Entrepreneurial Conference to Focus on Crowdfunding, Startups

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The 15th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurs, expected to draw about 800 attendees to Livonia’s Burton Manor on Thursday, will feature multiple presentations about growing the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“There’s some really important stuff around crowdfunding and how important that is to Michigan entrepreneurs and businesses because the litigation that has passed has really made it a viable option for all startups and businesses — not just high tech,” says Miche Suboski, managing director of MiQuest, one of the organizations leading the event. She’s referring to the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption Act, which passed in late 2013 and allows Michigan businesses to raise capital from state investors.

“I think we have a problem with the wording nowadays,” Suboski adds. “When we say crowdfunding, everybody thinks of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and it’s not that. This is about people investing in their local communities and getting a tax exemption for it.”

Other breakout sessions will discuss bringing entrepreneurial energy back to Michigan, funding innovation with state resources, and services that support commercialization and growth.

The event will also offer free, 20-minute consultations with local business experts, with about 100 sessions available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Suboski says the event has grown considerably since its first run in 2000. “It started off as a collaboration between two organizations — the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest (now MiQuest) and the Michigan (Small Business Development Center) at Washtenaw Community. And, over the last 15 years, it’s evolved into a statewide event that is organized and planned by 18 partner organizations throughout the state.”

Admission to the event is $25. For more information, visit ACE-event.org.​

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