Innovation and entrepreneurship in the news

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LinkedIn shows off its new space in Detroit's downtown

LinkedIn opened the doors of its new permanent regional home on Woodward to visitors Wednesday, among the latest businesses to locate in the downtown Detroit corridor. Officials and area professionals were on hand to celebrate with the professional network site's space at 1523 Woodward, a 75,000-square-foot office in the Albert Kahn-designed Sanders and Grinnell buildings. Keith Whitfield, provost of Wayne State University, said he’s excited to have LinkedIn expanding in Detroit. There’s so much to do, there’s so much capacity and so much opportunity,” he said. “We want to make the opportunities for people, the mobility for people in terms of jobs.” 
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Marijuana a sure thing for entrepreneurs?

Jeff Stoltman, a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business, said a lot of his students look at opening a marijuana business as a sure thing. Stoltman said he pushes his students who are interested in the pot business to dig deeper into market realities. "They’re looking at this tremendous explosive growth in the states where the cannabis business was liberated a little earlier and there is this ‘Why not here, why not me?’ They don’t dig too deep to find out who is really benefiting the most of those kind of operations and what was the path that they took and can they replicate that here.”
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Motor City Match winner Rebel Cycle Studio opens in Detroit

A 35-year-old Wayne State University writing instructor is offering more classes outside of her day job. Amy Latawiec invested $40,000 to launch Rebel Cycle Studio LLC in the Detroit City Fieldhouse in Detroit's lower east side. The new fitness center's mission is to "shatter perceptions of what healthy 'looks' like" by promoting a supportive, body-positive environment in cycling classes for beginners to experts. The indoor cycle studio won a $5,000 grant from Motor City Match in August to get the off the ground. Latawiec, a former triathlete who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012, was inspired to open the studio as a graduate student at Wayne State University. She earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the Detroit college.
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WSU hosts DHack June 21-24

WSU hosted 600 attendees on campus for the newly rebranded DHack: Detroit's Hackathon. During DHack, college and high school students and the community came together to create tech projects in an overnight event culminating in cash and technology prizes for the winning projects. Formerly known as HackWSU, DHack transformed the second floor of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library into a hub of ideas and innovation as beginner, intermediate and expert hackers collaborating on software and hardware projects, including mobile apps, web applications, robotics, drones and more. .

Wayne State University launches Innovation Hub to maximize student success

As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

Innovative Partnership Increases Exposure For Detroit’s Largest Archival Repository

Historical materials preserved at the Walter P. Reuther Library are receiving increased exposure and research use through an innovative partnership with the Digital Publishing Unit in the University Library System. The Reuther Library is the largest archival repository in Detroit and preserves primary sources related to the history of organized labor in North America, urban affairs in Southeast Michigan and Wayne State University. 
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Cleo CEO, CTO to Share Big Data Production Implementation Tips at Annual Symposium

Cleo, a global leader in managed file transfer and multi-enterprise integration solutions, returns to Detroit this week to sponsor and speak at the 2017 Big Data & Business Analytics symposium at Wayne State University. The annual event, which is hosted by Wayne State’s Big Data & Business Analytics Group and runs Thursday and Friday, March 23 and 24, brings together industry experts to exchange insights on big data strategies and best practices to drive business growth.

Big Data, Business Analytics Symposium

DETROIT – Wayne State University will host its fourth annual Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium on March 23 and 24 at the WSU Student Center. More than 100 leading companies in varied fields such as health care, finance, information technology, energy, automotive, manufacturing and supply chain management will converge to discuss how big data strategies can drive business success. As in years past, the conference agenda is built around the case studies of top practitioners and industry leaders. The symposium, which will stretch to two full days of activities this year, also presents keynote addresses from big data and analytics experts as well as tutorials, networking receptions, panel discussions and a startup company showcase — a new feature for the event. “The panel sessions will create some rich discussions that will provide some clarity on big data, and we will complement these conversations with case studies where companies can report on real experiences and share best practices,” said Ratna Babu Chinnam, professor and co-director for the Big Data and Business Analytics Group at Wayne State University. The philosophy of sharing and open discussion is at the core of this year’s event theme, “Doing it Right.” Chinnam explains that many companies launch data analysis initiatives that are not only expensive but also do not provide sufficient insight for developing sound strategies in marketing, product development, distribution sales or service. “It’s not about companies coming in and saying ‘this is the right way to do it,’” said Chinnam. “We want them to tell others what they’ve done, what experiences they had with various projects, and what were the lessons learned so that others can benefit.” Since its inception in 2014, the symposium has provided a platform for businesses and data-intensive individuals to learn new ways to navigate the vastly expanding big data space. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the last two years. The Big Data and Business Analytics Group at Wayne State was formed to develop innovative answers as to how to manage and leverage this information — as evidenced by the success of the symposium, which saw over 300 attendees in 2016. The group is anticipating up to 400 guests this year. Wayne State’s commitment to leadership in big data was taken a step further when the WSU Board of Governors approved a new Master of Science program in Data Science and Business Analytics, a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Mike Ilitch School of Business that will launch this fall. Early bird registration for the Big Data and Business Analytics Symposium ends March 5. Learn more about the event at
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Roundup: Fuyao, WSU Translational Research, Deadlines Galore & More

Wayne State University has appointed Phillip Levy, a doctor and professor of emergency medicine, to head up its new Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation program. Housed in WSU’s Integrative Biosciences Center, the Center for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation will become the hub of campus-wide clinical research aimed at improving healthcare in Detroit and southeast Michigan.
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Microsoft CEO condemns immigrant ban

Detroit — The CEO of Microsoft Corp. and the billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Inc. took subtle swipes during a downtown Wednesday chat at the immigration ban proposed by President Trump. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, born in India, began his conversation with Dan Gilbert by stating he was a product of “American ingenuity” and “American enlightened immigration policy.” The two held a half-hour talk in front of a crowd of downtown tech workers, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne State University M. Roy Wilson.

Automotive Innovation Center offers hands-on education

Innovation is at the heart of engineering and manufacturing - and sometimes these advancements can come from unexpected places. To foster pursuit of these advancements, automotive seating and electrical systems manufacturer Lear has taken over a historic building in downtown Detroit to launch their new Innovation Center. The center is planned as a hub for creativity, automotive advanced concept development and hands-on learning for Detroit college students studying engineering and design. As part of an effort to revitalize the Capitol Park area, the new space will allow for development of new automotive products and technologies, encourage non-automotive business opportunities and foster collaboration with Wayne State University’s College of Engineering  and the College for Creative Studies.
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Detroit Free Press: Gilbert, Ross each donate $5 million to Wayne State Law

Both Dan Gilbert and Stephen Ross will donate $5 million to Wayne State University’s Law School in honor of outgoing dean Jocelyn Benson, the school will announce today. The pair – each alumni of the school – will give the gifts to establish the Benson Legacy Fund for Wayne Law and the Benson Endowed Enhancement Fund for Wayne Law. The money will be spent at the discretion of the school’s dean to further the school. Benson is leaving the school at the end of the month to work for a new organization headed by Ross. Each gift is the largest single gift ever received by the law school. “I am thrilled to have two of Wayne Law’s most successful and influential alumni unite to make this historic investment in the future of our law school,” Benson said in a written statement. “It is an honor to count them both as members of the Wayne Law family; their accomplishments and leadership are an inspiration for our entire community.” The announcement comes as Gilbert and Ross are inducted, along with 11 others, as part of the inaugural class of the Miller Family Wayne Law Alumni Wall of Fame. The wall of fame – the highest award presented by Wayne Law – is awarded to alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their fields, or in the betterment of humanity, or to former faculty and staff who have had a significant impact on the law school. The gifts from Ross and Gilbert are part of Wayne State’s $750-million Pivotal Moments fund-raising campaign. Including their gifts, the campaign has raised more than $590 million. With their gifts, the law school has raised nearly $24 million of its $30-million goal for the campaign. "Both Mr. Ross and Mr. Gilbert have worked to revitalize development in urban cities and build a sense of community through numerous projects,” Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said in a statement. “Their generous gifts will help Wayne Law continue to play a significant part in the renaissance of Detroit.”
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Tech magazine ranks Wayne State spinoff as 37th smartest company in world

The MIT Technology Review has named Ann Arbor-based RetroSense Therapeutics LLC, a spinoff from Wayne State University in 2009, to its annual list of the 50 smartest companies in the world. It was the only company based in Michigan to make the list. The editors rank companies based on how their innovative technologies combine with a strong business model. They rated RetroSense, whose drug to treat patients with retinitis pigmentosa began human trials in March, at 37. RetroSense's drug, with the working name of RST-001, was first administered to a patient at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas. RST-001 has shown in animal trials that its gene-based therapy can confer light sensitivity to cells in the retina, where previously deterioration of rod and cone photoreceptors had caused blindness. The clinical study is based on the research of Zhuo-Hua Pan, a professor of ophthalmology and cell biology at Wayne State and scientific director of the Ligon Research Center of Vision at the Kresge Eye Institute, and Richard Masland of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. "This is exciting recognition for RetroSense and all of its efforts in finding a way to restore sight," said Joan Dunbar, associate vice president for technology commercialization at Wayne State. "Without the efforts of Sean Ainsworth, RetroSense's CEO, the company would not be in patient clinical trial stages. It is Sean's critical efforts that are bringing this important research to life, and hopefully they will be successfully taking their clinical trials to the bedside in the near future." "This is another example of the strong innovation ecosystem here in Detroit and at Wayne State University," said Stephen Lanier, vice president for research at Wayne State. "It's very nice to see RetroSense being recognized for moving this technology forward, which has the potential for broad impact."