Episode 331 – MEDC Entrepreneurship Programs, Smart Zones and More

MEDC (the Michigan Economic Development Corporation) returns to our show to chat about entrepreneurship opportunities, grants, smart zones where you can get additional incentives and benefits to get businesses off the ground, and a whole host of other topics that are vital to the changing Michigan economy and they’re doing to keep our economic engines moving as times change…

Find their programs at: https://www.michiganbusiness.org/

Wave’s invoicing solution is at http://www.waveapps.com/ITintheD

The BankUnited $54,000 giveaway can be entered by following  @BankUnited on Twitter and tweet @BankUnited your answer to “what would you do with 54 thousand dollars?”, using the hashtag #GoForMore54

CapitalOne is at http://www.capitalone.com


Hey, what’s going on? This is episode 331 of the it in the D show. We got a great guest lined up. He’s the MEDC, that’s the Michigan economic development Corp for those keeping score at home. He’s the entrepreneurship and innovation vice president Fred Molnar. He’s talking about, I guess there’s thousands of high tech startups across the state, satellite companies. We always thought it was just like batteries and software, but no, there’s a ton of stuff going on. Stuff I never even heard of, so I’m going to have a really, really fun time talking to Fred and should be a great show. Cool, and Hey, this show is brought to you by our friends at wave. Are you tired of chasing down payments for your small business waves? Easy. I am invoicing software. Hint, hint, wink, wink. You can customize your invoices, look professional and get paid faster for your work.

Use waves, recurring invoicing feature. Hint, hint, wink, wink, so that you can sit back and relax and get back to doing what you love. Create your account at wave apps. It’s WAV apps, aps.com/it and the D to get started with 100% free and unlimited invoicing. That’s wave apps.com/it in the D. I’m so checking it out. Dave, you may fire when ready. Thank you for hanging out. This is episode three 31 of the one and only it in the D show broadcasting. Where are we? Back in studio one. We weren’t. We are. We’ve, we’re home Chewie. We’re home. I feel comfy. Feel comfy at the end of the table here. Podcast. He traded beautiful Royal Oak, Michigan. This is Bob the sales guy that go in the worst Chewbacca impersonation ever. Dave the geek. Randy. I do the Twitters. Walker is doing the twin. Oh my.

I said your last C I D I forgot. I’m just kidding. Find a sunlight combobulated that too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about. Randy’s till we say, why didn’t you save or why don’t you only say my last name and no one else’s, so I just used it a pause for like probably a good year at least. Yeah. Find us online it in the D. dot com. Uh, do us a favor. Give us a like on the socials and subscribe to us everywhere. Fine podcasts are sold. Yep. Yeah, so we’ve got our event Thursday night, uh, which is this Thursday night, not last Thursday night because I’m a moron and scheduled it wrong. I feel like I owned that appropriately. Uh, we will be at Detroit city distillery, uh, and then next month, uh, in which will be the third Thursday, uh, we’re going to try a new venue, a funnel hangout called Woodbridge pub. A great little spot. Loves great. Dave’s is are going to go to Woodbridge. They go, where’d you get drugged in the last night? He goes, I’m not that shallow. First Facebook post is were wasted and it’s at Woodbridge puppy with REM. And who posted that?

Ran me. Oh, well yeah, I was there. Well, I told you what happened. It’s like, cause last week’s episode we were bitching about trying to find venues. And so I walked up to the bar and I’m ordering a drink and the bartender goes, Hey man. And he’s like, you know, I listened to your show. And I’m like, and that’s always a okay, why conversation? Uh, and he said, no, I just kinda cool by the way. He was like, you know, you guys were just bitching about, you know, needing, you know, venues to do stuff. Why don’t you do one of your events here and say you can’t say no. And then two seats was the owner of the bar who went, I’m sorry, what, what event would you like to do here? And I was like, Oh, it’s this networking group thing. I’m like, it’s basically we’re going to bring some nerds in who liked to drink and hang out and talk.

And he was like, yeah, you should do that here. What’s the date? And he like, went in the back, grabbed his book. So perfect. I’ve been there in awhile. No, it’s, it’s good color. Seriously. There’s a bartender, listen to this. Yeah, we’re doing it. And they’re not charging us 200 bucks an hour just to be in their lobby. I’m good. Nah, screw everything about you Bulla Rama or whatever the hell you are. Uh, so dude, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m ripping the bandaid off this first topic. Dude. You want terminators? This is how you get terminators. No, no, it’s not even, it’s worse. It’s, so Dave’s talking about, um, it’s from the independent and scientists create first living robots in major breakthrough made out of animal cells. Hold on. They’re neither a traditional robot nor and known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact, a living programmable organisms.

Would they call it a Xeno bot if I recall correctly, cause you know, meaning alien but meaning Terminator and they’ve already, so they’ve already like, and here’s the like, I dunno how far down in the article you read. Like yeah, they followed a little program task. Oh they pushed this little pebble around and you push this little thing around and then they started to learn and they started to coordinate and cooperate. You aren’t terminators. This is how you get terminated, the three of them. And they created the new language and knock you up in one way. I see. Um, I guess the only good news is, is that they’ve taken cells from frog embryos and turned them into a machine that can be programmed as they wish that that worked out great in Jurassic park. It was, you know, it was the frog, the frog DNA that no, wait.

Yeah, there’s no, there’s not a tried and true history of why not to do this. Cool. It wasn’t that a Roddy Piper film a hell comes to Frogtown one of the trauma movies, like from there might’ve been, yeah. Um, I don’t understand what they would do other than military or sex. That’s about the only things that I could think, talking about putting little pockets on them so they can carry you like medicine directly to where they need to go. If you want these frog bots people Oh, inside your body. The small, initially, initially they’re very, very small. They’re like nanobots carry medicine directly to the sales effected. I don’t know that it worked in a, with Martin short movie. Um, wait a minute. They’re nanobots, they’re from frog. So you gotta you’re gonna have a frog growing inside. You know, it’s not going to grow. It’s just going to be like a couple of cells.

No, it won’t grow. It won’t, it won’t. It won’t act like life and multiply or mutate at all. It won’t. No trust us. And it won’t be like ant man where they all like just like get into like the nooks, there’ll be like little gremlins. Get into the nooks and crannies of like, uh, yeah, military planes and you know, more magic school bus. Oh. Which I’m not even going to start out how creepy that was. That was horrible. And Hey, if you’re an OTA, a antenna user, which I am, I have several in the house. We’ve got a couple here in the studios, a rescan your rescan, your channels if you haven’t already. Uh, we talked about this when it hit, I believe a year ago, uh, when the FCC sold off a whole bunch of frequencies, uh, to make room for some other stuff. Uh, so what channels can you get?

Dude? I’m at like 150. Like, no, from your antenna. Yeah. So, and don’t get me wrong, like it’s not like, so what it is, it’s about maybe the size of the, like half of this. The, the headphone amp. Yeah. And it does have a sheet of paper and it says, okay, well no. So the ones that you put up in the window are that size, does it use your house wiring as conduit? And this sits on, um, it sits on the, on the tabletop right next to the, uh, the TV that I’ve got hooked into. Like I don’t, you don’t have to have like this particular one, you don’t have to have near a window or anything like that. Um, you know, is the, basically it was a, I think this one was like 90 bucks as opposed to like the 40, $50 ones, which are the floppy ones you’ve got to put up on a window.

And so what other channels, cause you’ve got, you know, uh, there are networks, there are four different state Fox stations. Uh, there’s like, you know, the normal Fox two, then you’ve got like a Fox movie channel. There’s a Fox retro channel, which is like, and there’s a game show network, uh, all the channel four channels, all the channels, seven channels, all that. I mean it’s all the local channels, three plus channels. I mean there’s a whole bunch of stuff you can pick up. So they said, uh, he said on his article that said, got laughing comment, which is a comedy and scifi content. Yeah, dude, there’s a, there’s a bunch of stuff out there that is still broadcasting OTA that, I mean, if you’re like, and if you’re, if you’ve cut the cord and you’re not using this as one of your options, you’re kind of dumb.

Well, so what’s rescan I don’t know what that means. So when you set it up, when you first like plug it into your TV, the first thing you have to do is you tell it, Hey, scan for channels. It’s got to say, okay, what are all the signals when you get a new, when you get a new radio, but they’ve moved frequencies around for cell phones, spectrum and stuff. So you have to rescan because she doesn’t move frequencies and it looks like it’s going to happen again in March against him. Have to do this again. Probably another thousand channels are going to wind up moving. So yeah, I mean, and like I said, I mean I pick up channels, um, in India, Canada, down into Ohio, uh, out into Flint. Um, it’s, I mean, if you get one with a decent range, it’s pretty solid. Very good option.

Huh. Um, interesting article came on. Uh, I finally got to do my first, I got to hire a Meyer. My first hire only had about 15 interviews with other people. Um, before I’ve ever, we’re talking about those. Yeah. Yeah. Don’t lie on your resume. Kids. Just, uh, you’re gonna get asked. Now you’re understanding all the pain I was describing. Losers. Wait. So DNS is on your, your, your top skill on your resume says DNS and you don’t know what an, a record or a C name is. Yep. Um, and there’s the door nice down. Yeah.

Wall street journal came out with something they’re calling hunger games, hiring. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m not gonna lie. No, no, no. They’re calling it cluster hiring cluster. Yeah. The article made the analogy of hunger games and I’m not gonna lie, if I was ever put in a situation, I, uh, knowingly, I would probably, you know, I don’t know at the time if I would get up and walk out, but basically what they’re doing is like, there was, they’re telling a story right now. Uh, there’s basically, it’s a prestigious independent research outfit in, in New York, um, called the boys Thompson Institute and they, it was high end scientists. This isn’t like, this isn’t like a, a situation where you’re going to work at Amazon as a picker, right. It’s, it’s, you’re going in as a scientist. Um, and basically they brought in 13 of them at the same time and basically it’s almost like a goddamn brothel, um, where like, you know where you’re at, basically sat in front of everybody and they’d said, I like the one in the, in the green jacket.

Like I own like to me. And they’re like, don’t. And they basically told them, don’t want up the other one. This isn’t about, they wanted to see how you collaborated with people and how you, how you interacted and where you competitive and, but you don’t know what they want. So you’re going into this thing going, do I need to shine? Do I need to be a team player? Do I, you know, cause they don’t give you the parameters. Are you looking for a support player? Are you looking for a leader? Are you asking for you need a tank or you need a healer or, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Blue warrior needs food DPS. So I mean, I hope this does not catch on because I want no part of it. I’m not a fan. I’m not going to lie. And here’s the thing, like I’ve really made it a point being through that, that hellish.

Yeah. Three month interview process that I was with the company that rhymes with Schmoogle. Yeah. Um, I’m, I’m basically, it’s two interviews right now that we’re doing. We have our, we have a recruiter that has to go through their vetting. Then we do, um, we do a, a panel over the phone and if that works, they do an in person and basically all the subject matter experts, um, basically ask three or four questions. We try not to make it weird. Um, you know, most of it’s kinda, it’s kind of fun like the um, and then I S I S culture questions and how they interact with the team, things like that. And then we say yes or no. Like, you know what I mean? It really needs to be, and not saying it’s a perfect process, but you know, I’m not close to what I, yeah, it’s close to what I run with.

Yeah. I mean it’s not sitting, you know, in a, in a like, you know, if I brought 13 engineers in and they’re going to look at each other and I’m like, okay, you’re, you know, 10 a death take, take the most socially awkward people you could find on the planet, throw them in a room together, have at it. Right. Well, I mean it goes back to like your thing on team building. Like, there’s a lot of things I’m learning, cause this is the first, this is the first time I’ve ever had to do team building. And you know, when someone talks about like I’m doing this whole big thing about check, don’t shoot free throws, like so-and-so is not good at this. And I’m like, great, so-and-so is let them team up. Yup. I don’t need him to be every, you know, super friends, right.

I don’t need Superman to talk to fish. I call mans here, we’ll talk to the fish. So I’m kind of like breaking down. Like when people are like, well, he needs to document more. I’m like, Hey, he’s the admin one. Loves documentation and learning. Let him team up with my engineer three. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like crap like that. I mean, I dunno to me that I’m, I don’t know what I’m even talking about anymore. All I know is I’m not interviewing anyone like hunger games. Like, well then, then, then, then you’re good. Um, I, I but, but speaking of Schmoogle, uh, they are the, I believe third company now to break the $1 trillion valuation market value. You know, why, you know, they own all the data and what’s the next, the fourth Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are first. And what’s the, what’s, what’s going to be the biggest commodity in the next 10, 20 years data, your emails and search history.

That’s, that’s what it’s going to be. That was my favorite conversation I had. Well I don’t do those Alexis. They know all too much. Did you ever go to activity.google.com I delete this? No, sure, sure you do. Yeah. And Snapchat deletes all the pictures and yeah, that’s, that’s exactly how that works. What was, uh, the one thing I always like, I wish they had, we always do way back machine for NFL drafts cause we’re nerds and like for like with my football friends, I got Detroit like drafted a Superbowl quarterback. Unfortunately it was the tigers who drafted someone who went on to play football. He was never playing baseball. But like looking up what a stock would be worth. Like, like okay it’s 2002, I had $1,000, I put it on Google. What’s it worth today? Like did it, does that not exist? Cause that would be awesome.

Like I can kick myself more than when I go to sleep on any stock chart will show you historical information but it’s not going to show you splits and dividend payouts and what it would look like through the transgression. You know, through the, I’m sure somebody has done it out there. It had to have, I’ve been looking, uh, I’m, I do this, this one and then since Amazon just got mentioned, this one creeps me out. Like I, I don’t, I don’t understand why people are going more and more towards biometric shit cause it just creeps me out. I feel like I’m the only one who ever saw demolition man and I don’t like it. Um, Amazon wants you to pay with your Palm and I don’t mean your Palm pilot. No. And I mean your Palm pro. No, I mean the actual ridges lines and stuff of your hand, you can connect that to a credit card and and and just wave at a camera.

I guess it beats the shit out of and putting a little chip in your hand. Like last week we talked about [inaudible]. Yeah, no, not doing that either. But you know I just, I did. Well it is, it is it that complicated to take out a wallet and swipe a credit card or to hold up your phone to use your wallet or like is like, is that where we are as a society right now? Guess what? Guess what business is going to pick up? Cutting off people’s hands again. Like demolition man. How did he get out of the jail? He, there was a retinal scanner and he popped the warden’s eye out and had it on a pen. Right. Mark Cuban’s misses, right. Hit on shark tank. Why? Cause someone just bought a whole shitload of stuff. Someone just bought pants. I was like, is that it though?

Is there no two factor? Like it just Palm, it’s your hand unique enough that it, that’s according to that. Well, I mean your fingerprints are, well, you’ve got the uniqueness of your fingerprints combined with the uniqueness of what’s on your fingerprints are one in what? 50,000 faces? One in a million. So apparently your debit card and send me a text or a put MFA notification on my mobile and I hit, yes, I’m buying something at the store. That’s it. Did I just add, I was talking to somebody earlier like I wish everything was as paranoid as Google was about sign ins to my account res. Like I like it’s an and it’s instantaneous and, but, but they’re on it. Like I, you know, if I, if I tried logging it like I was trying to do something here. Emails though. I need a push notification. No, no, no, no.

I tried to log into Gmail. Little note pops up right on my phone. Oh, is this you trying to sign into Google? Yup. That’s me or no, that’s not me. Yeah. Why? Why can’t my credit card do that? Why? Right. Or you get the text with the seven digit number. I’m fine with that too. Are you spending $112 at TJ Maxx buying [inaudible] with a little pop up, but I cannot handle, I don’t handle to F ag. Right. I don’t know why they don’t is, here’s the thing, it’s cause there’s money to be made in fraud. Is that, is that what it is? Who’s paying off? Like that’s my business. It’s not like the weed stuff where Hillary Clinton comes on and goes, there’s too much money in legalizing drugs. Like, cause you get to seize everything. Um, who’s, who’s paying who off on this one? I dunno, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll hunt it down.

I’ll, I’m sure there’s a vice episode on it somewhere. Um, what’s your, uh, do you remember, do they ever tell you what your fishing rates are? And I’m not talking about like trout Yas. Did they ever tell you what your, do they count your rates? Who clicks what? Shaming Susie for saying something stupid the most it is, these are the departments with the lowest click through rate. We don’t get like, Oh sorry, I, our average you get your management might get different emails broadcast publicly during fishing week that there was fishing, there was coasters handed out and there was gummy Swedish fish it handed out and it was on every TV and there was on every newsletter and we were still at like 11 or 12%. Um, but like somebody came out with, um, I like to see what they’re trying to actually get people with.

So I of want to click through to be like, who, what are they trying to get people to fall for? What are people dumb enough that they’re not even doing what I thought they were doing, which was like buying like a URL that kinda mocked or match like you remember, what was it like my visa card, you know what I’m saying, where it looked like your company, but it looked like a vanity URL or something. They’re not even doing that. It’s just, it just, it’s just jibberish like a bullshit URL. But someone came out with a top 10, uh, which was funny, I just got this today and it was a text that came to my phone that said hello Dave, your FedEx package with tracking code, yet idiotic is waiting for you to set delivery preferences. But it’s two D seven CMV. Dot info slash Bitly URL.

Yeah. And I’m not clicking no, uh yeah. And if I bought it, I told it where to ship it. Um, but basically the number one was changed the change of password required immediately. It was 26%. Um, basically a, um, Microsoft office three 65 D action of email and process. Yeah, password was heavy cause yeah, password check required. Right. Was the other one drop? This is one where I’m not going to say I fall for it, but it was like Dropbox or like a Google drive document shared. So shit. So that was like both that one and the team’s one where you know, and it was specifically like a name had shared a document with you. If I don’t recognize the name, the skeptical Davis skeptical. No, no, no. But what happens if it’s from work or like me and like, or it’s from Hey, it’s from, you know, like, well then they’re going to get fired for using Dropbox to send company files around.

This is what’s going to happen. I have them walk down. The interesting one was like Airbnb, new device login. It was 6% and then a Slack password reset for account. Um, you know, basically there. Yeah, it’s all password. Your cash app, your, your account’s been closed. Coinbase. Oh, I can imagine them trying to hack into Coinbase. Please resolve error. Now could you take a look at this? Oh, then the proof point. The biggest one. Can you, would you mind taking a look at this invoice? Yeah. And then so-and-so has shared a whiteboard with you from Microsoft. Yup. Yeah. Interesting. Um, you know, again, if you’re not a, you’re not savvy, just, you know, hover over the URL. If it looks bad. Yeah. Don’t do not click hover lunch. Good. Yeah. Treat it. Treat it like a, a woman in a ladies’ bathroom. Just hover. Yeah, that’s fine.

Uh, so I did, you’re a nest biller. This, this is my favorite story. I love this. And we’ve talked about how stupid some of these accessibility rules are over the years. Um, but yeah, PornHub is getting sued by a deaf man, uh, because they don’t provide subtitles for all of their pornography that they have. Oh, Oh, Oh God. Do me, I just, I’m picturing like, you know, those memes where it’s like, you know, they have the funny thing in the captions. I’m picturing like wild screaming like, or, or like pained expression. Like I, I’m just, I’m just trying to like Mo moaning in Japanese. Like what? Yeah, like what, what, what are you and I, but I do, cause they, uh, they actually replied if they said we actually don’t respond or we don’t comment on pending, uh, lawsuits. Um, but we would like to just point out that we do have a closed caption category that he’s able to use.

Plus there’s PornHub user uploaded. Is YouTube responsible for YouTube videos that are in caption? I don’t think so. So why is PornHub different? It’s an option. You can go for it. Like, that’s one of the things they’ve added is the capability to do like an automated transcription thing though. Like I mean sometimes the plot is helpful set up. Randy, is it think of an analogy that would make any sense. And I don’t like my hamburger didn’t have pickles on it. [inaudible] for damages. Like since you didn’t get pickles, it’s not a good hamburger. Somebody you bought me a, the free beer wasn’t cold enough. I [inaudible] you gave me a, uh, an issue of Playboy that was in Russian and, and I don’t read Russian. I, I’m to read the jokes. Dammit. Yeah, I got nothing on this. I, I just, I just thought it was, cause we have, we’ve talked about like, you know, there, there’s a, there actually is a standard out there where your website, technically speaking is supposed to be accessible for blind people.

Um, well this would be deaf people, but yeah, no, no, but I mean they know, I’m just saying there, there’s, there’s a standard out there that says [inaudible] you know, the whole ADA thing when it comes to web interfaces, they’re supposed to be accessible for, you know, blind people. You, and that’s one of the reasons why you can’t have voice navigation and you know, because because of deaf people in that kind of stuff and it just, I at the drive through, I’ve always laughed about that and that’s, that’s just actually manufacturing laziness. I lived, I think we’ve talked about that before. We totally have. Why does the dry lot, why does the ATM at the drive through have braille on it? Right. Because they only make one keyboard. It just looks dumb. Um, I always like, I like technology and I like innovation. I’m a huge fan of pushing the envelope until it’s stupid.

Um, and then this one, there were, they’re talking about a digital transfer. I should have been turned off when I saw [inaudible]. I skimmed through this. I didn’t even add it to my list. I think myself too. The one thing where I just want to tell him to stop is Toyota. Um, LA is launching an AR program that basically allows users to try out. Um, there are cars without picking up the keys. They basically just put on goggles and they pretend it’s car, but it’s not, but you’re not, that’s not enough. It’s not even see what it looks like inside, but you don’t, that’s the whole point of it. Yeah, that’s that. Yeah. What are the comfort like Kevin noise or an apparently now it’s catching on. Like returns is a big problem. Like Amazon, like that’s the crux of their being of their existence. They would stop carrying everything that’s listed in sizes that are made in China.

Oh, I just bought a sport coat that weight and fit you. I’d probably wouldn’t fit Mackey. I bet it was fat guy in a little coat like ah shit. But like target and Lowe’s and Amazon, they’re basically finding out that augmented reality AR, uh, is helpful in decreasing the numbers of returns they see from online shoppers. And then I guess I can see it. Furniture, minor details, 25% of shit is sent back. 25. No, I truly, I believe that. But, and I could see where if they could give you something where you know what, okay, so you hook into like I have goggles, uh, you hook into my goggles and you let me see that couch. I want to buy in my living room where I want to put it and see how it actually spatially feel it. Or here’s things that you need to know.

There’s things like, OK, uh, real estate. I think you still need to see it. But like if you put on goggles and got to do a walk through on a house, that’s going to eliminate you needed to needing to go see. Um, yeah. You know, you can also do it for a home inspection too, but you can’t tell how comfortable at couches by looking at it. No, but you could at least see where I’m, where I want to put it. I keep wanting to buy this couch online and my wife keeps screaming at me that it looks uncomfortable and I’m like, I like it. I want to buy it. Um, but I, you know, the, the, I’m trying to think what, like I said, besides real estate and doing like a walkthrough, um, I don’t know what else, like AR like to like, it’s not going to stop returns.

Like if there’s a pair of jeans and they’re a size 28 and I want to buy them and then they don’t fit and I send them back. Like, how is augmented reality gonna fix that? No, it won’t. It won’t. Something like that. Like I could see where like, you know, some of the return issues where, you know, it wasn’t, you know, it didn’t look the way I thought it would based on that picture or you know, it didn’t look, or it didn’t fit in with my decor or it didn’t, you know, like step, like I think it would, I can see it helping to eliminate subjective reason returns. Maybe we should support and hope to do augmented reality for that. They have AR, do they? I’m pretty sure. Oh, he backpedals quickly. I don’t know. I heard we talked about that. We did a no, no.

So, yeah, no, I can see like, you know, like this objective reason. I just, I just don’t like it as opposed to like legitimate, real concrete reasons where it’s, you know, it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t, you know, it’s not, but you know, the subjective stuff like, you know, I just, I just didn’t like it once it was in the house or something like that. I think I could see it helping limit, helping to eliminate that. Good luck with that. And they’re spinning. Had some money. Right. Yeah. God knows what and something I’m not going to use. Um, I I was tempted to use the, uh, that creeped up quietly if you’re Amazon prime, the whole foods, two hour delivery thing that, that came to my house. I didn’t deliver. I didn’t order anything though. But that’s the thing now someone mentioned it and I’m like, I’m going to see if that’s a thing I’m still good with shipped.

Yeah, I am too. I’m perfectly content with you. I don’t need the whole, I don’t need a Nicky batting something admiring. I got a Petco, like I got pet store stuff that I can get delivered now I got a target. Yeah, I’m good. Lamb Shea that you’ve always been eating. Yeah. Yeah. Well, but dude, here’s, you know me and you know how I am when I walk into a store, the reason why I loved ship or I love ship for grocery shopping is it keeps me from overshopping. Like I’m not wandering through the aisles going, Oh, I’ve gotta have five of those and 10 of those. And they did it. Oh, that cake looks good. Ooh, cookies. Woo. Like it cuts out. Keeps me from having to get off my ass on the couch. I mean that too. I mean, everyone’s got their reasons. Yeah. Like now it’s like when it’s time to buy a case of water and a couple of cases of pop shipped, $35 minimum.

God bless you. Yeah. Here’s another five. Throw it in the kitchen so I don’t have to move. Right, exactly. Above your, what about your friends at Clearview? At Clearview? Yeah. Oh dude. I didn’t even write it down cause I, that was the last thing I shot across. So there is literally an app, uh, that is, has a database larger than the FBI. Uh, and most police departments, uh, all combined, uh, that is facial recognition based where basically someone, and right now they say it’s not allowed. It’s not accessible to the open public. Sure. It’s not, I’m sure somebody has, it doesn’t make it better either, but so you can just be ensure this is the intro to the article. What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk and then use an app to quickly discover your name, address, and other details. And this lets them do it.

They just made it happen. They scrape public Facebook, Venmo pictures and it’s currently used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI says the New York times in a Saturday report. Yeah. And they said, Oh, it’s not open to the public now, but we expect it will be in the not too distant future. Yeah. That’s funny. The size of the database dwarfs others used by law enforcement because they had the FBI’s, which taps passport and driver’s license photos. It’s got 60 641 million images of us citizens. And this one door. Yeah. Oh God. Yeah. Not, not available to the public.

Trust us. They won’t mutate. Oh boy. So Hey, we’re going to take a quick break. Oh, Hey. Uh, so bank United wants you to go for more, uh, enter for a chance to win $54,000. Uh, if a team goes for and completes a two point conversion during the big game on February 2nd, all you have to do is follow at bank United on Twitter and tweet at bank United. Your answer to what you would do with $54,000 using the hashtag go for more 54, that’s G, O, F O R M O R R. E number five, number four. So everybody has a chance to win. The more tweets you send, the more chances you have of winning. And if a team completes a two point conversion, you would win a. So again, follow bank United on Twitter and tweet at bank United. Your answer to what would you do with $54,000 using the hashtag go for more 54 there is only one prize.

So many may enter, but only one will boon. Good old Highlander rules. There can be only one half to be at least 18 years of age to enter there. So there’s, there’s a disclaimer for official rules. Visit www.goformorefiftyfour.com. That’s G O F O R M O R E [inaudible] dot com that’s go for more and the number 50 four.com bank, United and a member FTC. Neither Twitter nor the NFL entities have offered, administered, endorsed, or sponsored this sweepstakes in any way there. That’s the first time we’ve had a disclaimer like that or whatever. That’s number four.

I almost got into a new Moto goals. I always kind of wanted to go into, uh, the, the old matchbox guy boys, remember that, that really fast talking matchbox guy. Oh yeah. Or was it hot wheels? Was he mad? Ah, it was a, Oh well he’s not thinking about it during the break. We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to be back with Fred Molnar from the MADC talking about, uh, uh, tech startups, high tech startups should be a cool conversation. This is the it and that he show. Hey, we’ll be right back. Hey, welcome back. Segment two. This is episode three 31 of the it and that he show broadcasting live here in studio one podcast, Detroit, beautiful, Royal Oak, Michigan. Bob the sales guy, Dave the geek. Randy. I do the Twitters is doing the Twitters. Find us online it in the d.com.

You want to know why? Cause we all right. And, and you, you still are. And I actually had somebody call me out on that when we were here Sunday, a recording a bunch of episodes. Somebody said, I just forget what I said. And they were like, wow, you, you really can be petty. And like the whole shot of history crew was here and like all of them dove and they were like, Oh no, no, no, no, no. He’s Tom petty. Like he still spends 20 to 30 seconds of every episode every week mocking someone who pissed him off six years ago and they still know what to do. They do. Hey, a four we dive in. Capital one knows that life doesn’t alert you about your credit card. That’s why they created, you know, the capital one assistant that catches things that might look wrong with your credit card, like over tipping duplicate charges or potential fraud, and then sends an alert to your phone and helps you fix it.

It’s another way. Capital one is watching out for your money when you’re not capital one. What’s in your wallet? See capital one.com for details. I think we’re a shit ton cheaper than Samuel L. Jackson. I can tell you that much right now for one spokesperson. I’m just, you know, I mean, I can read it as, save me a lot. Jackson. We’re good. We’re good. We’re good. Oh no, no. Hey. But we’re, uh, we’re very, very lucky, uh, to get a someone here that had the day off today, but decided they were going to come in anyway, so we sincerely appreciate it. He’s with the Michigan economic development Corp as the MADC for, uh, for you at home. He is the, uh, entrepreneurship and innovation vice president Fred Molnar. Thank you for putting up with our own ridiculousness. How you doing sir? Good, thank you. Thank you Dave. Thank you Bob. Appreciate it. So, you know, we’re talking about you got

to send an email, I’m talking about things that I didn’t even know existed. Um, I’m really not familiar with, with not only aerospace but things that are going on in the state. Um, we’re talking, you know, and then you’re talking about, you know, there’s thousands of high tech startups across the state and I kind of wanted to start there. I we knew about like batteries and companies that are kind of building here and we’re starting to hear rumblings like auto manufacturers are calling themselves software companies now because there’s more into coding than there is actually building a physical car. So I mean, when you’re, when you’re talking thousands of high tech startups, I guess where do we start and where do we end? Is, is that just a broad spectrum or I guess walk me through that? Sure. Um, well we’re definitely technology agnostic, so we’re not really focusing on any technologies though.

There is a new MBDC strategic plan, which I can get into later. But the group that I lead, um, what we’re trying to do is diversify the Michigan economy. People here in Southeastern Michigan know we’ve been very auto centric for little bit years, little bit. And of course, you know, I grew up in Allen park around Detroit and, uh, when I was a young man kid and everything, I, I saw the ups and downs of the auto industry. Uh, like many of us did. Um, I mean, hell, I’ve seen it and I’ve only been here since 96. Yeah, yeah. And it was, it was brutal to watch. I had some good friends who, you know, quite frankly, every single one of my friends are either worked, their dads either worked in the auto industry or a supplier for the auto industry. Well, you’re looking at what it did to just streets like Updike and up in wick some like do you know that was an, it was bigger than an entire city block.

It was less stretched for two, three, four city blocks shuts down building his dock down, then everything that kind of was around it is gone. Yeah. Yeah. It was devastating. I remember of course the, you know, the early Japanese invasion of the, you know, the small small cars and everything and we were building the big muscle cars at the time. Um, but, but long story short, what we’re trying to do is diversify the Michigan economy. Um, and that’s through technology. So what we’re trying to do, we don’t have like in a tr like an attraction program for early stage tax. So we’re not trying to attract companies here and we’re trying to do is develop companies here, help companies develop, which is funny because like, you know, there was that article that we just talked about I think either last week or the week before where both Detroit and Ann Arbor, our top 10 locations for new tech startups, like I think top five if I recall correctly, we’ll go cost of living’s low and there’s no poop on the sidewalk. Go figure. Well, I mean depends where you go.

Yeah. So, so there are, there are really, um, hot areas in the state. As you mentioned, Detroit right now is very hot for tech. Of course. Anarbor has been the basis of technology for the last 10 years plus. Um, but there’s other areas in the state. Uh, grand Rapids is picking up, uh, Lansing’s really good. And actually up in the upper peninsula, Houghton Hancock, uh, which is way up in a [inaudible] is also doing really well. A technology really like, I just, I wouldn’t be doing up there. I was like, I was thinking, I, you hear DUP, you don’t think tech. That’s interesting. Yeah. Well, you know, you think of new texts up there. Exactly. So you know, you think a beautiful scenery, you think of wood products, you think of beef pasties. There you go. Yeah. Smoked fish, paint painted rocks.

Um, but, but built around and what we’re doing from the MADC perspective is we’re working with the universities around the state. So we’ve kind of free focus areas. One of them is a universities and there is a research university, Michigan tech university has mentioned, um, and they of course spend a lot of time and energy, but they are a federally, uh, federally funded research university. In other words, the federal government, um, gives them grants to do basic research. Okay. And through that basic research, what we’re trying to do is pull technology that they work on and commercialize that. Okay. Gotcha. And so that’s why up in Houghton Hancock, they’re doing a really good job with that. Well, so, and I think that’s been one of the, one of the biggest issues this region faces and has faced for quite some time. And we’ve, when we’ve talked about it, I can’t remember how many times, um, I mean the brain drain that hit here, you know, back when the economy tanked in Oh eight, Oh nine, 2010 and then continues to hit here as, you know, kids get out of school and don’t want to stay here.

And so they’re heading for the coasts. They’re heading for Chicago, they’re heading for, you know, and I think that’s the Austin huge. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s a, that’s a big thing where in many cases they don’t even know that stuff like this exists. This is true. This is true. And, and we’re, we’re, I mean that, that’s still a real problem. There’s no doubt about it. And when, one of the things that we see is, um, a lack of talent. So we have a lot of great companies starting up, great ideas, technology companies. But what happens is the, the founder may be very smart in whatever physics or biochemistry, whatever, right? But they don’t have the business experience. And so they can only take the company to a certain level and then the company can stall out. Because you know it’s school of hard knocks, a lot of it.

Right. And so experience and what I’m seeing, which is very encouraging to me is I’m seeing a lot of people that have left the state. Okay. Cause I think the pastors are greener elsewhere. When they go to D C they go to New York, they go to Austin, they go to Bay area, whatever. But at some point they find their significant other, right. And they have kids and they go, you know what, Michigan was a great place to live. It’s a great place to raise kids. Bob, you mentioned the cost of living at sure thing. And so they can, they can earn a very good living here and they want to move back. And so we’re seeing a lot of people try to come back to the state and that’s what we’re trying to do is find them, you know, companies obviously that at the level they want.

I think it was like probably 2013 like late 2013 early 2014 when we started seeing a lot more messages from people about Hey I hear it’s gotten better. Thinking about coming back, how do I make that work? So I mean, I totally wholeheartedly agree. Well that’s the thing. If you look at, if you talk to anybody, if we go to any of our meetups and go, did you realize there was, um, I’m free to one of the companies you guys are working with, uh, you know, space technologies in their name and they’re basically making plasma thrusters to start up satellite companies. And if you would have to ask anyone, did you think that this even existed in the state of Michigan? They were like, no. Are they building Vultron right. That’s the first thing I said to Fred, would I go, what the hell is a plasma thruster?

And he’s like, uses plasma gas. I’m like, what? Like this is so far over my head, I guess. How do they end up in Michigan? And I guess, you know, talk to me about them. Yeah, so, so that’s a, it’s a great store. It’s an app. So fantastic story. This again is a technology spun out of a university up at Michigan tech. So up in Holton Hancock as far as you can go in the U P peninsula. And here they are building a rocket engines for, for satellites. And if they’re listening by the way, sorry about your Packers, you traders, they’re all packer fans. DUP. This is true. Are you, are you sorry, Roger sucks. Sorry Frank, go ahead. Yeah, so, so there, there is a gentleman named Brad King, one of one of the founders of the company and he is literally a rocket scientist. I mean he has a business card and it says rocket scientist, but he is actually a rocket science. I mean I can get one of those too. There you go. Yeah, I’m a model rocket scientist.

I was really good with those. And um, so there, there’s the things that are called smart zones spread across the state. So there’s 21 of these won’t go into too much detail, but one of them is up in holding Hancock and the idea of a smart zone and the local ones you probably heard of of TechTown, you might’ve heard a tech town, Detroit and R verse bar. Yup. Um, auto automation alley up in Troy, et cetera. So, so these, these are all over the state. And what their objective is is economic development of course, technology, economic development. So they’re allowed their legislatively formed geographic areas like a, a research park, and they’re allowed to collect taxes in that park and those taxes have to be used for tech entrepreneurship. Okay. Awesome idea. It’s working fantastic across the state. So this gentleman, rocket scientists, um, had this idea, you know, can I turn this into a company? So he went to the local smarts zone. And of course he’s rocket scientist, not a business person, but they’re business people. So between the two of them, they put together a plan to create a company called in space technology. I think it’s already in space technologies, um, and helped him get it off the ground. And they were so to speak. Yes. [inaudible]

very good. Very good. And, and you know, people, people have asked them, well why are you up in the U P and his, his perfect answer is, well the ups is as close to space as Florida or California. Do you ever remember, do you remember when? Probably when the show first started and I always screamed about outsourcing rural. Yeah. Because there was a, I was in the, the V set, you know, doing satellite parts for, you know, back in like Oh four and we went to a manufacturing plant in the middle of nowhere mid Michigan. But everyone, they were making 10 bucks, 12 bucks an hour and they were ecstatic making that kind of money cause small house, you know, I’m like, Oh my God. Like why are we shipping jobs overseas? Why don’t we outsource rural and make that a thing? So yeah, hearing this, I bet you the, you know, part of it is just, you know, outsourcing world.

Yeah. And they’re there. They’re getting high quality people coming in like earlier discussion from outside of the state because they want to live in the UPA. If you ever been to key went up peninsula Minnesota, a beautiful part of the state. It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous place. Yep. How’s the flooding rebuilding going? Uh, pretty good actually. Last time I was up there, which is a couple of months ago. It’s come a long way. Yup. Yup. So what are, I guess where do you, when you, when you talk about there’s no really just start, you know, start and stop, but what, you know, something that, you know, if you’re a tech startup and you want to catch, you know, the MADC XY and getting either grantor, I guess, what, what, what’s going to catch your eye? Is it, you know, building nanotech? Is it software? Is it something unique? I guess what’s, what’s some criteria you guys are looking for that check those boxes?

Yeah. So there’s a lot to unpack there for, first of all, we, the MBDC just so I’m clear, we don’t actually give grants to companies. Okay. So the way we work, we work through third parties. So in other words, if we want to do an early stage, a fund, we have one called the the first capital fund or the pre-seed fund. We put out an RFP request for proposal, people bid on it, and then we say, this is what we want to have accomplished. And we let professionals do that. So in this case, you might’ve heard of invest Detroit. Okay, invest Detroit does our first capital fund and that’s up to $150,000. Essentially it’s a, it’s a, uh, convertible debt. Um, and then the proceeds up to half million dollars. But that’s how we work. So we have professionals manage the money. We, so we don’t do correct. Direct grant took a, a company. Um, but as far as, as far as what gets funded, there’s a lot of variables obviously rented for economic development. Okay. So we’re not in it for the founders to make a lot of money. We’re not in it for investigatory. It isn’t a to make a lot of money. It’s all about economic development. So if there’s a path for the company to grow here in the state of Michigan and hire people and, and pay a, you know, a really good wage, that’s what, that’s what we’re looking for. So that’s really the primary.

Well, and that’s what you need. I mean, you need, and that’s, you know, that’s kind of the point of changing the focal point of the economy is you need those new economic engines to take. Like, I mean that’s, that’s the issue. I mean, you know, the, the economic engine of the automotive industry died, you know, or, or five of six cylinders are gone, you know, and so it’s not, you know, as reliable as it used to be. And so if you’re going to have, you know, it’s, we’ve had this conversation a bunch where like Michigan was pretty much the walking, talking definition of middle-class for the longest time. And that’s a roaded very hard and heavily like you don’t have, cause you don’t have those engines powering that anymore.

Very true. Very true. And it’s sad to see. Right? And so what we’re trying to do obviously is bring back good paying, good paying jobs. Yup. Very cool. Yeah.

The one of the things I was thinking about also, I was just looking at all the emerging tech stuff and some of the things, you know, I brought it up right off the bat. It was all these battery companies. Then I then you, I don’t think I’ve heard a thing for nine months. Is that, is this still is, I mean, is this still a thing in a state where we’re, we’re trying to build like that next gen battery for the electric car, I guess, where, where does that all sit?

Yeah, so, um, there was a, I think it was an Agus was before my time, but I believe in the Granholm era when she was governor, there was quite a bit of focus on battery technology. Um, and it might’ve been too early because it never really panned out very well. Um, but Western Michigan around Holland has got a couple of good, uh, really early stage battery companies that may get some, it may get some legs. So we, I don’t think from a state perspective, we’ve, you know, given up on that,

I mean, that’s the kind of thing that has a long lead time. I mean, that’s, that those things have incredibly lengthy test cycles on them. Like it’s not like you don’t, Hey, we’re going to build a plant and start cranking out batteries and they’re gonna hit the market in six months. Like that’s, that’s a few year initiative. I’m sure you look, you look at Riviera getting all a, what do they get 100 million from Amazon? Um, definitely something to hang the F, you know, or to plant a flag on saying, Hey, look what we’re doing here. Look at, you know, between like, you know, duo being valued at $1 billion and things like reveal and getting on here. Yeah. I mean this is a, it’s some, some great success stories that surviving shocked Silicon Valley, especially when duo, you know, hit the billion dollar valuation got bothered. Something that’s not heard of and it’s, you know, it’s the same conversation, you know, you used to have with, you know, a lot of your peers at one of your prior gigs where, you know, you, I remember you saying you’d be on those conference calls and just kind of gets back to, you know, just some of the positives that Michigan has to offer.

You know, your, your peers

in New York and Boston and LA would be bitching about, you know, salary and not making enough money and all that kind of stuff. And you’re like, I don’t want you talking about I, I’m good. Yup. Oh, it’s definitely, you know, getting back to the battery. Um, there is, uh, a big federally funded and MBDC funded, uh, partially battery lab, uh, at the university of Michigan’s and they’re looking at solid state batteries. You know, like you said, it’s a long, it’s a long lead time, but who knows what could come out of that. Right. I mean, and it’s not like the automotive industry is dead because I mean you, you do still have, you know, all of the connected car, you know, technology and all of the, you know, whether it’s, you know, what I’d necessarily autonomous, but you know, all the, you know, the steps to autonomous and everything else.

Um, you know, a lot of that is going on here. I mean, you know, they, there are, you know, testing centers, you know, testing basically fake cities that have been built around the area, you know, to test some of this technology. And it’s kinda cool to see that happen here as well. Oh yeah, no, there’s, there’s a huge investment by the state of Michigan, uh, through the MIDC an M. dot. And others, Michigan department of transportation and others in the automobile industry. Cause obviously it’s been the focal point for the state for years. And we are the leader. Uh, granted it’s, it’s, it’s, I think everyone would agree it’s gone down considerably, but we’re still the leader in automotive technology and we’re actually the leader right now in mobility. Um, when you look at, uh, Detroit and then you look at, uh, um, the ACM, the automobile, uh, uh, center for mobility out in Ypsilanti, and then the MCT out of the university of Michigan or other places.

There’s a lot of energy right now put up into mobility. And actually the MADC has a brand new strategic plan, which we’ve been just rolling out. And what are the focus areas? Is mobility. Okay. Which you would imagine is crack is correct. Uh, one of the other areas is advanced manufacturing because we make things really, really well in this date. And while we have, uh, another focus is medical devices. So we have a, a very strong actually medical device. A lot of is in Western Michigan. You think of Stryker, uh, and other companies. We’ve actually had a few startups on here for medical devices now that I’m thinking about it. Yeah. Yup. And, and so, but that strike I know of, and that’s, you know, that’s also advanced manufacturing to a lot of the, uh, of the medical devices. So it’s kind of, you know, where our strengths are right now.

So it’s going to be an interesting, I’m curious to get your take on it. If, if you, if you don’t have one, that’s fine. You could tell me how stupid. Um, the biggest issue right now with autonomous vehicles and getting is lidars and they have these big huge servers in the trunk is when at the end of the day when they’re collecting all this data is getting it uploaded into a data center. And what they’re doing now is they’re, they’re pulling these drives out and they’re shipping them via FedEx to data centers and the next two, three days are uploading this, uh, 20 terabyte or whatever, God knows how many, how much data is coming. So 5g now, you know, we talked about, you know, the government’s trying to give $1 billion away or something for our a 5g R and D here, your R and D here, uh, to compete with Huawei and to get ahead of the curve on that, which is good.

We always, we hear it’s going to be the devil. Then we also hear it’s going to be our savior. Right. Uh, and you know, I’m just curious, is it, was there any buddy making headway on the, in the, in that department, the, and the 5g or in the, uh, data collection for, uh, for LIDAR? Uh, not, not from an MBDC perspective. I’m sure it’s happening around, but yeah, but we’re not, we’re not involved in that at this point. All right. That’s something that, you know, I’ve been following for a long time. We were doing some projects with some other companies, uh, in Germany cause they’re, you know, the data collection part. And like I said, the, it’s insane how much data these things are collecting. Um, so how does one find out about these zones? How does one find out about, you know, applying for one of these grant programs, that kind of stuff.

Like where, where do people, like how you got an idea, where do you go? Yeah. So certainly if, if you’re in a university, so let’s say you’re still at a university, either you know, a postdoc or whatever, you have an idea at a university or you’re actually working professor at a university, you would work with your office of technology transfer. Okay? So if you have an idea, that’s where you would start. And then from there we have a three or four university programs. So we have about a third of our budget MBDC entrepreneurship budget. We have about a $16 million budget. About a third of it goes to universities. And there were, again, we’re trying to, to take technology and move it along to the point where it can be hopefully commercialized and then hopefully it’s, it’s strong enough to start a company. Okay. So that, that’s, that’s one of the places we go.

So if you had a university, go to office in a technology transfer, if you’re outside of a university and you have a tech idea, you’d go to one of your local smart zones. Okay. And again, there’s 21 of those smart zones. But if you go to Michigan business.org forward slash entrepreneurship that will connect you to all our programs that we have and they’re, they’re considerable. I, I truly believe from a, from a nationwide perspective, it’s a state of Michigan’s tech entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship programs are one of the best in the country without a doubt. Interesting. So in just I guess just to clarify, cause we do our, our demographics are a lot weirder than we ever thought they were. Um, just tech stuff or other stuff. Yes. So it is, so the group that I lead is just tech. Okay. There is, there is a separate group at the med C that handles traditional, let’s call it traditional entrepreneurship.

Okay. So if you wanted to, you know, start a restaurant or you know, hair salon or grocery store without, you know, traditional business, there is a group that helps support that same basic website and just start there. Yes, you could, you could go there, go to the MEDC website, Michigan business.org and you’ll be connected to those resources. Okay. Very cool. Awesome. Fred, seriously appreciate coming here on your day off and spend some time with us. Uh, definitely, you know, keep us in and, and you know, if you got any cool stories about any, uh, emerging companies, we’d love to have you back sometime and, uh, appreciate the time you spent with us. Great. My pleasure. Thank you gentlemen. Absolutely. So, Hey, this is going to wrap episode three 31 up for the it and the D show. Like to thank Fred Mueller from the med C. appreciate the, uh, definitely the insights and the stories given on some cool new companies coming here to the state of Michigan and, uh, how to be involved in, um, I guess, uh, on behalf of a Bob, Dave and Randy, do us all a favor, drink up your drinks, get your phone numbers.

You don’t get to go home. You just gotta get the hell outta here. See you next week. Drive careful. Beat it. See you guys.


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