Michigan 50 Companies to Watch 2006

Wednesday was a pleasurable day to say the least. Several Oneupweb staffers, company CEO and Founder Lisa Wehr among them, traveled south from our Lake Leelanau global headquarters to the Kellogg Center on the Michigan State University campus. The Oneupweb crew made the trip to pick up our award as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch 2006. I spoke with great people from several other 50 Companies to Watch. I was enthused to see so many proud and successful innovators. Together our companies span industries and the geography of Michigan. Happily I took it all in with co-workers who are among the best people I have known. Spending the night on the campus of my alma mater didn’t hurt too much either.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s address at the front end of the event was spirited, optimistic, and delivered with the role-up-the sleeves polish we have come to know her for. Check out Oneupweb’s press release on the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, and learn more about key sponsor The Edward Lowe Foundation.

With over 50 companies and 700 attendees, I couldn’t possibly have talked to as many of the lively crowd as I’d wished. I did have the pleasure of meeting Jack Aronson, President of Garden Fresh Gourmet Salsa, Inc. His tortilla chips and salsas have been gobbled by the Oneupweb crew innumerable times, and are especially satisfying at our summer Friday BBQ’s.

Mobius Microsystems Inc. was recognized for innovation of the year for their patented tiny semi-conductor technology that generates electrical clock signals. The device could fit inside the printed period at the end of a sentence in most magazines. I know the search marketing industry I love so much can get technical, but one has to stand back and marvel at people like Mobius’ Michael McCorquodale who explained some of the details of their pioneering tech component.

We laughed and talked Up-North with some of the folks from Strathmore Development Co. out of East Lansing. Strathmore Founder and President Scott Chappelle was on hand Wednesday. Chappelle and his team are a dynamic and conversational bunch. All were enthusiastic about their developments in Petoskey, Grand Ledge, and Bonita Bay, FL to name a few.

I had the pleasure of meeting CEO Craig Bush and President Craig Harden of Viewpiont Mobility LLC of Kalamzoo, MI. A film shot of Viewpoint Mobility’s rear-entry wheelchair accessible van offered stunning imagery for the MI 50 Companies to Watch attendees. Bush explained that his customers have been satisfied with the benefits of Viewpoint Mobility’s design over the more traditional side-entry approach. Look for Viewpoint Mobility customizations of GM, Ford, and Chrysler chassis.

I look forward to spending the time to learn more about the other companies I didn’t have the opportunity to connect with. Surely we all deserve a hand for leading the way in the new Michigan economy. Let’s all keep working together to keep our state vibrant!

Nothing beats a spring day on the campus of Michigan State University. The temperature was a comfy 72 degrees giving the students a chance to show their summer faces a couple of months early. I felt their excitement as I strolled with them along the Red Cedar River near the Library. Cliché as it sounds, these Spartans are the next group to innovate and usher Michigan ever forward. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be recognized with Lisa and everyone at Oneupweb. We thank everyone involved as we can now say, “Oneupweb is one of the 50 Companies to Watch in Michigan!”