Business

two men building skateboard ramp
Jerry Norris

Many businesses get their start with the help of an incubator, a company that offers support and training to startups. Current State talks to some of the people behind Grand Ledge Fledge, a local incubator trying to enhance the culture and fill vacant storefronts in the city's downtown.  

winery photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

When you think of Michigan’s wine country,  you probably think of the vineyards in places like Traverse City or the Leelanau Peninsula.

But while the sandy soil along the lakeshore is where most of the state’s wine grapes are grown, there are plenty of wineries in other parts of the state.  

Burgdorf’s Winery in Haslett is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

When owners Deb and Dave Burgdorf started the winery 10 years ago, they were actually working out of their garage.  They’ve expanded since then.  

American Airlines plane photo
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

Sun Country Airlines operates flights from Lansing to Washington D.C., but the carrier is leaving town in October. Now, the biggest name in U.S. aviation is hoping to take over that market. Current State speaks with Bob Selig of the Capital Region Airport Authority.


Matthew McLeod and David Kositchek
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Kositchek’s department store has been dressing Lansing men in high-end suits for 150 years. The store is a fourth generation family business. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with president David Kositchek.

Mid-Michigan entrepreneur warns of "patent trolls"

Jul 15, 2015
Tom Stewart photo
Courtesy Tom Stewart / NEO Center

Lansing entrepreneur Tom Stewart says "patent trolls" undermine legitimate business, burdening them with costly legal fees.

Michigan is home to a diverse array of industries.  Long gone are the days when auto manufacturing was the sole driver of our state’s economy.  Our 21st century economy constantly demands new advances in technology and innovation.

Contract talks are starting today between union bargainers and the management of General Motors. Current State talks with Sean McAlinden of Ann Arbor’s Center for Automotive Research.


Amy Iezzoni photo
Courtesy MSU Department of Horticulture

MSU horticulture professor Amy Iezzoni explains the science behind the state’s cherry industry and her work to bring varieties from around the world to Michigan.


Michigan chestnuts pop into new role as beer ingredient

Jul 6, 2015

There's a new beer brewing trend in Michigan: using chestnuts as an ingredient.


Algae is usually a nuisance. The green slime is unsightly and can cause water quality problems. But one Michigan company is harnessing algae’s potential benefits, including treating wastewater. Current State talks to CEO of Algal Scientific Geoff Horst.


Shield and three swords
Valyrian Steel

We hear about a company that’s bringing a little bit of Westeros to East Lansing. Current State’s April Van Buren talks to the owner of Valyrian Steel, the officially licensed merchandiser for the HBO series Game of Thrones. 

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

There’s a lot of buzz these days about drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles have a range of uses, from military and police surveillance to search and rescue. In private hands, drones are purely recreational toys for some people, but others are capitalizing on their economic potential.

http://www.csus.msu.edu/

It’s the first week of June, soon school will be out of session, and the beaches are beckoning. Michigan is expecting a strong summer tourism season in 2015, as families plan trips to all manner of destinations across the Great Lakes State.

Startup brings broadband to rural Kent County

May 29, 2015

Here on Current State we have devoted a lot of air time to people and groups looking to encourage small business startups in Michigan. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has the story of the founder of a small West Michigan startup, and his thoughts on how it became successful.

LSJ reporter on BWL’s settlement with former GM

May 20, 2015
Wikimedia Commons/Paul R. Kucher

Four months of negotiations between Lansing’s Board of Water and Light and the utility’s former General Manager, Peter Lark, concluded last night.

BWL commissioners agreed unanimously to settle with Mr. Lark for $650,000 after his January dismissal “for cause” by those same commissioners.  A dismissal “for cause” implies employee misconduct.  Current State gets an update from LSJ reporter Steven Reed, who has covered the BWL since the 2013 ice storm that eventually led to yesterday’s agreement.  

Courtesy Startup Grind Lansing

Few if any Lansing success stories compare with that of Two Men and a Truck. The moving company began in 1985 as an after school endeavor with an advertising budget in a ceramic dish.  Today, founder Mary Ellen Sheets leads a company whose revenue clears $300-million annually. Two Men and a Truck has locations in 39 states and four countries. It has completed roughly five million moves. It also donates about two and a half million dollars in moving services annually.

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