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Medical tech spurs healthcare innovation

Doing more with less in the operating room

International indulgences in your own backyard




Kopi King Jeff Bickley's Detroit startup brings a luxurious but controversial coffee to market


A L L O F YO U R FAVO R I T E B R A N D S N OW SHA R E T H E S A M E HOM E . The next generation has arrived… 2017 models are in Westborn’s Showroom today.




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FEATURES Doug Moore, the pioneer and founder of Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, has been serving the fine community of Dearborn for over 31 years. Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram now has its third generation working at the dealership and learning the business to take it to the next level.


16 Coffee supreme

When Mr. Moore started in the business over 45 years ago, Lyndon Johnson returned to power after a landslide victory. It was also the year the Beatles took the world and America by storm and Beatlemania went into overdrive as they released a series of number-one hits, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “All My Loving.” Other British groups also found success, including the Rolling Stones and the Animals. Together, with the American talent of the Supremes and Bob Dylan, many say this was one of the greatest years for music in the last century. Also, one young, loud, talented boxer by the name of Cassius Clay won the boxing world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston. Sony also introduced the first VCR Home Video Recorder.



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Medicine in Michigan



Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has stood the test of time and has witnessed many of the great things that have happened in this great country. Not only has the Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram stood the test of time, they are still delivering the best in new and used vehicles and, most important, they still deliver the best service in Michigan. Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram looks forward to serving the great community of Dearborn for another 31 years to come.


Doing more with less in the operating room



28 International indulgences








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From our team


TechTown Detroit


Secrets of a successful launch


VCs drawn to life sciences


Flex time


A toast to toasters



Cybersecurity education in Michigan

36 38


Capturing tech events


The Fixer — Finder’s latest keeper


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On the cover: Jeff Bickley, co-founder of Gayo Kopi. Photographed by Max Wedge at the Southfield Town Center.

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Venture Michigan


HOLIDAYS 2016 : : Volume 1, Issue 2


f you find our Venture Michigan cover at all intriguing, you’ll definitely want to read the story behind it. The sophisticated looking man you see is the co-founder of a Detroit startup that is distributing a rare type of Indonesian coffee made from the droppings of Asian palm civets (small, cat-like creatures) that roam the forests of Indonesia. Yes, we said droppings. But before you pass judgment, read our cover story and find out what makes Kopi Luwak coffee one of the most expensive in the world — and, according to some coffee aficionados, one of the most delicious. This issue also takes a look at the many fascinating ways the medical industry is being transformed by technology and innovation — from a headset that uses virtual reality to distract hospitalized children from pain, to new, dissolvable stents and resources to help Michigan manufacturers diversify into the medical arena. On the medical topic, we profile a Bloomfield Hills-based startup that is making a mark in healthcare with a groundbreaking system that reduces foot traffic in hospital operating rooms while cutting costs. We also take a look at how universities throughout the state are tackling cybersecurity by developing programs that focus on keeping business and personal information safe from hackers. These programs come just in time, as one expert tells us: The demand for employees with cybersecurity skills is at a fever pitch, and shows no signs of letting up. Our Design feature introduces the Steelcase Gesture chair, a high-performance task chair that adapts to a variety of positions for today’s office worker, who might be reading text messages one minute and moving to a laptop or tablet the next. The company conducted a study that observed how the human body interacts with technologies and how it responds as workers shift from one device to another. The study revealed nine work postures that were not being supported by office chairs — until now. With all that moving around at work, it’s likely you’ve worked up an appetite for your favorite food. Our Weekend feature is all about area international flavors you can experience, thanks to the ethnically diverse dining scene in Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit. Let us know what you think about Venture Michigan. Are we covering the stories you want to read? Send your ideas to: – The Venture Michigan Team

New resources help Michigan manufacturers diversify into the medical arena.

EDITORIAL Editor Jane Racey Gleeson Copy Editor Judy Solomon Contributing Writers Mike Brogan Jeanine Matlow Leslie Mertz Amy Mindell Susan R. Pollack

Nicole Serra Nataliya Stasiw Matthew Totsky Ilene Wolff

Advisory Board Susan Gordon Ed Nakfoor Paul Riser Chuck Rymal

CREATIVE Creative Director Alex Lumelsky Production SKY Creative Contributing Photographers Shannon Beeman Susan R. Pollack Pierrette Templeton Max Wedge

PUBLISHING Published by Venture Michigan LLC Printed by Graphics East

ADVERTISING Managing Director, Sales and Marketing R. David Eick Account Manager Barbara Somero For Advertising: 248-231-8067 or Venture Michigan is a quarterly magazine. Our mission is to uncover the most important stories about the people, companies, technologies and ideas that are transforming Southeast Michigan. The publication is distributed in 8 counties in Southeast Michigan and the City of Detroit. To subscribe, please email: © 2016 Venture Michigan LLC

In Memory We dedicate this issue of Venture Michigan Magazine to the memory of Greg “Porky” Campbell, a true gentleman, consummate professional and unforgettable member of our team.



All content herein is the property of Venture Michigan LLC and cannot be copied, reproduced, distributed or republished without express written permission. Postmaster: Send address changes to Venture Michigan Magazine, 3000 Town Center, Suite 58, Southfield MI 48075

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TechTown Detroit: Helping firms develop, launch and grow BY LESLIE MERTZ


he wheels are turning at TechTown Detroit, one of the city’s most established non-profit business accelerators/incubators. Located on the north end of Wayne State University’s Detroit campus, TechTown was launched in 2007 to provide entrepreneurial services for tech companies and neighborhood enterprises, helping startups and established businesses develop, launch and grow. Three of TechTown’s noted programs include: • DTX Launch Detroit, designed to retain and develop the state’s best and brightest entrepreneurial talent. • TechTown Business Incubator Center (TBIC), which helps established, early-stage tech companies identify critical steps for commercialization and strategic growth. • TechTown BLOCKS programming and services, designed to help businesses grow. DTX Launch Detroit TechTown’s DTX Launch Detroit “is a 10week, intensive, student-focused, summer accelerator program that recruits Michigan college students and recent graduates who are willing to build a tech-based venture or business in the state,” says Paul Riser, managing director of technology-based entrepreneurship at TechTown. DTX Launch Detroit helps students understand the work involved in transforming an idea into a business. “Our young entrepreneurs often 8


don’t understand the journey involved. It’s about more than having an interesting idea, having an uncle or a cousin tell you it’s great, and then waiting for the venture capital funds to start rolling in. It just doesn’t happen that way,” Riser says. The program instructs students in designing, testing and evaluating their value proposition; conducting considerable amounts of customer discovery, matching the solution to the needs of

pursue interests from other municipalities and cities around the country. Another success story is a startup called Evolve Lifestyle Group, founded by three DTX Launch Detroit graduates. The company rolled out Pro:Up, which matches students with educational and professional growth opportunities, like summer programs, internships, and jobs while helping those opportunity providers reach out to a highly targeted and relevant audience.

Between 2007 and 2015, TechTown Detroit has served nearly 1,500 companies, creating more than 1,200 jobs and leveraging more than $112 million in startup capital. their market; building a coachable and collegial team and pitching their company to investors or potential customers. Although only in its fourth year, DTX Launch Detroit has several successes, according to Riser. “One is City Insights, which was founded by a Wayne State student. It started out as an internet-enabled, connected water-filtration accessory, and grew into an app that allows consumers to gauge their water use, set goals, and receive tips about how to reduce consumption,” Riser says. The City of Detroit recognized the app’s benefits toward achieving improved customer relations and became a customer. Now, the company is preparing to

Thousands of students and dozens of program providers are using Pro:Up, which has won numerous awards and competitions, helping the company raise the capital to build its platform. The benefits of DTX Launch Detroit go beyond the startups themselves, Riser says. “The point of DTX Launch Detroit is to plant that seed of entrepreneurship, while providing the students with true differentiating skills, whether the student continues as an entrepreneur, joins another startup’s team or goes back to the private sector in corporate America. Our students gain a set of skills they can bring to the table to increase their value, no matter what they do in life.”

TechTown programming impact, 2015 • 210 companies served • 320 jobs retained • 19 companies created • 42 jobs created • $5,579,645 leveraged by companies served

TechTown Business Incubation Center A major value of TBIC is to help entrepreneurs take a hard, honest look at their business model. “Often, entrepreneurs come to us with the belief that they are ready for the market. In reality they may be a few steps away from what the market really demands, so one of our major facets is 2016 NATION’S BEST ONLINE PROGRAMS driven around this notion of customer discovery, U.S. News & World Report® and having the market validate an entrepreneur’s hypothesis of what an industry wants, or what 2016 NATION’S BEST ONLINE PROGRAMS consumers want,” Riser says. U.S. News & World Report® That means encouraging and assisting entrepreneurs in sitting down with customers to test and ultimately gain a keen understanding of the market 2016 BEST COLLEGES they hope to address. Entrepreneurs are then able for Veterans U.S. News & World Report® to build on what they’ve learned, adapt and proceed with a much more solid approach. 2016 BEST COLLEGES for Veterans

U.S. News & TechTown Blocks World Report® “One of the things that makes TechTown truly unique as a business incubator and accelerator is that we support local businesses that don’t have tech as a core function,” says Riser. “In the Blocks program, we might have a restaurant, a family furniture store or a small retail business participating. The TechTown Blocks program is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs capitalize on great concepts and opportunities, subsequently helping transform underserved neighborhoods into vibrant communities with thriving business districts. In the Blocks program, entrepreneurs learn practical skills in everything from employee management, to branding and marketing, business financials, the key role of an architect and more. The idea is to help entrepreneurs boost their Detroit-based business to greater success.



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Secrets of a successful launch BY NATALIYA STASIW


hen pursuing a relaness plans for consideration tionship with venture to any VC won’t lead to succapital (VC) invescess. It’s important to detertors, startup companies often mine specifically what kind underestimate the preparation of VC you should be workrequired. You may have a great ing with and which investor idea, you may have gained some will be a good fit for your serious traction in the market company. It’s not just about and you may already have some the funding. It’s about buildNATALIYA family and friends or angels backing a successful partnership. STASIW ing your company, but the work Do the homework to identify that must be done to ensure your what kind of VC is going to business is well positioned for signifi- give you the support you need: access cant growth should not be taken lightly. to mentors, to corporate partners and If you’ve decided that pursuing venture to other growing tech companies in your capital funding is the right path for your industry. Dive into their portfolio compastartup, you must be well prepared to survive a rigorous due diligence process. VCs want to know how scalable your business is and how knowledgeable you are about your space. The reality is that VCs invest in good industries and good people with domain expertise. They want to nies to identify potential conflicts or synensure you understand the market you ergies. Understand the size of the fund plan to penetrate and the cost of doing and the stage of companies and indusso. The solutions you’re bringing for- tries they invest in. ward are as important as the team you Another element critical to gaining have with you. Having a strong team and the confidence and support of VC inan involved Board is critical. Attracting vestors is achieving as much exposure a stellar team will go a long way in dem- as possible. Events like the Accelerate onstrating to VCs that your company is Michigan Innovation Competition and ready to be taken to the next level. Michigan Capital Growth Symposium are high-exposure events where you can get The science of success introduced to good VCs and successful Even if you think you have it covered, entrepreneurs in Michigan. there is a science to attracting VC investors. It takes an effort by the pursuer Exploring the entrepreneurial in the form of dedication, attention to ecosystem detail and passion. Making hundreds of Navigating the system and understandcold calls and sending unsolicited busi- ing how and when to seek VC funding

can be a complicated process. Throughout Michigan, the entrepreneurial ecosystem offers a wide variety of resources for startups in many stages and across most industries. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) supports designated SmartZones across the state, which are geographic areas where technology firms, entrepreneurs and startups can find resources to support their endeavors, such as funding programs, business incubators and accelerators, university collaborations, research opportunities and the like. Whether you need assistance preparing financials, understanding your customer

The reality is that VCs invest in good industries and good people with domain expertise. They want to ensure you understand the market you plan to penetrate.



base, knowing how to get a purchase order or gaining earlier access to capital, SmartZones can connect startup companies with the programs and resources they need at any stage. The pool of resources across Michigan is constantly growing. For example, in 2016, MEDC launched three new funding programs specifically positioned to help early stage companies grow and prepare for the next level: The Angel Capital Development Fund is designed to foster and expand the network of angel investors in Michigan; The First Capital Fund will invest in pre-seed and startup stage competitive edge technologies that require capital in the earliest stages of the commercialization process; The

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University Early Stage Proof of Concept Fund will assist university projects for the transition from scientific research to applied research to translational research into the commercial market by analyzing the market application, proving out the concept validation, demonstrating technical feasibility and developing a prototype in the preparation for implementation and testing. MEDC’s partners like the Small Business Development Center, Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Start Garden, Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) and others can help you identify the entrepreneurial support resources available to assist you in meeting your needs and objectives. MVCA recently released the Michigan Entrepreneurial & Investment Landscape Guide, which provides detailed information on angel investors, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial support organizations across the state of Michigan. Tapping into as many of the programs, networks and trainings that are available to you as early as possible will help ensure your preparedness in pursuing a VC partner.

As a portfolio manager, Nataliya Stasiw oversees a diverse portfolio of venture capital investments and business acceleration grants under the 21st Century Jobs Fund at Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Before joining MEDC in 2014, Stasiw worked at Automation Alley helping early-stage technology companies in Southeast Michigan pursue growth and funding opportunities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from Towson University, Maryland, and has also completed graduate coursework in International Management and Finance at the University of Maryland.

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VCs drawn to life sciences BY ILENE WOLFF


s venture investment is increasingly attracted to Michigan companies, the state’s lack of capital is slowly being reversed. In fact, life sciences companies are the hottest investment sector for venture fund money in Michigan, according to the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s (MVCA) 2016 Research Report. Within the life sciences sector, nearly 60 percent of the companies attracting investment are focused on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. “I think a lot of that can be traced to some of the early funds doing well,” says Jim Adox, past chairman of the MVCA and managing director of Venture Investors in Ann Arbor, Mich. He says Venture Michigan funds were a catalyst too. “This is definitely an area where success breeds success.” In the investment community, Great Lakes region venture firms are attracting the attention of a broad national investor base contributing to ever increasing fund sizes, but healthcare investor Arboretum Venture’s 2015 fundraiser broke state records (in the Great Lakes region it’s one of the top five largest 12


funds raised). Arboretum, in Ann Arbor, raised $220 million for its Arboretum fourth investment fund. The latest round builds on the success of the firm’s previous healthcare-focused funds. Overall in Michigan, venture capital activity continues to increase. The number of venture capital firms headquartered in the state, their total

group in formation. Angel groups invested more than $16 million in Michigan startups in 2015, and Michigan’s Grand Angels group was listed among the three most active angel groups in the country. “Our report, comparing 15 years’ worth of data contributed by 100+ member organizations, shows steady and

Out of 74 Michigan startups receiving venture capital investments in 2015, 23 were life sciences/health care companies – 2016 MVCA RESEARCH REPORT capital under management and the number of venture capital investments made in Michigan has doubled and in some cases tripled in the last five years. Nationally, these numbers have decreased. The angel investment community has also grown substantially. In 2015, nine angel groups in Michigan were made up of 294 investors, a 59 percent increase in angel participation from the previous five years, with a 10th angel

consistent growth of the venture and angel capital industry in Michigan, in many cases outpacing national trends,” according to a letter to readers in the report from Maureen Miller Brosnan, MVCA executive director.

Visit for a list of Michigan-based life sciences and healthcare companies receiving venture capital investments in 2015.



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Time Flex Adaptable office chair supports the way we work today BY JEANINE MATLOW




orking long hours no longer means sitting in the same position all day. Flexibility, it seems, is a good strategy given the fact that being chained to a desk for hours on end isn’t good for our health or well being. Inspired by the fluid movement of the human body, the Gesture chair by Steelcase was intended to support our interactions with modern technology while helping us achieve healthy postures as we use our devices. “We’re constantly looking for changes in behavior in the workplace, which has changed drastically in recent years,” says Bruce Smith, director of global design for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company. Through the years, he says, there has been a leap from pen and ink to typewriters, to tabletop computers and laptops and now, tablets and smartphones. Gesture supports the body in a range of postures, especially when using technology. For example, the chair features arms that move in a complete 360-degree motion, similar to the human arm. They adjust close to the body, which allows a person to operate a handheld device at face level, thus eliminating neck strain. With advances in technology came the need for a high-performance task chair that was superior, says Smith. “We wanted to make it relevant to the workplace. The way the arms move and the ease of adjustment make it absolutely unique.” Support for today’s postures The company’s global posture study of more than 2,000 people at work in 11 countries identified nine postures not supported by available seating. Workers were uncomfortable, in pain and possibly doing long-term harm to their bodies. The study revealed how the human body interacts with technologies and

how it responds as workers shift from one device to another. “People make shifts as often as every three seconds from one activity to another,” Smith says. “One might involve taking pressure off a leg or switching from a laptop to a cellphone. Their position is not static; it’s dynamic.” Innovation takes a front seat Ease of use was essential to the product’s design. “It’s about finding the right balance between a high-performance task chair that’s non-prescriptive and being able to adopt any position you want,” says Smith. In addition, Gesture is sustainable with no harmful chemicals and a significant amount of recycled and recyclable content. Other bonuses? The chair has a smaller footprint and can be disassembled. The range of options suits different users, some of whom may be sharing a workspace. “You can make the chair really small and you can also expand it,” says Smith. All of the controls have the same texture and they’re located in one place, which makes them easy to find. As Smith reminds us, designers never stop designing, which can lead to bonus features. “We’re so thrilled about the headrest version because headrests are usually an afterthought, but this one was conceived of and designed early on in the process,” he says. “It looks great and the performance is astounding. It is definitely the most comfortable chair. We are excited and proud of it.” Stand by me Technology has also had an effect on our desks. “For the most part, people are getting away from executive desks and choosing slimmer and sleeker models

with modular components,” says Matt Blaesser, operations manager for All Star Interiors in Southfield, Mich. One unique style his firm carries, a motorized height-adjustable desk from Intelligent Office Furniture, is especially flexible and completely customizable. The fairly new release has been well received so far. “There’s a huge push right now to get out of your chair,” says Blaesser. Though standard desk height is 29 or 30 inches, this model can lower to 26 inches, rise to 46 inches and anywhere in between, so users can choose to sit, stand or do both. “It’s definitely attractive to our customers,” he says. “There’s the danger of sitting too much; that’s an unhealthy lifestyle.” But when it’s time to be seated again, the Gesture chair will help guide you to the right position for the task at hand. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016



Coffee Supreme BY JANE GLEESON

How far would you go for a perfect cup of joe? And how much would you be willing to pay for it? For coffee connoisseurs like Jeff Bickley, the answer might surprise you.


ickley is the co-founder of Gayo Kopi, a Detroit-based startup company that distributes Wild Kopi Luwak, branded as the “world’s most rare specialty coffee.” And at upwards of $1,000 per pound, also the world’s most expensive. It all began with a trip to Bali, Indonesia, last March, where Bickley and his wife, Denise, discovered “the most exquisite coffee” they had ever tasted. Returning to Michigan with coffee on his mind — and specifically the Indonesian variety known as Kopi Luwak — Bickley began his search for something comparable. “But nothing in the U.S. came close to the coffee experience I had in Indonesia,” says Bickley, an admitted coffee fanatic. That’s when he began brainstorming about how to bring Kopi Luwak to the American market. As the CEO  of web design and internet marketing agency Brown Box Branding of Detroit, Bickley was certain he could fill the void. After extensive research, he established



a partnership with a supplier of Kopi Luwak and launched Gayo Kopi, becoming one of the first companies to bring authentic Wild Kopi Luwak to the United States. According to Bickley, Gayo Kopi coffee sets the standard for the sourcing and processing of truly wild Kopi Luwak, and has been acclaimed by such organizations as the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia, Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and the Indonesian government. Bickley is confident that this rare, luxury coffee, despite it’s hefty price tag, will find a solid U.S. following. With a soft launch in July, the company is gearing up for strong sales leading into this holiday season. Fraudulent claims Following his trip to Bali, research led Bickley to the realization that the majority of Kopi Luwak coffee being sold in the United States was either fake or was being sourced from caged Asian

Wild Kopi Luwak beans look like other coffee beans but their path from field to table is unique.



palm civets, also known as luwaks. The small nocturnal animals typically roam freely in the Indonesian jungles, ingesting coffee cherries as part of their diet. The droppings from these animals, which include Kopi Luwak coffee beans (the undigested “pit” of the cherries), are collected and processed by farmers. “It is estimated that 5,000 percent more Kopi Luwak is being sold online each year than is actually made, so fraud is rampant with this product,” Bickley says. A key differentiator Caged animals make a difference in the quality of Kopi Luwak coffee, says Bickley. The Asian palm civets that roam free sniff out the best and most ripe coffee cherries, which grow on coffee trees in the forested highlands of Sumatra. The animals ingest the cherries, along with

the most well documented producer of Kopi Luwak in the world. “Our producer has every certification available to guarantee their coffee is sourced by only free-roam wild civets, and have associations with other animal rights activist groups that are leading the way in strengthening these certifications,” Bickley says. “All of our beans are certified through the Indonesian government to ensure no caged or force-fed animals are used in their production.”

from the farm to the Gayo Kopi processing center in Dearborn, Mich., where they are roasted using a proprietary roasting process. “Each batch is unique,” says Bickley. “Because the civets are eating seasonal fruits, the coffee flavors are nuanced. The roasting process is adjusted for each new batch to highlight the unique flavors. The smallest difference here can result in a noticeable variance between cups, so it’s essential we get it right with such high quality and expensive beans.”

The process Experienced farmers collect the Kopi Luwak droppings from the jungle. The beans are washed in fresh mountain spring water until the water runs crystal clear and there are no particles left behind, says Bickley. The beans are then dried and sort-

The finer things in life Bickley says the company’s target market began with individual consumers. “We believe it will be a popular gift item because it’s such a unique offering.” This is what he refers to as Phase I of the company’s marketing approach.

“It is estimated that 5,000 percent more Kopi Luwak is being sold online each year than is actually made, so fraud is rampant with this product." — JEFF BICKLEY other native jungle fruits that are part of their diet. The natural process of digestion removes the bitterness and gives the coffee beans left behind a unique flavor. “It’s a process that can’t be replicated,” says Bickley. The fact that the coffee cherries are infused with exotic fruits during digestion marks the difference between caged animals and those that roam freely, Bickley says. “Caged animals are fed a diet of only coffee cherries and no fruit,” says Bickley, which makes a significant difference in the flavor of the droppings. “They are also living in deplorable conditions,” he adds. “I want to call attention to the inhumane treatment of these animals in Indonesia,” says Bickley, noting that Gayo Kopi has established a partnership with 18


ed to ensure they are free of any physical defects according to Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) standards. The entire process is controlled by experts whose knowledge about coffee and the land has been passed down through the generations, says Bickley. The beans are then shipped directly

The Price of Perfection Gayo Kope co-founder Jeff Bickley believes his specialty coffee is the perfect gift for the coffee aficionado. But it doesn’t come cheap. 3.53 ounces - $89 7.06 ounces - $168 14.12 ounces - $325

“Phase II will be high-end restaurants,” he says, noting that people who dine in five-star restaurants and pay hundreds of dollars for a meal will likely be willing to spend the extra money for a perfect cup of coffee. That perfect cup, he says, could be as high as $23. “Our idea is to appeal to the higher end consumer who enjoys the finer things in life,” Bickley says. The biggest difference between Wild Kopi Luwak and other specialty coffees? “Our coffee brings together more than 100 experts over the course of months to collect and process a coffee with the unique flavor, aroma and body only truly wild artisan Kopi Luwak can boast,” Bickley says. And, it probably goes without saying: Cream and sugar are not required.

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Mitten-Made Gifts by Michigan artisans are sure to please this holiday season BY NICOLE SERRA DETROIT WALLACE GUITARS

Detroit History Makes Music Even Richer Handcrafted, high quality and made from the heart of the Motor City, Wallace Detroit Guitars are the perfect gift for the music lover or Detroit fanatic in your life. These beautiful electric guitars are made from reclaimed wood, responsibly harvested from abandoned homes in Detroit. The guitar body is made of pine that is often more than 100 years old, giving it a vintage sound and impressive sustain. Wallace Detroit Guitars even provides the address where each guitar’s material was found, tying the instrument even closer to the city. From the maple neck to the repurposed seatbelt strap, Wallace Detroit guitars are Michigan-made and allow guitar enthusiasts to hold a piece of Detroit history. These instruments can be custom made or ordered online. Gift cards are also available for purchase. 20



Merriment in the Mitten Holiday fun around the Great Lakes state BY NICOLE SERRA Yooper Gifts MI Upper Hand, based in Marquette, offers a range of unique items representing Michigan’s U.P. and created by highly skilled artists, artisans, musicians, writers and inventors who are true to their crafts and beliefs. High-quality pieces include copper pendants by J.R. Scott (above), maple sugar by Olson Brothers and beautiful ceramic pieces by LaTulip Pottery & Tileworks — all are sure to please that hard-to-buy-for person in your life.

Grand Times in Grand Rapids Bursting with holiday spirit, Grand Rapids offers countless activities and events during the holiday season, and it just might be the winter weekend getaway you’ve been looking for. Enjoy ice-skating in Rosa Parks Circle, opening Dec. 2. Later, take in thousands of Christmas decorations while eating at the decked out Broadway Bar and end your evening with a drive through the Nite Lites display at Fifth Third Ballpark. And, of course, be sure to check out “Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World” at Meijer Gardens. The exhibition runs from Nov. 22 to Jan. 8 and features strolling carolers, 400,000 lights, visits from Santa, reindeer and more than 40 international trees and displays.,


Pottery Inspired by the Past for Your Present Founded in 1903, Pewabic is known for its handmade ceramic tiles, unique glazes and beautiful Arts and Crafts era pottery. Tiles and other items, available in a wide range of styles, themes and creations, are handcrafted at Pewabic’s historic location on E. Jefferson in Detroit. You’re sure to find the perfect gift, whether it’s a Michigan-themed ornament, the 2016 collectable snowflake ornament trio or a classic vase.

Yuletide in the U.P. Marquette pulls out its quirkiest holiday collections for the Christmas Collections Exhibition, presented by Marquette Regional History Center on Dec. 7. Nutcrackers, stockings, villages, and other items will take center stage. Visitors can enjoy holiday treats while sharing in the holiday spirit and talking with collectors. The exhibit is free, but donations are accepted. Fa La La La Lansing East Lansing provides family-friendly festivities to all with its Winter Glow festival on Dec. 3 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s event will include an ice sculpture walk, a winter barnyard, carriage rides, an outdoor holiday farmer’s market, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, carolers from The Steiner Chorale and more. Winter Glow is free to the public. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016




Rockin’ Around Rochester Get your Christmas cheer on with a selfguided holiday tour of Meadow Brook Hall on the campus of Oakland University. Tours run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person with discounted rates available. Visitors can explore the decorated rooms of the manor along with Santa’s workshop. Top off the night with a stroll along the glowing streets of downtown, thanks to the Big, Bright Light Show. The show is lit 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. every night from Nov. 21 to Jan. 1.,


Medicine in

The Absorb GT 1 stent disintegrates in the body within three years.





From using a virtual reality headset to distract hospitalized kids from pain, to educating the next generation of doctors working in community settings where medical care is increasingly rendered, Michiganders are embracing technology and innovation to improve the health of the state’s residents and economy.


ll this activity has attracted the attention of investors, advocates and policymakers who increasingly support the med tech ideas originating within the state. Adding tech for healing At the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., J.J. Bouchard, digital media manager and certified child life specialist, distracts sick children and helps other kids work on moving better with virtual and augmented reality. “At first it was escape,” says Bouchard of using the technologies that bend and enhance reality, “but always with the intent that there are health benefits lurking in the background.” For example, Bouchard recalls a child waiting in line to use a virtual reality headset that could take him on a rollercoaster or a ride in a submarine. The boy was curled up in a corner with pain that registered nine on a scale of one to 10. Once the child started using the

headset, though, he began smiling and laughing. “That for me just shows dramatically how this technology can affect patients,” says Bouchard. In the therapy room, physical and occupational therapists at Mott use virtual reality (VR) to encourage children to move in a virtual world — sitting up straight on a balance ball, reaching, touching, walking and using a wheelchair in ways they may not ordinarily do. Augmented reality, like the Pokemon Go game, uses an Android or iOSequipped phone or tablet, an app and specially equipped pictures to create a magical digital window that layers a digital world on top of the real one. For example, kids with an augmented reality book can point to a lion and hear him roar. Meanwhile, heart doctors at St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit are treating patients using the nation’s first stent that, while not virtual, is dissolvable. The Absorb GT 1 stent disintegrates in the body within three years and is de-

signed to solve multiple problems with existing plain metal and metal drug-eluting stents (that are coated with medicine to prevent scar tissue from forming in an artery), says Dr. Hiroshi Yamasaki, director of St. John’s interventional cardiology program. Permanent stents inhibit the ability of an artery to adjust to the body’s demand for increased blood flow during exercise. They also limit options if future therapy is needed, says Yamasaki. For instance, permanent stents make re-treating the same area, whether with stenting or a bypass graft, extremely difficult, if not impossible. The dissolving stent is particularly good for younger people who may need re-treatment in the future. The Absorb stent is made of a dissolving polymer similar to that used for dissolvable stitches and emits a drug to inhibit clot formation. At Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, urologist Dr. Mani Menon uses high-intensity, focused ultrasound, a techVENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016



nology recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat prostate cancer in a new way. Traditionally, physicians treat the entire prostate regardless of where the cancer is. “It’s been an all or nothing phenomenon,” says Menon. “That’s a very, very good approach, but it’s not how we treat other cancers.” The new approach treats just one of the two lobes of the prostate with cancer, if the disease involves just that half of the gland. Menon wants to see if his approach controls cancer better, and if it also reduces or eliminates unwanted side effects like urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. To aid in the fight against prostate and other cancers, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., expects to start treating patients at a new, $40-million Proton Therapy Center in spring 2017. Proton therapy is an alternative to traditional X-ray radiation therapy, and has two important advantages, says Dr. Craig Stevens, chief of radiation oncology. Unlike X-rays, which damage healthy tissue when they travel through and beyond their target, a proton beam stops at its destination. Also, therapeutic Xrays can’t be repeated if they fail to kill all the cancer in a treated area, or if a cancer recurs at the same spot. Proton therapy can. “The ability of protons to deposit more energy directly into the tumor makes this an ideal treatment option for many patients, especially those with tumors close to vital organs,” Stevens says. “For children, those most vulnerable and susceptible to the damage of traditional radiation therapy, proton therapy offers less radiation exposure and fewer side effects.” Beaumont expects to draw up to 400 24


patients a year from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario for proton therapy. Adding medical to the shop floor As in stock portfolios, diversification reduces risk for manufacturers. While reducing risk and offering stability, diversifying into medical manufacturing is also challenging. Royal Oak Medical, in Rochester, Mich., a successful spinoff from the defunct Royal Oak Industries, makes hardware for spinal fusion surgeries. Even with help from Medical Main Street, a collaborative group of universities, health systems and businesses in Southeast Michigan, initial contact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was filled with uncertainty. “The first visit by the FDA was a nightmare, but the second was better and the third even better,” says Matt Kroll, former president of and current consultant to Royal Oak Medical. Meeting ISO 13485 certification requirements was expensive. The company paid a consulting firm from Austin, Texas, $400,000 to help implement a quality management system that led to ISO certification, an important credential for medical manufacturers. The process took several months, Kroll says. Certifying for ISO 13485 was a lot easier for Firstronic, an electronic circuit board assembler. The company didn’t need to hire a consultant because Anthony Bellitto, quality director, had previously implemented requirements for the certification in multiple facilities before hiring in at the Grand Rapids, Mich., company. Eric Icard, senior business development manager at The Right Place in Grand Rapids, a regional economic development corporation, says diversifying into medical manufacturing requires changes in many processes to get ISO certification for traceability of devices

and overall documentation of the manufacturing process. “I think you have to be committed to it,” he says. Having existing relationships with medical-related original equipment manufacturers is another factor that helped Firstronic. John Sammut, president and CEO, Bellitto and others in management worked together at EPIC Technologies of Rochester Hills, Mich., a business similar to Firstronic. While there, they worked with Medtronic, Siemens Healthineers and Bayer HealthCare, among others. Christophe Sevrain, former president of Delphi Medical in Troy, Mich., an automotive supplier that diversified into the medical devices industry, says that while the FDA’s regulatory environment and connections in the national and international medical industry are huge hurdles to scale, other stumbling blocks include requirements for low-volume manufacturing for automotive suppliers who are used to high-volume work, and a lack of capital. Life sciences advancing After almost 15 years of trying, Michigan’s life sciences sector has a plan that may help it to advance as a cohesive industry. The plan, entitled “Michigan BioIndustry Roadmap 2016”, has already drawn bipartisan support in Lansing, Mich., since its release in February, says Stephen Rapundalo, president and CEO of MichBio of Ann Arbor, Mich., one of the roadmap’s partners. A bill sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker is pending to reinstate an R&D tax credit that was eliminated in the revamped Michigan Business Tax in 2012. A Republican-sponsored bill has been proposed to create an angel investor tax credit in an effort to lure more venture capital money to the state. Rapundalo says he’s hopeful for positive movement on the two bills in 2017.

Also, industry representatives visited lawmakers in Lansing in May and testified to state capital committees about the industry’s priorities. All of these activities have Rapundalo thinking positively. “I think the reason I’m more hopeful of this go-round is that in many respects this plan is more comprehensive than the original one,” he says, referring to a plan MichBio drafted for Lansing in the early 2000s. Rapundalo says the efforts to create in Michigan the life sciences hubs that already produce jobs and sustain economic growth in cities like Boston have gotten further than ever before. Michigan is strong in academic infrastructure, medical device manufacturing and organizations that conduct clinical trials, according to the roadmap. Along with those strengths are multiple needs, including forging stronger ties among entities within the industry, educating and attracting talent, securing investment and promoting the sector, in addition to enacting public policy that supports it. Jeff Mason, executive director of roadmap partner Michigan’s University Research Corridor, reinforces the strength of the state’s academic infrastructure by pointing out that of $2.1 billion in annual R&D funding, 60 percent, or $1.1 billion, is earmarked for the life sciences. Some of that life sciences research money leads to devices, pharmaceuticals and apps that form the basis of new businesses that contribute to Michigan’s economy. “The pace of ideas spinning out from the faculty and researchers has been accelerating for the last decade,” Mason says. His group’s collaboration with MichBio and two Detroit-based partners, Business Leaders for Michigan and the

Data Consulting Group, represents a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, he says, and makes them all stronger as a result. “We’re going to continue to talk about the importance of this sector of our economy to policy makers, the business community, legislators and the general public,” says Mason. Training doctors in the community With three new medical schools opening in the last five years, and increased enrollment at several other institutions, Michigan is graduating hundreds of new doctors. These doctors, combined with no new federal money for hospital-based postgraduate residencies, raise the question of who will provide specialty training to the new M.D.s. In recent years, about 500 new doctors nationwide haven’t entered a residency upon graduation because there was no space for them. “It’s a serious problem,” says Dr. Tsveti Markova, associate dean for graduate medical education at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Markova is part of two groups in the state, MI-DOCS and the Area Health Education Center, working to solve the problem. She expects Michigan to start working on residency curriculum changes in 2017 toward a model that focuses more on the ambulatory setting, reflecting trends in where healthcare is increasingly delivered. This shift should alleviate or solve the residency problem in the state. The efforts to step up the number of graduating M.D.s came in response to a nationwide call 10 years ago from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to address a projected shortage of primary care and specialty physicians. Up to 95,000 new doctors will be needed by 2025, according to the AAMC.

Dr. John M. Dunn, president of Western Michigan University, says, “The data with respect to the shortage of physicians as we think of future generations is alarming.” In Michigan, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine opened in 2011, and has graduated 115 doctors in the first two classes; the Central Michigan University College of Medicine opened in 2012; and the WMU Stryker School of Medicine opened in 2014. The latter two schools have yet to graduate M.D.s. CMU’s medical school has a preference for students from within the state — about 80 percent are from Michigan — and focuses on choosing students who have a strong interest in primary care and psychiatry, says Dr. George Kikano, dean of the medical college. Like many other states, Michigan has a shortage of primary care doctors, he says. Psychiatrists specializing in addiction medicine are needed in answer to the epidemic of pain killer addicts. “Our focus is to graduate students in Michigan for specialty shortages,” Kikano says. In addition to the new medical schools, Wayne State University increased its class size from approximately 260 in 2005 to up to 300 in 2006, in response to the AAMC’s call. Since then, most years WSU has admitted about 290 medical students. Michigan State  University  College of Human Medicine began to expand its medical school in 2007, increasing the entering class from 100 to 150 students until 2010. That’s when MSU opened the Secchia Center for medical education in Grand Rapids, Mich., and increased enrollment to 200 entering students. At the time of the initial expansion in 2007, the college had about 400 students; enrollment is now double that, or about 825 students. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016



Traffic Cops Doing more with less in the operating room BY MATTHEW TOTSKY


Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based startup company is making a mark in the healthcare arena with an innovative system that reduces unnecessary foot traffic in and around hospital operating rooms while also cutting costs. Quipzor was designed to solve a healthcare issue that many businesses have been dealing with for years: how to do more with less. Its technology is universal and can support virtually all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and medical device manufacturers, helping to reduce costs, equipment needs and staff training. “In the world of healthcare, everyone is trying to make cuts,” says Quipzor president and CEO Mike Weber. “There’s a huge need for cost effectiveness. Typically, the first things to be cut are sales and marketing budgets. This often leads to a significant decrease in field sales and support personnel,” he says, noting that this, in turn, hurts the ability to support medical procedures and products in the operating room. “We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Beyond FaceTime Quipzor provides a more efficient solu26


Quipzor cofounders Matt Sullivan and Mike Weber show off their trophy at Automation Alley's 16th Annual Awards Gala in October, where Quipzor was voted Startup of the Year. tion for surgical collaboration between hospitals, physicians and surgical device company representatives, says Weber. “Our service includes a remote support platform and a surgery scheduling app. It’s been described as FaceTime for surgeons, but it’s really much more than that. FaceTime is not secure and neither is texting photos about which equipment to use during surgery. Cybersecurity is top-of-mind for most businesses these days and in the world of medicine, it’s a very sensitive issue. So we had to take that FaceTime idea a step further.”

Essentially, Quipzor technology allows surgical device manufacturers to support operating room surgeons and staff from a remote location during a procedure. The equipment comprises small cameras in the operating room, with a monitor and keyboard. Quipzor captures video and invites the support of a manufacturer’s representative. The video is routed through a secure server environment that encrypts and safely sends live video to the rep’s smart device. Support is then provided audibly to the OR. “By allowing one device rep or company to remotely support the product, we can help reduce the impact of restrained resources in the OR,” Weber says. “With our equipment, a company wouldn’t have to fly someone in for a procedure. They can view the procedure remotely and offer feedback on the spot, therefore saving money. So far, we’ve seen that there is a huge need for our technology in remote areas like mid-Michigan and the Upper Peninsula because it cuts down on delays based on rep availability. “Quipzor technology is a great way to keep the rep informed so they can advise about the proper equipment to use in a surgical procedure,” Weber says. “We help everyone communicate so the

right equipment is used at the right time to avoid a last-minute scramble or fire drill-like situation. There are other benefits, as well. “By participating in a surgical procedure remotely, Quipzor can help reduce infections and hospital-acquired conditions that may come with having an extra person present in the surgical unit.”

because we put the infrastructure directly in the operating room,” says Weber. “Other companies may have an iPad loaded with marketing materials or howto forms in one place. Since our focus is on remote support, we don’t have to concern ourselves with a library of materials. We want to connect an outside device expert with the OR. Our cameras are stationary and operated by us as opposed to a nurse

It’s all about the app Quipzor also offers a scheduling app that can be used in conjunction with its equipment. “Our app manages communication and offers additional support remotely,” Weber says. “It’s like a group text on steroids. It’s a secure app, in which everyone involved in a medical procedure can communicate and collaborate in real time. It’s another tool that helps doctors and hospital personnel prepare for a procedure while eliminating numerous phone calls and frantic communication. “Our company differs from others

The origin of Quipzor Quipzor was launched by the company’s president, Mike Weber, and chief operating officer, Matt Sullivan, in October 2013. “I had this idea for years and needed to find the right partner from a business standpoint,” Weber says. “Meeting Matt was a lucky strike. He really helped solidify the business because he has a strong background with contracts and core business work, as well as technology infrastructure. “My background is in surgical device sales, selling equipment to surgeons in hospitals,” Weber says. “As a sales rep, I’ve had to physically be in operating rooms to advise surgeons about which tools to use and keep the flow of the procedure running smoothly. But inevitably, the issue of cost control

holding a smartphone and going through a FaceTime-like experience.” The power of partnerships Last year Quipzor was accepted into the Automation Alley entrepreneurship program, the 7Cs. A technology business association focused on driving innovation in Southeast Michigan, Automation Alley’s entrepreneurship team provided assistance and guidance to help accelerate the growth of the company. “Automation Alley has offered us tremendous support in the local community,” Weber says. “They’ve made introductions that have allowed us to make connections with potential clients and other networking resources. They also provide the resources to help our business run. “Things are ready to take off at any moment, which is good because the medical field is typically slow to adapt when it comes to IT and technology,” Weber says. “Automation Alley has helped us accelerate the process and teach our clients what to do in a relatively short amount of time.”

will come up. This idea seemed like a nobrainer to me to keep costs down.” One would think that the two brains behind a cutting-edge technology in the healthcare field might have met at a hospital or medical conference or through typical networking opportunities. “We actually got to know each other through our wives and kids,” Weber says. “I would run into Matt at school functions and sporting events and eventually got around to telling him my idea. He understood that I was onto something almost immediately. We talked and found that we had unique backgrounds that could be used to help this business really take off. It was like lightning in a bottle.” Why the name Quipzor? “’Quip’ comes from the word equipment,” Weber says. “And the ‘or” at the end comes from the abbreviation of ‘operating room.’ We stuck the ‘z’ in the middle because it sounded cool.” VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016



International Indulgences Exploring a world of flavors in your own backyard


ou don’t have to travel far to get a taste of the world, thanks to the ethnically diverse dining scene in Southeast Michigan. Ann Arbor offers a global tour of foods with no passport required, says Chad Wiebesick, vice president of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, adding that the variety of cuisine is “unparalleled” for a community its size. “Visitors can experience everything from Cuban-inspired street food 28




and traditional Ethiopian foods to fresh handmade Italian-style pasta and savory sushi,” Wiebesick says. And that’s not to mention Ann Arbor’s smorgasbord of other international cuisines, from Spanish fare at Aventura and Turkish delights at Ayse’s Café to Zingerman’s Deli with its mix of traditional Jewish specialties and epicurean treats from around the globe. Here’s an international sampler of Ann Arbor eateries:

Aventura: Aventura’s roast suckling pig — cochinillo — is guaranteed to make diners’ heads turn and smartphones click. But that’s not the only attention-getter in this stylish downtown Ann Arbor restaurant with rustic brick arches, original stonework and eyecatching tile. The specialty is modern Spanish cuisine, starting with skewered Basque morsels called pintxos (PEENchos) — “toothpick food” — and Catalan flatbreads, or cocas. From bite-size

Above: Ann Arbor's Slurping Turtle specializes in upscale Japanese comfort food. Opposite page, clockwise from top: Zingerman's Deli is known for its friendly workers; Pickled tomatoes in a Mason jar, served with whipped ricotta, olive tapenade and crusty bread, is a favorite appetizer at Mani Osteria; Blue Nile serves up a variety of traditional Ethiopian dishes; Casual Cuban street food at Frita Batidos in Ann Arbor includes fresh, house-made sangria. croquettes to Spanish cheese trays and charcuterie, favorite small-plate tapas include toasted almonds with goat cheese, thyme and candied pineapple, and fried cauliflower with green salsa and pine nuts, according to Andrea Cardenas, guest services supervisor,

who notes that Aventura won an Open Table Diner’s Choice Award in 2015. Ayse’s Turkish Café: Tucked away in a northeast-side strip mall, this unassuming spot serves flavorful fromscratch Turkish fare rarely found in Michigan. “Our cooking is a combination

of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Greek and Armenian influences,” says ownerchef Ayse Uras. Local eggplants, peppers and other farm-fresh ingredients star in not-toospicy lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes, she says. Turkish treats include




ground chicken or lamb meatballs, the diversity of India, Cardamom’s menu site where Luke Skywalker hid from the borek (flaky pastries with cheese, spin- is wide-ranging, with detailed explana- world in the last scene of “Star Wars: ach or potatoes), and the classic Noah’s tions and many options for vegetarians, The Force Awakens,” says manager CarPudding with cracked wheat, chickpeas, vegans and other special diets. Despite oline Kagonov, a Dublin native. walnuts, dried figs and apricots, rose- a recent, much-needed expansion (and Not surprisingly, Conor O’Neill’s ofwater and pomegranate seeds. Juices the addition of a full and creative cock- fers over a dozen Irish whiskeys, pints — cherry, peach, apricot or pungent tail menu), there’s a reason this north- of Guinness and other Irish beer and Turkish turnip — are featured beverages, east-side restaurant continues to have authentic fare including fish and chips, along with Turkish and American beer long — but worthwhile — waits at popular shepherd’s pie and corned beef and caband wine. dining times. bage. Especially memorable are the poBlue Nile: Diners receive hot towels Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restato leek soup with bacon and dill and before and after meals at this Ethiopian taurant: If you’ve ever visited a pub in the warm bread pudding with vanilla restaurant with locations in sauce. A rollicking spot on downtown Ann Arbor and University of Michigan footFerndale, north of Detroit. ball Saturdays, it’s also a Fresh-baked, flat Ethiopian Sunday night favorite when bread called injera is used local musicians gather to in place of utensils to scoop play traditional Irish instruwell-seasoned chicken, ments and music. lamb or beef dishes. Collard Frita Batidos: Grab a greens, cabbage, lentils and seat at the indoor picnic other vegetables are spiked tables and play dominoes with jalapeno peppers or while munching Cuban the hot Ethiopian spice mix, street food that stars tasty berbere. burgers — chorizo, chicken, Beverages include Tej black bean, beef or fish — honey wine (traditionally topped with fries on deligiven to newlyweds), arocious brioche buns. The matic herbal teas and orother big treat in this stark ganic Ethiopian coffee from white, casual and contemthe land where coffee origiporary cafe is batidos, or nated, says co-owner Almaz tropical milkshakes, made Lessanework, who notes with fresh fruit, crushed that sharing from commuice and vanilla ice cream. Indian cuisine is fresh, tasty and affordable at Cardamom in nal platters fosters camaraHappy Hour, from 4 p.m. to Ann Arbor. derie. Unlike the dinner-on6 p.m., daily (and the hour ly Ferndale restaurant, the before closing time), is even Ann Arbor location serves alcohol and Ireland, you’ll think you’ve crossed the sweeter — the beef frita drops to $5 and is open for lunch and dinner. pond at this authentic downtown Ann a Cuba libre goes for $3. Cardamom: Even if you think you Arbor spot. Designed and built in IreIsalita: Colorful Mexican artwork don’t like Indian food, this Ann Arbor land, it’s decorated with heavy wood adorns this lively cantina featuring Mexeatery is the place to give it a try. At my furnishings, stained glass and Irish ican market and street fare. Favorites daughter’s insistence, I happily discov- knick-knacks. Even the slate floor comes include house-made guacamole (there’s ered the pleasures of lunchtime thali, an from a quarry on Skellig Michael, a crag- even a version with bacon!), chips and assortment of Indian specialties served gy island off Ireland’s southwest coast salsas; tacos with grilled mahi mahi, in small portions on a round platter — that was home to Christian monks for steak, pork or cauliflower; flautas with fresh, tasty and affordable. Reflecting centuries. You may recognize it as the duck or buffalo chicken; and sashimi30


A Taste of the World ANN ARBOR

tuna tostadas. Special tequila-tasting events are held in the lower level ($30 per person including chips, guac and salsas). A popular Sunday Mexican brunch started last summer and is scheduled to resume in January. MANI Osteria & Bar: Next door, Isalita’s sister restaurant is the place to go for made-from-scratch pasta dishes and wood-fired artisanal pizzas served atop pedestals of oversize Italian tomato cans. But that doesn’t begin to describe the creativity of the shareable Italian small plates fare, starting with a memorable deconstructed bruschetta appetizer of pickled tomatoes served

(starring Bavarian red cabbage), stuffed cabbage rolls, German potato salad and the Friday dinner special of spareribs and sauerkraut. And don’t miss the hearty brown bread and dark German mustard. SlurpingTurtle: Diners gather at sleek communal tables in this contemporary campus restaurant starring celebrity chef Takashi Yagihashi’s upscale Japanese comfort food. The menu features casual, colorful Japanese fare, from duck-fat fried chicken and pork dumpling appetizers with soy-chili dipping sauce to house-made noodle bowls, fresh sushi and sashimi, steamed buns

Favorites, served up by third- and fourthgeneration Metzger family members, include schnitzel, sauerbraten, sausages and spaetzen. in a Mason jar with mounds of whipped ricotta, black olive tapenade and chewycrisp bread. The Caesar salad is topped with a poached, lightly breaded and flash-fried farm egg that diners crack and mix in with the dressing. Specialty cocktails are inspired by classic Italian and American spirits. Metzger’s: Regulars rave about the authentic German fare served at this Ann Arbor restaurant with roots dating to 1928. Located on the city outskirts after decades downtown, Metzger’s boasts an impressive collection of antique steins, cuckoo clocks and traditional recipes. Favorites, served up by third- and fourth-generation Metzger family members, include schnitzel, sauerbraten, sausages and spaetzen plus a wide selection of German beers and wines. Try the Red Reuben sandwich

and dessert macarons. Check out the noodle-making operation on the lower level. Zingerman’s Deli: It’s not surprising if you’re gripped with indecision at this legendary, much-hyped Ann Arbor institution. With scores of creative soups, salads and sandwiches (including the popular corned beef Reuben that President Obama described as “killer”), plus other traditional deli standbys and international gourmet fare, it’s hard to choose. But Zingerman’s devotees insist you can’t go wrong despite the sensory overload. And, you’ll soon have favorite sandwiches of your own, such as the yummy #73, Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure featuring turkey breast, fresh avocado spread, Wisconsin Muenster cheese, tomato and Zingerman’s Russian dressing on grilled farm bread,

Aventura (Spanish) 734-369-3153 Ayse’s Turkish Café 734-662-1711 Blue Nile (Ethiopian) 734-998-4746 Cardamom (Indian) 734-662-2877 Conor O’Neill’s (Irish) 734-665-2968 Frita Batidos (Cuban) 734-761-2882 Isalita (Mexican) 734-213-7400 MANI Osteria (Italian) 734-769-6700 Metzger’s (German) 734-668-8987 Slurping Turtle (Japanese) 734-887-6868 Zingerman's (All-American) 734-663-3354

METRO DETROIT Al Ameer (Middle Eastern) 313-582-8185 Blue Nile (Ethiopian) 248-547-6699 Thuy Trang (Vietnamese) 248-588-7823 Polish Village Cafe (Polish) 313-874-5726 Chung Ki Wa (Korean) 586-264-4488 VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016



or the #214, Aubrey’s Milk & Honey with thinly-sliced, hot sopressata salami and Zingerman’s Creamery fresh goat cheese drizzled with honey on grilled rustic Italian bread. Beyond that, cheerful associates will let you taste free samples — even of expensive aged balsamic vinegars — in the gourmet foods shop and deli and in areas devoted to cheese, bread, meat, coffee, gelato and pastries. Bottom-line: It’s a bit pricey, true, but many feel Zingerman’s quality and over-the-top experience are worth it.

Polish Village Café, Hamtramck: Generations of families have been flocking to this homey basement restaurant for authentic Polish food reminiscent of what their grandmother — babcia — used to make. Beyond the dill pickle or beet soups, fans rave about the potato pancakes, golabki (stuffed cabbage), meatballs and noodles — all Eastern European comfort foods. For variety, the Polish Plate with stuffed cabbage, pierogi, kielbasa, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes offers what the menu calls “a taste of Poland.” The In and around current restaurant, brimMetro Detroit ming with vintage charm, Metro Detroit is a longtime dates to 1976 but the buildbastion of culinary divering, which goes back to sity. Several area enclaves, 1925, flourished as a howith high concentrations of tel and restaurant during certain ethnic groups, are Hamtramck’s 20th-century known as the go-to places heyday. for specific cuisines. Here Chung Ki Wa, Sterling are just a few. Heights: Whether you orAl Ameer, Dearborn: der Korean barbecue or With the largest concentraother dishes, meals at tion of Middle Easterners this pretty Korean restauoutside the Middle East, rant typically start with Metro Detroit boasts dozens banchan, complementary of Middle Eastern restauside dishes that are often rants, but only one honored refilled. They may include with a 2016 “American clasfishcake, soy and sesame sics” award by the prestispinach, bean sprouts, gious James Beard Foundaseaweed salad, fresh or Combination plates offer tastes of popular Middle Eastern fare tion. Among the area’s first pickled vegetables like at Al-Ameer in Dearborn. Middle Eastern eateries and zucchini, radish or carrots now, with three locations, and kimchi, Korea’s nationthe largest, Al Ameer offers traditional ing garnish of fresh bean sprouts, ci- al dish of spicy fermented Napa cabLebanese favorites, from fresh, house- lantro, Thai basil and lime on the side. bage. Servers prepare the barbecue on made hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, But if slurping isn’t your style, dozens tabletop grills and assist with choices, tabbouleh and raw juices to spit-grilled of other entrees feature various meats from marinated beef (bulgogi or kalbi) shawarma (chicken, beef or lamb), all or seafood with chewy or fried rice noo- to pork belly and seafood. Don’t miss accompanied by fresh-made pita bread. dles, soft or crispy egg noodles, or basic the popular bi bim bap, vegetables in a Between 3,000 and 4,000 pitas are white rice. Here, and in all these ethnic hot stone bowl with a layer of crunchy baked daily at the main Dearborn loca- restaurants, don’t hesitate to ask your rice on the bottom, meat, hot sauce tion, which is open every day of the year. server for suggestions. and a whole egg on top. 32


Thuy Trang, Madison Heights: If you prefer authentic ethnic fare to fancy digs, this unpretentious little spot in a nondescript retail strip on John R is the place for traditional Vietnamese food. It’s the real thing, judging by the many Vietnamese patrons seated around the small, no-frills dining room. Many of them come for Vietnamese pho (pronounced fuh), a rich broth studded with rice noodles and various kinds of boiled beef, accompanied by a heap-


A Toast to Toasters BY AMY MINDELL


or such a humble food, the process of making toast inspires fanatical devotion. From websites cataloging all things toast to state-of-the-art smart appliances now popping up (pun intended), developments in the toaster world, including the see-through variety, are creating an ongoing buzz. While inner mechanics of toasters haven’t changed much since the 1940s, inventors are obsessed with making better toast. Kind of makes you wonder why a 6,000-year-old food item continues to attract so much attention. (Toast first came about when the Egyptians made bread, followed closely thereafter by toast.) Originally, bread became toast by cooking it over an open fire or placing it on a heated rock. Much later, wire forks and wire baskets holding bread were placed in the hearth. After a combination of household electricity and chrome metal was invented, the first electric toaster was created in 1900. The pop-up variety came along in 1926, and the automatic toaster, which incorporated a timer and a pop-up mechanism, was introduced in 1940. Today some 88 percent of homes in the U.S. have toasters. In a 2015 Consumer Reports review of toasters, more than 600 slices of Freihofer’s white bread (used for its desirable texture and consistency) were put to the test in a variety of toasters. The winner? A new Krups 2-slice KH732D50 toaster, taking over the top spot from Cuisinart’s CPT-420 model. More innovative versions have recently been introduced. One new model

by Hammacher Schlemmer brands its owner’s image onto a slice of bread. The toaster uses custom heating inserts crafted from a headshot photograph. A subject’s full facial details are converted into twin removable stainless steel inserts, which allow heating elements to brown light or dark likenesses of the subject onto one side of toast, so there’s no question about whose toast is popping up.

The "Sweetheart" toaster by Landers, Frary & Clark was made and sold in the late 1920s. Even after 6,000 years, it’s difficult to prevent burned toast. But that doesn’t mean toaster manufacturers aren’t trying. iTouchless Automatic See-Through Toaster is equipped with see-through glass windows to guarantee perfect toast every time. The See-Through Toaster consists of an automated, selfelevating platform, capable of moving the bread up and down like a mini “elevator” across the heating element. The

The Bamboo and glass toaster, created by industrial designer James Stumpf of glass windows let you watch the process for evenly browned toast. Not to be outdone, the conceptual Bamboo and glass toaster, created by industrial designer James Stumpf of, is made from steambent bamboo plywood that holds glass toasting trays. Within these transparent toasting trays, bread slices are cooked evenly for the perfect breakfast. The toasting trays heat bread and feature technology to quickly cool hot toast. The glass toaster even comes with a companion smartphone app that allows users to control the appliance from any corner of the home. Though still a concept, when the glass toaster is made available, fans like Eric and Kelly Norcross may be the first in line. The pair founded the Toast Museum Foundation (acquired by the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.) and spent years scouring flea markets and estate sales to turn up nearly every toaster ever made, among them, a 1909 General Electric, “the first successful toaster marketed for the home” and a 1930s art deco Hot Toast Gazelle Toaster. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016


Students from Canton High School learn about cybersecurity while participating in the CyberPatriot competition. ​



Cybersecurity Education in Michigan BY LESLIE MERTZ


e live a connected life, but it’s not necessarily a secure connected life, says Daniel Shoemaker, Ph.D., professor and director of the cybersecurity program at University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit. “This is a national security issue at the highest level. The United States population is about as exposed as it could possibly be, and the same holds true for local businesses. The image I use is that we are a flock of sheep, and the only reason we haven’t been eaten by the wolves is that the wolves haven’t gotten around to us yet.” The danger doesn’t end there. Any interconnected device is vulnerable to hacking, not only to steal personal information but also potentially to alter the function of those devices, according to Barbara L. Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., chair of decision sciences and director of the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership at Walsh College in Troy, Mich. That includes smart stoves and refrig34


erators, wireless home security systems and even baby monitors. “A 2014 study by Hewlett-Packard found that 70 to 80 percent of these devices didn’t even have basic security, so breaching them is a tremendous problem. We’re talking about things like stopping interconnected healthcare devices from working properly and hacking smart automobiles, so these are things that can do actual physical harm. These are the issues cybersecurity deals with,” Ciaramitaro says. Centers of academic excellence To counter the increasing risk of having personal information stolen and interconnected devices hijacked, five educational institutions in Michigan have developed curricula focusing on cybersecurity, and become National Security Agency (NSA) Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. They include Walsh, University of Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Ferris State University in Big Rapids and

Davenport University in Grand Rapids. The college programs vary. University of Detroit Mercy, for instance, offers a master’s degree in cybersecurity. Walsh offers a master’s degree in information technology with cybersecurity coursework, bachelor’s degree in information technology with cybersecurity coursework, a new cybersecurity concentration and a cybersecurity certificate for graduate students. All of the programs at the five institutions meet NSA requirements and follow the academic framework spelled out by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The institutions are also members of the Midwest chapter of the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE), which provides a venue for discussions about trends in cybersecurity and the best ways to prepare students in the field. In addition to the guidance of the NSA and NICE, and collaboration afforded through CISSE, insights from ex-

perts are critical to providing students with training in the field of cybersecurity, which is constantly evolving as new threats emerge, Shoemaker says. “What we’re trying to do is give our students the most advanced knowledge from authoritative sources.” Ciaramitaro agrees. One of the ways that Walsh stays up to date is by hiring experienced professionals as adjunct instructors for its courses, she says. “We bring in people who are on the cutting edge of cybersecurity, so they can pass along up-to-the-minute information to students.” In high demand The demand for employees with cybersecurity skills is already at a fever pitch, and shows no signs of letting up, Ciaramitaro says. “At every conference I attend, I hear again and again from industry leaders and business owners that they cannot fill their cybersecurity positions. The need is everywhere. It’s in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education… I can’t think of any area that isn’t short of cybersecurity employees.”

of weakness or vulnerability that could potentially be exploited. The second is a higher level position known as a cybersecurity architect. “Cybersecurity architects are the people who put together the defenses, which can include everything from building firewall configurations to ensuring that employees aren’t engaging in insecure activities or that one of your internal people isn’t purposely stealing you blind,” he says. Whether the job is cybersecurity threat analyst or cybersecurity architect, education in the field is a marketable asset for a huge variety of professions. Ciaramitaro provides examples. “One of our graduate students is just finishing. With her cybersecurity education, she has been able to move from a help desk position at an automotive company to a position on the company’s cyber-incident team. Another student who was in our undergrad program is a police officer, and his education in cybersecurity helped him pass the test for Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification, which is highly desirable certification in law enforcement,” Ciaramitaro says, adding, “There

“Cybersecurity is the one area that has negative employment. We have more jobs available than we have people in the pipeline.” – DANIEL SHOEMAKER, PH.D. As an example, Shoemaker notes that even the Department of Homeland Security was only able to fill half of the 700,000 jobs it advertised two years ago. “Cybersecurity is the one area that has negative employment. We have more jobs available than we have people in the pipeline,” he says. “That’s why students are enrolling in our programs. It’s an area where they can find a job.” Shoemaker says two primary types of positions are available. One is an entry-level cybersecurity threat analyst, which has the task of identifying areas

are a lot of other stories just like those.” The five Michigan Centers for Academic Excellence are providing an important service for their students, for local businesses and for the state overall, Ciaramitaro says. “Michigan is a stronghold of finance, healthcare and manufacturing, and cybersecurity touches all of them. We need to build cybersecurity talent to support those industries, and we need to educate our students to provide it. Through the five Centers of Academic Excellence in Michigan, we are doing that.”

Competition Builds Security-Savvy Youth In this age of online and wireless communication, even kids need to understand that they are not immune to cybercrime. One way to reach the younger generation is through the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Youth Cyber Defense Competition, according to Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education director Tamara Shoemaker, who is championing the competition among Michigan students. “Kids know about cell phones and games, but this national virtual competition is something that actually teaches middle and high school students awareness, and helps them get their minds around the idea that while these are great technological tools, there are some things to be careful about.” The competition is designed as a role-playing game, in which teams of middle and high school students act as information technology professionals hired by a small company to manage its network, find cybersecurity vulnerabilities and fix them. The best teams move on to the National Finals Competition in the Washington, D.C., area, and even get to meet the President, Shoemaker says. “It’s really an amazing thing.” She began promoting the competition in Michigan for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy for teachers to field a team, because it just takes five kids, two functional computers and Internet access, Shoemaker says. Second, the students learn real-life lessons about the importance of protecting their own devices and communications. Finally, the students realize that there’s a need for cybersecurity professionals. “Overall what we are trying to do is not to scare kids,” says Shoemaker, “but to empower them, and as an added advantage, interest them in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, which will benefit them and the business community in Michigan.” VENTURE MICHIGAN : : HOLIDAYS 2016




High School Cyber Challenge





1. Gov. Rick Snyder congratulates first place winners from Clinton High School. 2. Airport High School students took the second place prize. 3. Third place winners from Cadillac High School.


ichigan Gov. Rick Snyder invited teachers and administrators from across the state to register their high school students with skills in computer science, information technology and cybersecurity for the Michigan High School Cyber Challenge. The Challenge involved two rounds, the first held online the week of Sept. 26-30, 2016, and the second taking place at the North American International Cyber Summit on October 17, 2016, at Cobo Center in Detroit. During the first round, high school teams, each comprising three students, completed challenges designed to test their knowledge of IT and cybersecurity. The top 10 teams advanced to the second round, where teams competed in a virtual exercise designed to test their skills with an intensive, timed series of cybersecurity challenges. The top three teams from round two received awards from Gov. Snyder during lunch at the North American International Cyber Summit.





1. Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. 2. One of many workshops. 3. Attendees mingle with Jerry Greenfield. 36



en and Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield presented the keynote speech on Sept. 23 at the 2016 Entrepalooza, an annual event held by the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor. The theme of this year’s Entrepalooza, held at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor, was “Creativity Through Expression.” The event brought entrepreneurial leaders together to share insights and experiences with students, alumni, faculty and members of the business community, and featured workshops focused on creative ways to solve issues faced by entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial members of large companies. Other speakers included: Jeremy Peters, music-publishing director at Ghostly International and co-founder of Quite Scientific Records; Eric Fretz, a lecturer at U-M; Tom Frank, executive director for U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship; Debra Mexicotte, associate director of U-M’s ArtsEngine; and Michelle Belbroad and Lakin Vitton, co-founders of U-M’s CHISL Design.

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The Fixer – Finder’s latest keeper BY MIKE BROGAN


oseph Finder’s new thriller, The Fixer, is a story about family secrets and the dangers that come with discovering hidden truths. Rick Hoffman had it all: a great job as a Boston magazine reporter, a beautiful fiancée, a nice place to live. Then, just like that, everything goes wrong. He loses his job, his fiancé and his apartment. Now what? Rick’s only option is to retreat to his abandoned family home, a heat-deprived wreck that has sat empty and in shambles since his father, Leonard, suffered a stroke that left him living in a nursing home, unable to speak. Within a wall of this deplorable home Rick is working to restore, he discovers millions of dollars stashed away — and many questions begin to weigh on his conscience: Whose money is this? How long has it been here? What should I do with it? Rick’s curiosity leads him to investigate the origin of his unbelievable windfall. Realizing his father might have knowledge of the money, Rick begins to look into Leonard’s past. He discovers that Leonard was a lawyerbagman whose clients included members of the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground. Discovering his father’s hidden life changes everything he thought he knew about the man, and unleashes enemies intent on keeping the past buried. Danger and threats ensue, including men armed with chainsaws, baseball bats and knives. But Rick is not about to back down. The story’s characters, non-stop pace, and terrific dialogue make The Fixer a fun, suspenseful, hard-to-put-down read.

Mike Brogan is an award-winning novelist of five mystery suspense thrillers: Business to Kill for, Dead Air, Madison’s Avenue, G8, and his latest, Kentucky Woman. Writer’s Digest called his writing “the equal of any suspense thrillers in recent years.” Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and mikebroganbooks. 38


Joseph Finder



Venture Michigan Magazine - Holidays 2016  

Stories about emerging drivers of Michigan’s tech, health, and financial sectors — with a special focus on the business of venture capital....