Need your opinion- Would serve you better as a Business Networking Portal?

This past month, our parent company launched:, as a unique “petworking” portal for animal lovers and pet lovers to share laughs, stories, blog posts, pictures and videos.  The social networking site  is proving to be a very successful.

The site is setup similar to a “facebook” website where members can join groups, post events, post blogs, pictures and videos, while at the same time – they can view and “like” friend’s photos and content or even publicly posted content.

We recently joined the website (as and encourage our members to join also – please let us know what you think.

The question that we have for our followers is:  Would better serve you if it was a more “business networking” website?  Each member would still have their own “business advertisement” page – but they would also be able to create groups, upload images, create blogs etc..

What do you think?  Would it be more useful?  Please respond @michiganbd or on our facebook page: 

Making It In Michigan Conference Offers Food and Agricultural Entrepreneurs Educational Opportunity To Launch Product Ideas Into Companies

Making It In Michigan Conference Offers Food and Agricultural Entrepreneurs Educational Opportunity To Launch Product Ideas Into Companies

One-Day Event Provides Learning Sessions and One-on-One Counseling With Leading Michigan Experts


Contact:  Matthew Birbeck


EAST LANSING, Mich. – For new entrepreneurs or established food companies thinking about creating and launching that next new food product or idea, the fifth annual Making It In Michigan conference can help bring that concept to fruition. Hosted by the Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center, the conference is designed to connect budding entrepreneurs and established food businesses with the resources of the center, including multiple educational sessions, a keynote address from a Michigan-based entrepreneur and owner of 140 coffee cafes in six states and the opportunity to network with over 150 vendors of Michigan specialty food products.

Conference attendees will leave the conference equipped with the practical knowledge and industry resources needed to move an idea from the concept stage to a finished and marketable product. Attendees will be able to corroborate and refine business ideas, connecting with industry experts offering insights and tips on managing the common hurdles often encountered by food companies, including food safety, production, working with co-packers, marketing and supply chain issues.

“This year’s theme is ‘Sustainable to Sensational’ focusing on enabling excellence in your idea or business, not matter what your size or stage,” states Matthew Birbeck, MSU Product Center’s High Impact Venture Action Team Project Manager. “If you have an idea for a food business, a product developed and need distribution channels or just want to learn more about making your business more efficient and profitable, this is the one day you do not want to miss,” says Birbeck.

The Making It In Michigan Conference will be held Thursday, November 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.

The educational sessions will bring together leading Michigan experts to help guide attendees through starting businesses in the following areas:

• Growing Your Specialty Food Business Even Further – Latest Consumer Trends and Keeping Ahead of the Competition and Advice and Tips For Entering and Succeeding in Retail
• It’s All About the Product In the Package – Keeping Your Food Product Premium and Product Production in a Kitchen Incubator

• Marketing Your Food Product – Logo and Product Branding and Product Labeling

• Keeping Regulatory Requirements in Check and Product Packaging Inspection

The keynote speaker will be Bob Fish, CEO and Co-Founder of BIGGBY COFFEE. Bob will discuss the seven core values of entrepreneurship, his experience with homegrown, Michigan-made success and how he made his dream a reality. During lunch John Tilden with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will deliver an address regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Conference participants will also have time to network with the winners of this year’s MSU Product Center awards and learn from their success stories. Awards will be presented for the Best Barrier Buster, Most Successful Business Transition and Best Innovative Business Idea. MSU Product Center innovation counselors and staff members, Product Center clients, business consultants, regulatory officials and food and farming groups will also be available to provide in-depth information and counseling.

The Marketplace trade show in the afternoon will feature over 150 new and existing businesses that will be showcasing their food products to the general public and Michigan-based food buyers.

The $75 per person conference registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and educational sessions, digital copies of all presentations and reference materials and admission to the Marketplace trade show.

More information and conference registration materials are available at Those interested in attending can also call Greta McKinney at 517-353-7185 or send an email to
About the MSU Product Center

Founded in 2003, the MSU Product Center helps Michigan entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture, natural resources and bioeconomy sectors. The Center’s statewide network of innovation counselors provides business counseling support to Michigan residents interested in starting or expanding a business or product line.

The Product Center’s assistance in launching 229 known new businesses and business expansions has had the following estimated economic impacts:

• Increased annual sales: $303.4 million (cumulative first year sales only)

• Value of increased investment: $310.5 million

• Jobs created: 917

• Jobs retained: 412

### Event Calendar – More Free Marketing

Getting the word out can be frustrating – even when you have something REALLY important to say or tell.

The FREE Michigan Business Event Calendar can help. If you would like to get the word out about an event happening in the state of Michigan, be sure to add it to the event calendar.

With over 40,000 members, the Michigan Business Directory is an excellent place to advertise your event especially if it caters to small and medium sized business owners.  But that’s not all, the calendar also has events listed that are recreational in nature or sporting events.

Come on over, register and add your events.  It’s free and where else can you get 40,000 eyes on something for free!