DBusiness Daily Update: The Hawk Makerspace in Farmington Hills Opens Today, 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 Hawk Makerspace in Farmington Hills is a place where one can express creativity and work on projects in a community setting. // Courtesy of Farmington Hills
The Hawk Makerspace in Farmington Hills is a place where one can express creativity and work on projects in a community setting. // Courtesy of Farmington Hills

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.

Farmington Hills’ The Hawk Makerspace Opens Today

A new feature — The Hawk Makerspace — is opening today at The Hawk – Farmington Hills Community Center, the former Harrison High School, with a special kickoff featuring information about classes, equipment, special access passes, and more.

A Makerspace is a place where one can express creativity and work on projects in a community setting. The city supplies the tools and the people supply the ideas.

The Hawk Makerspace welcomes people of all ability levels and encourages them to explore, create, design, invent, and have fun.

The Makerspace features more than 5,000 square feet of space, with more than 3,000 square feet of accessible craft space. Specialized equipment includes a laser cutter, engraver, vinyl cutter, a large format printer, a 3-D printer, and a sewing lab with a long-arm quilter, an embroidery machine, and industrial sewing machines.

The woodshop portion of The Hawk Makerspace encompasses almost 2,000 square feet and offers the opportunity to use many different types of equipment including a large ShopBot, CNC Router, SawStop Table Saw, panel saw, and more.

The Makerspace’s primary sponsor is the Farmington Hills-based North American headquarters of Bosch and the Bosch Community Fund.

Makerspace users may purchase passes to use the equipment during Open Studio hours. Daily, monthly, and annual passes are also offered for both individuals and families.

Classes that currently have openings include Build Your Own Bandsaw Boxes, Shaker-Style Tables, Beginner Sewing, Cornhole Sets, Embellished Cheese Boards, Menorah Making, and Ornaments.

Program options include a mix of preplanned projects, or users can avail themselves Makerspace experts as they navigate through concept, design, and fabrication for their own project.

For more information and a full list of Makerspace amenities, visit here.

Ushr Expands HD Map Coverage for GM to 400K+ Miles in U.S. and Canada

Ushr Inc. has expanded its high-definition map database for General Motors Co. to cover more than 400,000 miles of roads in the United States and Canada, enabling the automaker to double the road network for Super Cruise, the industry’s first hands-free driver assistance system.

For this expansion, Ushr utilized precise LiDAR data and proprietary algorithms to map primary roads. These include undivided high-speed roads, like state highways, that separate the direction of travel with paint lines. Hands-free driving on undivided roads requires precise vehicle localization. This driving scenario demands a high level of HD map accuracy.

“Primary roads are far more complex than highways,” says David K. Johnson, chief scientist at Ushr. “They contain a higher diversity of road objects, density of crossings, pavement types and lane types.”

LiDAR map data is critical to the safe deployment of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) at GM, as it is a key component in sensor fusion, where precision LiDAR map data, real-time cameras, radars and GPS create a sensory field around the vehicle that assist in keeping it centered in the lane while elevating the driver’s comfort and convenience.

“When ADAS is done right, it’s safe for everyone on the road,” says Chris Thibodeau, CEO of Ushr. “For many drivers, this is their introduction to hands-free driving and it’s important to present it to the public in a deliberate way. The industry needs to get it right.”

Visit cadillac.com/supercruise for compatible roads and full details.

Ribbon’s All-cash Offer Now Live in Michigan

New York-based homeownership company Ribbon has expanded its services into Michigan with a focus on improving the home buying and selling process.

Ribbon’s Cash Offer is designed to be a guaranteed close for Michiganders, removing home sale, financing, and appraisal contingencies that often force deals to fall through while providing certainty in an unpredictable market for buyers and sellers.

“Rising mortgage rates are deterring or stalling many buyers’ dreams to purchase a home,” says Shaival Shah, co-founder and CEO of Ribbon. “Without accessibility or affordability, buyers, sellers, agents, and lenders are all impacted. Ribbon’s mission is to make homeownership achievable for all. By launching in Michigan, we can empower the real estate ecosystem and help buyers and their agents with contingency-free all-cash offers that help them secure their dream home.”

Ribbon Cash Offers enable Michigan homebuyers to waive mortgage, appraisal, and home sale contingencies through the power of an all-cash offer. Ribbon’s guaranteed close, and appraisal protection gives buyers, sellers, and agents predictability, helping to move its users to the front of the offer pool. Loan officers share the excitement for streamlined solutions to serve their communities and grow businesses.

For more information, visit www.ribbonhome.com.

PPG to Highlight Coatings for EVs at Detroit Auto Show, The Battery Show

PPG says it’s planning to showcase its growing portfolio of paints and coatings for battery electric vehicles (EV) during the Detroit Auto Show at Huntington Place in Detroit and The Battery Show, North America at The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Both shows begin on Sept. 13 and run through Sept. 15.

Exhibits at both events will include PPG Corachar battery fire protection solutions that enhance safety and production efficiency, along with other coatings innovations that are supporting the massive shift to battery EVs.

At the Detroit Auto Show, PPG also will display advanced coatings technologies for auto parts suppliers to streamline the supply chain, and digital color tools that will enable OEMs to bring new colors to market faster.

PPG also will showcase coatings solutions for the design, construction, and production of Li-ion battery cells, modules, and packs at The Battery Show. These coatings enhance performance, safety, and manufacturability to enable OEMs and battery and component manufacturers to accelerate the development of energy storage solutions.

“The automotive industry is pivoting to the latest technologies to deliver on the future of mobility as society’s use of automobiles shifts,” says Andrew Carroll, vice president of automotive coatings for the Americas at PPG. “Our innovative paints and coatings will play a leading role in this transition and will advance the technology to improve driver safety, assist in meeting sustainability goals and drive profitability.”

Northville’s AISIN Corp. Returns to Detroit Auto Show

Northville-based AISIN Corp. is planning to return to the Detroit Auto Show, Sept. 14-16, at Huntington Place, in downtown Detroit.

“This is our backyard and Detroit is our home show,” says Scott Turpin, president and CEO of AISIN World Corp. of America. “We’re thrilled to be back. We have a beautiful new exhibit in a strategic and highly visible location just inside the main entrance of Huntington Place; and we look forward to welcoming our guests and demonstrating our capabilities during an exciting week for the auto industry.”

AISIN will present its EV systems and initiatives that contribute to heat management and weight reduction in support of future mobility, carbon neutrality and vehicle electrification. Product zones within the exhibit include power management, energy management, and aerodynamic systems.

Feature products include:

  • eAxle drive modules
  • Regenerative cooperative brake system
  • Cooling modules and electric pumps
  • Active front spoiler and grille shutter
  • 1-Motor RWD hybrid transmission

“We’re here to make an impression, explain our global role in electrification, and engage our current and prospective customers,” Turpin says. “We’ll also use this opportunity to talk about our extensive network in North America, which includes 14,000 employees; 40 production, sales and R&D centers; AISIN Technical Center of America; and FT Techno of America — our 950-acre test track and proving ground in Fowlerville. The show makes it possible for us to do that in a vibrant and exciting environment.”

AISIN also will showcase the traditional automotive components and systems that it’s been known for and that are featured on its iconic i-Mobility vehicle, a crowd-pleasing exhibit property seen at major automotive events around the world. The skeleton-type vehicle helps convey information about AISIN products and technology and is known to grab the attention of auto enthusiasts of all ages.

Michigan Capital Network Expands Fund IV to Meet Growing Investor Interest

Michigan Capital Network (MCN), the Grand Rapids-based association of regional angel investing groups and the management entity for four venture capital funds, has submitted filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission to increase the total investment amount of its Fund IV from $25 million to $35 million.

MCN’s venture capital funds and angel groups invest in entrepreneurs and tech startup companies in the life science, advanced manufacturing, and software industries. Fund IV was established in July 2021 and has seen a high level of activity in the past 14 months. This comes on the heels of MCN’s first three venture capital funds, which have already invested in a combined total of 50 companies, 18 of which have exited.

“This expansion reflects the ever-growing interest of investors in Michigan’s tech startup sector,” says Paul D’Amato, CEO and managing director of MCN. “We have previously invested in numerous successful companies such as Grand Rapids Aseptic Manufacturing Inc., Tetra Therapeutics Inc., Facility Health Inc., and HealthBridge Financial Inc., through our earlier venture capital funds and we plan to build on our investment strategy in a way that will grow our state’s economy.”

MCN’s five regional angel investment groups total more than 200 individual investors or members. Between the angel groups and the four venture capital funds, MCN has invested in more than 100 companies, creating more than 2,000 high-paying tech industry jobs in Michigan.

Techstars Detroit Powered by J.P. Morgan Announces Inaugural Class

Techstars, a global investment business in Colorado that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and programming for early-stage entrepreneurs announces the 60 selected early-stage startups that will be participating in the inaugural programs kicking off in Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and Washington, D.C.

The $80 million fund launched by Techstars and raised through J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank platform, will support more than 400 companies through over 37 accelerator programs in 9 U.S. cities to create opportunities for wealth creation among a diversified range of founders, often constrained by institutional, structural, and systemic barriers.

The Detroit class includes 12 early stage companies, according to Monica Wheat, managing director of the Techstars Detroit Accelerator Program.

“We want to revolutionize how venture and innovation are done by using diversity as a force multiplier and a driver to uncover hidden talent,” Wheat says. “These untapped markets are the largest opportunity in venture.”

Local companies participating in the Detroit program include:

Gildform, Detroit — An on-demand jewelry manufacturing platform offering independent designers and business owners access to premium 3-D printing and jewelry production services.

Good & Well Brands, Detroit — A wellness ecosystem using an omnichannel approach to deliver services, products, and experiences that foster well-being for men across cultures.

Pluck.eco, Detroit — Offers sustainable, free-to-customer weekly deliveries from local businesses and vendors.

Tour, Ann Arbor — The first video-based digital leasing assistant that can be installed as an overlay to any apartment website, making it easier for renters to imagine what life really is like living at that property.

Opnr, Grand Rapids — A B2B, double-sided marketplace platform that uses data to connect musicians with concert organizers offering opener performance opportunities.

Other included in the inaugural Detroit class include Capsa Technology Inc. in Nigeria, EZ Vending in Arizona, LearnHaus in San Francisco, Locus Mobility in Philadelphia, Peadbo in Washington, D.C., Socian Technologies in Chicago, and SQOR Technologies Inc. in New York City.

UM-Dearborn Ranked Top Michigan Regional Public University by U.S. News & World Report

University of Michigan-Dearborn ranks as a top Michigan university in U.S. News & World Report’s annual guide to American colleges and universities.

The university ranks first in the state and fifth overall among regional public universities in the Midwest. And it’s 30th — moving up the list from last year — among all regional universities, public and private, in the Midwest.

The university, whose chancellor, Domenico Grasso, is a U.S. Army veteran, also takes a top spot on the Best College for Veterans list. In the 2023 rankings, the university — when ranked among regional campuses in the Midwest — earned the top placement in the state at No. 11 overall.

Criteria for the designation includes being GI Bill-certified and participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition, UM-Dearborn has an active Veteran Affairs staff that organizes veterans-based programming and provides structure for incoming students.

UM-Dearborn also is the number one regional public university in Michigan on the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility. The campus ranked 15th overall among regional universities in the Midwest. The list includes colleges that are successful at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of Pell Grant eligible students.

In college-specific listings, U.S. News again recognized UM-Dearborn’s undergraduate business and engineering programs. The College of Business ranks as the third best undergraduate business program in the state. The College of Engineering and Computer Science was ranked with the fifth best ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering program in Michigan. CECS’s computer science undergraduate degree also was named a top program.

To see the complete rankings, visit here.

In other rankings news, the university was recognized on the Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges. To see that list, visit here.

International Robot Safety Conference Returns In-person Sept. 27-29

Industry experts from Amazon, FANUC, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Rockwell, SICK, Universal Robots, Zebra, and more will speak at the International Robot Safety Conference (IRSC), presented by the Ann Arbor-based Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Sept. 27-29 in Columbus, Ohio.

The event will be in person for the first time since 2019 and cover key issues in robot safety and provide an in-depth overview of current industry standards related to industrial robotics, including conventional, collaborative, and mobile robot systems.

“Companies of all sizes and in nearly every industry are purchasing and deploying robots at a rate never seen before in North America,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “As a result, the International Robot Safety Conference is more important than ever for integrators, manufacturers, and end-users who need to make sure their knowledge of robot safety and risk assessment is current. This event is part of our association’s unwavering commitment to prioritizing the safety of workers as the demand for robots increases.”

For more information and to register, visit here.

Visit Detroit Honors Winners of 26th ROSE Awards

Visit Detroit honored members of the metro Detroit hospitality community for their excellent customer service at the 26th Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) Awards. The award ceremony celebration took place on Sept. 8, at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

“The metro Detroit hospitality community has shown remarkable resiliency over the past two years and served as impeccable ambassadors to the millions of people who visit the region each year,” says Claud Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit. “Visit Detroit is honored to host the ROSE Awards as a small token of our appreciation for all the work our partners do to provide exemplary customer service.”

ROSE Award nominations were provided by clients, guests, supervisors, and the general public. One winner in each of the six categories was chosen. Additionally, one overall service champion, selected by a panel of expert hospitality professionals was also recognized.

The 2022 category winners were:

  • Volunteers — Elena Nuno, volunteer/ volunteer delegate, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
  • Attractions and Casinos – Christos Polymeneas, technology engineer, The Henry Ford
  • Transportation – James (Jim) Jordan, chauffeur, Golden Limousine
  • Restaurants – Gregory Curtiss, bartender and bar back, Tin Roof
  • Behind the Scenes – Darrell Lewis, building mechanic, Engineering Department at Huntington Place
  • Hotels – Jill Schmittling, banquet server, Embassy Suites – Troy Auburn Hills

The 2022 Overall Service Champion was Raymond Braggs, laundry attendant and purchasing receiving clerk at The Henry, Autograph Collection.

For more information about the ROSE Awards, visit theroseawards.com.

Metro Detroit Nonprofit Career Expo Announced for Sept. 21

Gesher Human Services, The J Detroit, and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit are co-sponsoring the Metro Detroit Nonprofit Career Expo to take place from 2-6 p.m. Sept. 21 from 2-6 p.m. at The J Detroit (6600 W. Maple Road) in West Bloomfield Township.

The event will feature more than 15 local nonprofit agencies more than offering 100 jobs, both part-time and full-time. Registration is preferred although not required. Gesher Human Services also will provide onsite resume assistance and will be available to take free headshot photographs for attendees to use in their LinkedIn profiles.

“It’s a real challenge to get people in the door to find out what employment is available,” says Jason Charnas, director of business and career services at Gesher Human Services. “This expo offers job seekers the chance to see the many varied opportunities available, plus we will have career advisors on site to review and advise applicants on their resumes.”

Job types includes teachers, event organizers, direct care professionals, group home managers, home health aides, program coordinators, preschool positions, geriatric care supervisors and managers, audio-visual technicians, fundraising professionals, office managers, cooks, dining service positions, licensed practical nurses, religious school positions, receptionist, and many more.

For more information, contact Charnas at employmenthelp@geshermi.org or call 248-233-4230.

Centria Autism in Farmington Hills Awarded Accreditation by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Centria Autism in Farmington Hills has been recognized with a two-year accreditation by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. The achievement recognizes Centria for its dedication to continuous clinical quality, staff qualifications, customer satisfaction, and clinical systems.

This is the second consecutive accreditation for Centria, which will carry the recognition until 2024.

“Centria Autism is committed to clinical excellence at every level of our organization,” says Timothy Yeager, chief clinical officer at Centria. “Utilizing our Do Wonders Framework, Centria is dedicated to standardizing quality systems that support our clinicians to provide the highest care to our families nationwide. I’m very proud that BHCOE recognizes our exemplary standards that it represents.”

The framework informs Centria’s therapy teams by utilizing a unique set of assessments and tools that build into the client’s treatment plan. It informs treatment at every step of the way, ensuring that clients are meeting clinical outcomes from start of care to successful discharge.

“Helping more children with autism develop, pursue, and achieve their own goals and dreams through high-quality ABA therapy and support has been – and will continue to be – our mission as an organization,” says Scott Barry, CEO of Centria. “We’re excited to receive this recognition from the BHCOE and look forward to watching our industry-changing clinical approach take flight.”

Michigan Science Center Opens Doors for Youth Design Free Day Sept. 24

The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) in Detroit will open its doors for free to the public Sept. 24, hosting activities in the science of stage production and animal conservation with Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD) and The Detroit Zoological Society, courtesy of support from Strategic Staffing Solutions.

“We appreciate the support of Strategic Staffing Solutions and our partners, Shakespeare in Detroit and The Detroit Zoological Society, for helping us host a community free day that brings children and families closer to art production and animal conservation,” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. “The many activities they have planned demonstrate the incredible variety of career pathways that can be pursued when learners embrace STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).”

While tickets are free, visitors must make reservations in advance to attend the Community Free Day on Sept. 24. Visit www.mi-sci.org to make reservations.

“Strategic Staffing Solutions is always glad to collaborate with community organizations to create public events that educate and entertain attendees of all ages,” says Cindy Pasky, founder and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. “Our continued support of the Michigan Science Center symbolizes our company’s commitment to supporting local institutions that make a difference in the lives of everyone living in metro Detroit.”

Free day activities will include:

  • Shakespeare in Detroit’s STEAM program.
  • Science of Sound: Rain stick, thunder stick and bell.
  • Technology of Lighting: Light board and flashlights with gel lights.
  • Engineering of a Form: Sewing machine and fabric for stitching.
  • Art of Classical Literature: Scenes and monologues from a Shakespeare play to act out.
  • Mathematics of Set Design: Playdoh and a miniature set.
  • Animal welfare research through the science and tools of thermal imaging infrared cameras.
  • Learning about how the zoo designs studies that inform about wildlife populations locally and globally.
  • Exploring how trees and other plants can help us address climate change.
  • Design and problem-solve issues affecting animals and the environment, while learning how the DZS is committed to helping all animals, including domestic animals like dogs and cats and wild animals like wolves and tigers.