DBusiness Daily Update: State Awards Lawrence Tech’s Centrepolis Accelerator $1.5M, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Tech has received a $1.5 million Design for Michigan Manufacturing program grant. // Courtesy of Lawrence Tech
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Tech has received a $1.5 million Design for Michigan Manufacturing program grant. // Courtesy of Lawrence Tech

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

State Awards Lawrence Tech’s Centrepolis Accelerator $1.5M

The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has received a $1.5 million Design for Michigan Manufacturing program grant to continue its mission of developing and launching more manufactured goods made in Michigan.

The grant, from the Michigan Strategic Fund, runs through Sept. 30, 2025, with an option for additional funding for up to five additional years.

Under the grant, the accelerator will make equity-free, zero-interest investments of up to $50,000 into Michigan-based physical products and advanced manufacturing companies to assist them in getting products to market. Companies pay back the investment in full after 24 months as well as a success fee, a percentage of their gross revenue depending on revenue milestones achieved. When the Centrepolis Accelerator successfully helps a company launch a product and secure revenue, a portion of those proceeds go back to the accelerator to invest into more companies.

The grant will also allow the Centrepolis Accelerator to add more experts-in-residence in product development and manufacturing, as well as provide dedicated client support services.

“We are grateful the Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. sees the successful track record of the Centrepolis Accelerator as being worthy of further support,” says Dan Radomski, executive director of the accelerator. “We are extremely grateful for the confidence bestowed in us to help develop more Michigan made products that create jobs not only for our client but also the local manufacturing supply chain.”

MCHS Family of Services Opens Digital Media Center, Zen Den Sensory Room

MCHS Family of Services (MCHS), a 105-year-old Detroit-based nonprofit formerly known as Methodist Children’s Home Society, will open the doors to the Weaver Media Center complete with a Zen Den sensory room to better serve their youth at the Fostering Leadership Academy, a trauma-informed charter school at 26645 W. Six Mile Road in Redford.

The digital media center is named in honor of the Weaver Family and its build-out was made possible through partnership with the Lisa Denardo-Pete Polk Memorial Foundation (LDPPMF), which provided a $100,000 donation toward 100 laptops for student use, two large smart Promethean boards, a 70-inch television, and new collaborative style furnishings.

The renovation includes a custom mural by Korean-American Detroit-based artist Mike Han. It was installed as a visual display in the media center titled “To Find Comfort in Being.” Han has done art installations for many companies such as Sachse, Bloomingdale’s, Somerset Collection, Chevrolet, and LinkedIn.

An official ribbon cutting will take place at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31. A public open house will follow, which invites all students and their families as well as prospective families to enjoy activities and pick up back-to-school supplies.

“At MCHS, we know that supporting youth in their time of greatest need will make a lifelong impact,” says Kevin Roach, CEO of MCHS. “We continuously are looking for ways we can advocate for our community’s most vulnerable youth and families, especially during years when education is so critical. We look forward to seeing the impact the Zen Den Sensory Room and Digital Media Center will make on the youth we serve.”

For more information, visit here.

Comcast to Source Clean, Renewable Electricity for Half of Michigan Operations

Comcast today announced that it has entered into agreements with Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to purchase renewable wind and solar electricity for Comcast Cable’s Michigan operations. Together, the agreements will allow Comcast to power half of its Michigan operations with carbon-free energy.

Comcast’s participation in both programs will be supported by new, Michigan-made renewable energy projects. The projects represent a combined annual volume of approximately 52,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) — equivalent to one year’s worth of electricity use for more than 7,000 homes.

“Here in Michigan and across the country we are bringing more renewable energy solutions online to support a healthier environment in all of the communities we serve,” says Kristee Cominiello, senior vice president of Comcast’s Heartland Region, which includes Michigan. “This agreement will allow us to support Michigan’s clean energy economy while advancing toward Comcast’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2035.”

Consumers Energy will supply Comcast with approximately 30,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually for 10 years through its Large Customer Renewable Energy Program, covering a majority of Comcast Cable’s operations in central and western Michigan.

“We’re excited to help Comcast in the mission they share with us to protect the planet,” says Brian Rich, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Consumer’s Energy. “Commitments like this make a meaningful impact in decreasing carbon emissions and speeding up the development of new clean energy here in Michigan.”

DTE Energy will supply Comcast with approximately 22,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually for 10 years through its MIGreenPower program, covering the majority of Comcast Cable’s operations in and around Detroit.

“As Michigan’s largest producer of and investor in renewable energy, we are proud to work with Comcast on our shared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through clean, renewable energy,” says Brian Calka, vice president of renewable sales and project development for DTE Energy. “This agreement will allow us to bring new Michigan-based wind and solar resources online that will support the broader clean energy transition.”

Comcast has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2035 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, or the direct and indirect emissions it owns and controls, across its global operations. In addition to several renewable energy agreements currently in place, Comcast will continue to invest in clean energy solutions through new on- and offsite renewable projects to decrease its carbon footprint.

MEDC Gives Clawson, Mount Clemens, Spring Lake ‘Essentials’ Redevelopment Status

For their efforts in establishing a more streamlined, predictable development process and overall community development vision, the communities of Clawson, Mount Clemens, and Spring Lake have achieved the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) Essentials designation by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The RRC Program was launched statewide by the MEDC in 2013. It is a voluntary initiative that empowers communities to shape their future as they strive to build a foundation of planning, zoning, and economic development best practices and integrating them into their everyday functions. RRC encourages communities to be development ready and competitive in today’s economy by actively engaging stakeholders and proactively planning, making them more attractive for projects that create places where people want to live, work, and invest.

Based on feedback from communities and other stakeholders, MEDC evolved RRC in February 2021 to include two different designations: Essentials and Certified. Communities now can determine what path is most appropriate for their needs based on capacity, community goals, and other local factors. Reaching the RRC Essentials designation is a formal recognition that a community has a vision for the future and the fundamental practices in place to get there.

“We applaud the communities of Clawson, Mount Clemens, and Spring Lake for achieving Essentials status,” says Michele Wildman, executive vice president of economic development incentives at MEDC. “Each one of these communities has identified its unique desired direction for the future and has a plan to achieve those goals. We look forward to building upon our existing relationships in these communities and supporting their continued economic development efforts.”

To achieve the Essentials designation, Mount Clemens worked to incorporate all the key documents and practices to provide a predictable development experience and meet local planning and zoning responsibilities under Michigan law. This included a comprehensive zoning ordinance update and development review process streamlining.

Clawson’s efforts has produced high-quality planning documents and processes that will continue to generate value, including the creation and adoption of a Capital Improvements Plan, which will help the city be more competitive when applying for grant funding. As a result of their RRC participation, Clawson now advertises and encourages business owners and developers to reach out to and schedule a pre-application meeting to receive early feedback on their projects.

The village of Spring Lake’s accomplishments include the creation of a public participation plan, a fully updated, modern, and user-friendly zoning ordinance, and ease of access to development-related information on the village website. Both the village manager and village president expressed their excitement over this recent accomplishment.

To date, the MEDC has formally recognized 65 Michigan communities in all corners of the state at the Certified level and six at the Essentials level. These communities have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning, to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors.

To see the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities, visit here.

Together Women’s Health Expands into Illinois, Names New Chief Medical Officer

Together Women’s Health (TWH) in Detroit has entered the Illinois market with the affiliation of both Northwestern Specialists for Women (NSW) and North Shore Associates in Gynecology and Obstetrics (NSAGO), adding 22 providers and three locations to the TWH network.

Together Women’s Health is a women’s health focused management service organization, backed by Shore Capital Partners, committed to partnering with leading physicians to build a premier network of women’s health services in the U.S.

NSW, a leading women’s health, obstetrics, and gynecologic practice in Chicago, is led by the physician team of Drs. Bonnie Wise, Kim McMahon, Dayna Salasche, Seema Venkatachalam, and Melissa Dugan-Kim. Longstanding North Shore Associates in Gynecology and Obstetrics, with offices in Wilmette and Glenview, Ill., is led by Drs. H. Jacob Saleh and Pamela Goodwin.

“As the health care landscape continues to evolve, maintaining the private practice model in obstetrics and gynecology is essential,” says Dr. Bonnie Wise, one of the leaders of NSW. “We know patients feel the difference and prefer this as an option when they seek care. Our partnership with Together Women’s Health will enable us to not only preserve this model of care, but also enhance the highly personal, patient-centered care we have always provided to our patients and expand our offering with new lines of care, such as mental health, pelvic physical therapy, laboratory, and imaging services.”

Wise also has been named the new chief medical officer for Together Women’s Health. One of the founding partners of NSW, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, attended Chicago Medical School, and completed her residency at the University of Illinois and Michael Reese Hospitals. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Medical Association, the Chicago Medical Society, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.

For more information, visit here.

Realtor Association Works to Create Solutions to Affordable Housing Crisis

The Southfield-based Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors is helping put metro Detroit residents into affordable homes by bringing together community stakeholders, realtors, and elected officials to find solutions to affordable housing barriers in southeast Michigan through a new series of open discussions.

Earlier this month, GMAR hosted its first Housing Opportunity event series at Andiamo in Warren. The roundtable-style event invited local community stakeholders to bring their questions, concerns, and insights on the policies, systems, and programs that affect access to affordable housing in their community.

“As realtors from the largest local real estate association in Michigan, we are committed to increasing homeownership in our communities by meeting challenges with innovative solutions,” says Teri Spiro, president of GMAR. “Homeownership is one of the pillars of the American Dream that we want to help make a reality for as many people as we can.”

The series, led by GMAR members, was initiated through the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Opportunity Grant Program, which funds state and local realtor association programs and policies that expand access to affordable housing, and is one of many actionable steps GMAR has taken to address issues in the industry.

Through its Government Relations Program and staff, GMAR works with local municipalities to craft policies that establish equity, affordability, and fair housing practices for community members.

“This is an issue that requires the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved in the housing industry, and I want to thank everyone who attended our first event and made it such a success,” Spiro says. “We are looking forward to continuing this conversation and partnering with individuals and groups committed to promoting affordable and attainable housing.”

The Housing Opportunity roundtable series will continue through the remainder of the year.

For more information, visit here.

ACG Detroit to Host 16th Annual Golf Outing

The Association of Corporate Growth (ACG Detroit) is teeing up for its 16th Annual Golf Outing, to be played Oct. 3 at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield.

Participants will have the opportunity to play 18 holes, grab lunch at the turn, enjoy beverages on the course, and end the day with cocktails, dinner, and prizes. The cost to play is $275 per golfer. Register here by Sept. 14.