot Roadshow to the Detroit Smart Parking Lab June 21 and MotorCity Casino Hotel June 23. // Courtesy of Knightscope

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Knightscope Robot Roadshow Coming to Detroit

Knightscope Inc., a California developer of advanced physical security technologies focused on enhancing U.S. security operations, is bringing its Robot Roadshow to the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (1701 W Lafayette Blvd.) on June 21.

It is an experiential event used to grab attention fast, forge direct connections with potential clients, and strike up conversations in a compelling fashion. It will be a special edition of the Mobility Meetup, an event designed to bring together dynamic startups in the technology space with Michigan’s automotive and mobility industry stakeholders to connect, share, and collaborate.

The Mobility Meetup is hosted by MICHauto and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and will feature live demonstrations from leading mobility companies as well as opportunities to network with fellow mobility companies and partner organizations.

The agenda is as follows:

  • 4-5 p.m. — Live demonstrations on the first floor of Detroit Smart Parking Lab.
  • 5-7 p.m. — Networking, snacks, refreshments, and a brief program.

The Roadshow will then make its way to the MotorCity Casino Hotel from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on June 23. All are welcome.

To register, visit here and use the password meetup.

Detroit-based Handcar Expands with Move into Eastern Market

Handcar, a Detroit-based creative agency, has announced its move into a new build-out at 2211 Riopelle St. in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

The upgraded space of approximately 2,600 square feet will provide the business with workspace and room to grow. The custom build-out was created to provide functionality for employees and a space where creativity lives and thrives. It includes four private offices, a full kitchen, a large conference room and eventually a rooftop deck space.

Jesse Green, founder and creative director at Handcar, has been running the business in Detroit since 2019. Handcar, which was formerly located on Mack Avenue in the East Village neighborhood (and will retain that space as a full-time photo studio), currently has a team of eight, most of who are Detroiters. As the move to the Eastern Market signals growth for the company, Handcar hopes to soon expand its staff to around 20.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Eastern Market community,” says Green. “The district is completely unique to Detroit, and we believe mirrors our mission as a company to roll up our sleeves and get to work, no matter the medium — so we feel right at home. This space opens us up for a better balance, opportunities and amenities for the team. We look forward to immersing ourselves in the creative and long-standing history here while continuing exceptional storytelling for our clients.”

Handcar has e-commerce brands on retainer such as international outfits Chaco Footwear, Smartwool, and Wolverine Worldwide. It also works with well-known local companies like Blake’s Hard Cider and Madcap Coffee.

Citizens Enables Customers to Receive Paychecks Early, Will Eliminate Certain Fees by End of Year

Customers will be able to access their paychecks several days in advance through a new capability, Citizens Paid Early, the bank announced this week. Citizens also announced it will eliminate non-sufficient funds fees by the end of the year as it seeks additional ways to help customers manage their financial lives.

“We continue to innovate, simplify our product set and help empower our customers to feel more confident with their finances,” says Brendan Coughlin, head of consumer banking at Citizens. “Today’s announcements demonstrate our ongoing commitment to serve as our customers trusted financial partner, as well as add value to their daily lives by enabling them to get paid even faster than their employer scheduled.”

Customers who receive their direct deposit into their Citizens accounts are eligible to receive their paycheck up to two days early. Citizens Paid Early is automatically applied to all Citizens personal checking, savings, and money market accounts. Earlier access to funds means customers can pay their bills earlier, potentially avoiding costly fees.

In addition to non-sufficient funds fees, Citizens will eliminate savings overdraft protection fees by the end of the second quarter. In October, the bank introduced Citizens Peace Of Mind, a new deposit feature enabling customers to reverse the expense of unexpected overdraft fees. In March, Citizens introduced two overdraft-free checking accounts designed to increase banking access to all consumers. The bank has also offered $5 Overdraft Pass for several years, as an additional customer protection, to waive overdraft fees on transactions of $5 or less.

Southfield’s Lockwood Cos. Breaks Ground for New Senior Living Center in Ann Arbor

Southfield-based Lockwood Cos., a builder, developer, and manager of senior and active senior communities, broke ground Wednesday for its new senior living community in Ann Arbor.

Lockwood of Ann Arbor, located at 2195 E. Ellsworth Road, will be a three-story, 168,130-square-foot building with 154 independent senior apartments, including 65 units dedicated as affordable housing.

Scheduled to open next summer, the community will feature 89 one-bedroom units and 65 two-bedroom units. The building will include a commercial kitchen and dining area, game room, arts and crafts room, barber shop/beauty salon, movie room, and fitness/wellness room. Three meals per day prepared by a chef, along with laundry and housekeeping services will be available.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to provide high quality senior apartments to those living in or near Ann Arbor,” says Mark Lockwood, president and CEO of Lockwood Cos. “The senior population in Washtenaw County is projected to rise significantly by 2040. We are proud to offer an affordable housing option for area seniors.”

Global EIR Creates Jobs, Sparks Michigan’s Innovation Economy

A program designed to launch immigrant-founded startups in Michigan has supported six companies who have created nearly 50 jobs, attracted $15.6 million in venture capital investment, and currently are generating $500,000 in recurring annual revenue.

These results come from an outside evaluation of the first three years of Global Detroit’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence (Global EIR) program. The program places foreign-born startup founders at universities to teach and mentor while launching and growing their startup companies.

The initial pilot was launched in 2019 in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute and funded by the William Davidson Foundation. The evaluation, conducted by Growth Capital Networks, estimates that these companies also created an estimated 98 full and part time spinoff jobs and $30 million in extended economic impact.

“Given our analysis, Growth Capital recommends leveraging the Global EIR pilot that Global Detroit and the University of Michigan developed in order to bring the opportunity and associated impact to university partners and communities across Michigan,” notes Lauren Bigelow, the report’s principal author and Growth Capital Network’s Managing Partner. “Our report recommends program improvements to make it less cumbersome for university partners and to provide more robust long-term support to the startup founders, while refining the program’s focus on securing longer-term investments in Michigan.”

The Michigan Venture Capital Association is helping to circulate the report and has lined up podcasts with two of the Global EIR founders from the pilot, as well as Global Detroit staff. A broader global talent attraction, retention, and recovery package, which includes funding to expand the Global EIR program across Michigan, has been circulating in Lansing. The proposal has strong business support from over a dozen local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, as well as statewide business advocacy groups.

“Opening the welcome mat to immigrant startup founders provides Michigan a competitive advantage in growing its innovation economy,” says Steve Tobocman, executive director of Global Detroit. Global EIR recently has expanded to Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies, with additional university partners in the pipeline.

Read the summary evaluation here. For more information on the Global EIR program, visit here.

DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital Nationally Recognized for High-quality Stroke Care

Detroit- DMC Harper University Hospital, DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, and DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital have received the American Heart Association’s SilverPlus Get With The Guidelines — Stroke quality achievement award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and accelerating recovery times.

Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines — Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.

Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.

Sinai-Grace also received the American Heart Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet specific criteria that reduce the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster drug alteplase.

Both Sinai-Grace and Detroit Receiving received the American Heart Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award. Target: Type 2 Diabetes aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.

Detroiters Now Can Apply for Neighborhood Beautification Fund Grants

Detroiters now can apply for Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP) grants ranging from $500 to $15,000 to help improve their communities.

The NBP grants provide funding for Detroit-based neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based organizations and nonprofits that currently own the property where they want to carry out a project in the community. The Neighborhood Beautification Program was created to support three types of projects:

  • Clean-up activities
  • Community gardens
  • Public spaces/activities

For those hoping to beautify their community but do not own the land, the NBP will assist organizations with purchasing or leasing vacant lots owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. Up to 50 projects a year will receive funding.

“Detroiters are proud of their communities and want to roll up their sleeves and beautify the streets they call home, they just need financial help to do so,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “These grants are a great example of how the city of Detroit is partnering with residents to help beautify their neighborhoods.”

The NBP is part of the Neighborhood Improvement Fund (NIF), which was championed by Council President Mary Sheffield as part of the development deal for the Detroit Pistons’ new headquarters and training facility in District 5. The initial funding for the program is $2.25 million, which includes $1.25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and $1 million in NIF funding. NIF dollars are derived from the net income tax revenue collected from NBA players’ salaries during home games played at Little Caesars Arena and the salaries of Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment employees.

For more information on applying, residents can e-mail Wayne Metro at NBG@waynemetro.org or call 313-388-9799.

2022 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest Names 10 Semifinalists

The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest powered by TechTown, which has launched some of Detroit’s most popular neighborhood storefronts, has officially named its 10 semifinalists for 2022.

These businesses have the opportunity to own a brick-and-mortar Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park storefront by winning $100,000 in startup funds from Comerica Bank, as well as a package of accounting, legal, IT, and public relations support from Hatch Detroit and its partners.

With the semifinalists named, now it’s time for the public to share their voice and vote for which business they would like to see pop up in their neighborhood. The public can vote once per day for their favorite business from June 17 at midnight until June 23 at 11:59 p.m. by visiting here.

The four finalists of the 2022 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest will be announced June 24, and the final round of public voting will follow before wrapping up on June 30.

In addition to voting online, individuals also may cast their vote in person at any of the following locations:

  • June 21: Eastern Market Shed #2 (2518 Market St. in Detroit) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • June 22: Norma G’s (14628 E. Jefferson Avenue in Detroit) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • June 23: Grandmont Rosedale Farmers Market (19566 M-5 in Detroit) from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The 10 semifinalists are:

COLFETARIE: A European dessert and pastry shop, specializing in Romanian desserts and pastries. Their goal is to bring together the cultures of Detroit and Romania, while offering a taste of Europe, right in the heart of downtown Detroit, no passport needed!

Craig’s Coffee: A community coffee roastery and coffee bar that plans to roast and sell their own coffee, while also offering fellow roasters a place to roast and sell their own products. Additionally, the space will serve as a commissary kitchen, where food and drink businesses can use the kitchen for food prep, storage, and service.

Detroit Farm and Cider: A 4.9-acre commercial farm on Detroit’s west side with plans to build a cider mill and offer youth day camps and horseback riding classes.

Gajiza Dumplins: A dumpling shop that specializes in Asian style eats and handmade dumplings from scratch. The dumplings come in more than 30 flavors and range from traditional pork and shrimp Shumai to contemporary western style, including miso cheeseburger gyoza or goat cheese and leek. Their focus is based on Asian street food: fast and delicious.

Jo’s Gallery Cafe: A pan-ethnic fusion restaurant located in Detroit on the famous Livernois Avenue of Fashion and adjacent to Jo’s Gallery, a 20-year-old art gallery in the second generation of ownership. The restaurant will serve food with identifiable African origins and influences of Asian, South American, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and American fusions.

Walker Collective: A high-street, lifestyle clothing company seeking to fulfill the fashion needs of young urban professionals by offering an eclectic range of street, comfort and refined garments.

Lily’s & Elise: A luxury tea lounge on the Avenue of Fashion whose primary focus is in the premium service of European-style afternoon and high tea with fresh pastries and small plates to accompany orders.

Little Liberia: An Afro fusion pop-up restaurant looking to find a permanent space to introduce Liberia’s rich multicultural cuisines to the people of Metro Detroit. They serve authentic Liberian dishes, a cuisine whose heritage is a mixture of African, Caribbean, and Antebellum-South African American influences.

Motor City House of Stone: A distributor of natural and engineered stone slabs in Southeast Michigan. Focused on providing character, stability, and grandeur back to the Detroit community, they carry a wide selection of Granite, Marble, Quartz, and other premium stone in its 10,000-square-foot warehouse located in Detroit.

Pong Detroit: A table tennis social club where players of all skill levels and abilities can come together to get some exercise and play a fun, safe Olympic sport. In addition to providing a space for competitive ping pong matches, Pong Detroit engages Detroit youth programs, provides accessible play for adaptive wheelchair table tennis, and offers programs for seniors.

On July 21, the four finalists will have their opportunity to present their business pitch to a panel of judges, as well as a live audience, for a shot to win the grand prize at The Hatch Off competition. The winner of the 2022 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest will be chosen through a combination of the public’s vote and judges’ deliberations.

Tickets are now available to witness the top four business pitches and see the winner of the Hatch Off competition crowned. The Hatch Off takes place on July 21 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m., located at the Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center at 461 Burroughs St. in Detroit. To purchase tickets, visit here.

Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Hosts Two-day Hybrid Event

The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a two-day hybrid event focused on “Beyond DEI: Social Justice in Our Lifetime,” June 20-21.

The program aims to build bridges between community and businesses, government, schools, police departments, and nonprofit organizations for purposeful allyship using a framework that centers on social justice and meaningful community engagement.

The conference features both an in-person Juneteenth community event from 1-6 p.m. on June 20 at the Mama Akua House located at 2431 Ferry Park in Detroit, as well as a virtual conference from noon-4 p.m. on June 21 that brings together speakers for interactive interviews, panel discussions, and immersive workshops focused on responsibility to the community and radical imagination to answer the question: How do we work towards experiencing social justice in our lifetime?

“Through this conference, we are challenging people in the DE&I space who are committed to being anti-racist to go deeper,” says Yusef Bunchy Shakur, deputy director of strategy and innovation for the Michigan Roundtable. “Simply participating in diversity and inclusion trainings isn’t enough – these programs don’t deal with the deep social, political, and economic dynamics of power and privilege that has and continues to perpetuate a high level of oppression through racist behavior imposed on Black people.”

The Juneteenth celebration will include a tour of the Mama Akua House, a community engagement center in Detroit’s Zone 8 neighborhood — one that experiences many of the inequalities that ravaged all of Detroit in the past decades, including unemployment, addiction, persistent poverty, lack of affordable housing.

The focus will be on the impact on communities, people, places, and institutions when purposeful allyships and social justice are not at the forefront. Attendees will put boots on the ground to support the vibrancy of this community, and learn how to connect with and amplify the voices of communities where they do business.

Using an equitable pricing structure, registration is $99 for members of a corporation, $49 for members of non-profit organizations and $29 for individual community members to attend. One ticket provides access to the in-person Juneteenth event and the virtual conference.

For more information, visit here.

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