annarbor.com reports, private equity investment company Greenfield Partners will be throwing big bucks at University of Michigan students’ startup businesses. Read the article, “Investment company moves to Ann Arbor to provide funding for University of Michigan student entrepreneurs,” by Tom Perkins, on annarbor.com
Ben Rye, who owns Greenfield Partners with his father Jon, told Perkins; “We’re interested in ideas started by students in the engineering and medical programs and really leveraging their ideas...because it’s difficult for students to know where to go in starting to look for assistance.”
Hopefully their investments will establish companies that will one day lead their industries in the 21st-century. Here on the The Center for 21st Century Communities (21c3) website, we’ve been blogging about entrepreneurship and seven other “assets” that make communities vibrant places to live and work. It’s good to see such investment happening here in Michigan.
The companies first project will grant $10K to the winner of a contest through incubator Techarb. After that, their startup investments will range from $10K to $150K.
“Beyond funding students’ start ups, Greenfield Partners is also interested in middle market companies they could purchase and turn around, for which typical investments would run between $2 million and $10 million,” Perkins reports.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info.
I spent my first two years of university at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, a small liberal arts college situated along a mile-long “Middle Path” pedestrian and bike trail. There wasn’t much need for a car on campus. Ten years later, current Kenyon students continue to use Middle Path to bike or walk to class, go to the post office, or visit Gambier’s small cluster of shops, bars and coffee houses.
I think my fellow Kenyon students generally trusted one another - some of them left their dorm room doors and bikes unlocked. However, it wasn’t uncommon to wake up in the morning and find that your bike had mysteriously disappeared overnight. It was disconcerting, but chances were that it was not lost and gone forever. It was probably just left somewhere on the other end of Middle Path by a sleepy student who didn’t feel like walking the mile home after studying (or partying) until 3 o’clock in the morning. It was annoying and technically theft, but many times these bikes were getting “borrowed” in moments when people could really use a bike. Some people got really mad when their bike was taken. Others laughed and joked about the unspoken etiquette of “borrowing” bikes (something that I never did, for the record). We made up fake rules, like #1 Return the Bike When You Are Done Using It!
This memory popped into my head after reading an Associated Press article about how “bike-sharing” is becoming a trend across the country. Cities and universities are trying out things like community bike kiosks and stations that allow people to use public bikes for free or a minimal charge. Here in Michigan, the MSU Bikes (on-campus bike shop, repair, and rental) deserves kudos for making bikes more accessible to students. Students at the University of Michigan are exploring the viability of bike-sharing programs.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info
On the eve of president Obama's commencement address to University of Michigan graduates, I am thinking about the little "salad bowl" of personalities and ethnicities that is Ann Arbor. Whether you voted for the president or not, nobody can really discount the fact that his election made a lot of people think harder about who this country really is.
But I am sometimes plagued by a question; How does one go about championing multiculturalism and diversity in a "post-Obama-election" age that everyone is quickly equating to racial politics? What are we really talking about here?
Campaigning politicians like to tell anecdotes about everyday people to get their platforms across to the general public. In that vain, I ventured into the blog-o-sphere and found a woman who is sharing her experiences and expertise on multiculturalism and diversity. Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is “a writer, editor, speaker, multicultural educator, and activist on Asian Pacific American community issues," according to her annarbor.com profile - she is lead multicultural contributor and blogs about "Adventures in Multicultural Living." Wang is also an editor for IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, another online resource for you to peruse. You can also read more from her on her "Multicultural Toolbox" website, and her blog.
Hers is but one voice. My point is not to find somebody to speak for everybody - nor to endorse her individual ideas. I would suggest taking a look at how one single person can contribute to the discussion in an active, engaged way - you can search for others on your own. She will also keep you posted on diversity-related events, announcements about what other people are doing to work towards a better understanding of multiculturalism, and she throws in plenty of anecdotes about her own experience as a second-generation Chinese-American living in our country.