40 Under Forty - 2014 - Grand Rapids Business Journal

Page 27

Mark Schmidt, 35

Dan Scripps, 38

Title: Founder Company: BizStream

Title: President Organization: Michigan EIBC/ Institute for Energy Innovation

Since Mark Schmidt opened BizStream, a web design and development and custom software company, in 2001, he’s grown it from one employee to 22, plus contractors. Three years ago, Schmidt also founded BizStream Academy, which has now taught 30 students coding fundamentals for free. “With a technology company of more than 20 team members, growing annual revenue, and newly purchased and renovated headquarters, Mark is indeed giving back and having fun,” said BizStream’s marketing expert, Sandra Mitchell. Schmidt is also the founder and a board member of Geek Aid of Michigan Inc. The culture at BizStream — “work hard, play hard” — is the accomplishment of which he’s most proud. The facility includes a fire pole, gym, foosball table and daily healthy snacks. “I’ve worked really hard on the company culture,” he said. “People really can come to work and have fun. People can stay engaged and keep growing. The culture also allows for all of us at BizStream to still have lives outside of work.” While his company’s revenue has grown by leaps and bounds, what is most meaningful to him is being able to share the wealth. “I don’t need to keep everything I’ve earned here to myself,” he said. “There’s enough to go around, so I send it around. It makes me unbelievably proud and happy to do so. Look what’s been accomplished just between my high school years and my mid-30s. I plan to just keep BizStream growing and to keep sending the good around.”

Dan Scripps has worn many hats, but says that 2009 and 2010 were his most challenging years as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives when the state’s unemployment rate was the highest in the nation, GM and Chrysler were in bankruptcy, and home foreclosure rates were skyrocketing. Still, Scripps can say now he is proud of the Legislature’s efforts to avoid a complete economic collapse and help jumpstart Michigan’s recovery. Scripps is an attorney and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School in 2005. Since October 2012, he has been president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council as well as the Institute for Energy Innovation, both in Grand Rapids. Since January, he has been senior advisor in energy finance for the Advanced Energy Economy Association in Washington. Previously, he served more than a year as vice president of capital innovation at Advanced Energy Economy. After law school, he was with Washington-based firm Latham & Watkins in 2005 and 2006, and again from January 2011 through August 2012, focusing on finance and regulatory issues in energy and climate change. Scripps is a board member at the Energy Finance Expert Advisory Group, National Association of State Energy Offices, and chair of the Electoral Advisory Board at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. He has represented key financial people in the 550MW Desert Sunlight solar project, which was named the 2011 North American Solar Deal of the Year.

40 UNDER FORTY 2014 | Grand Rapids Business Journal 27

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