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A Note From Our Director
OU INC Director Amy Butler
Amy Butler



As we begin 2014, we celebrate change and growth. Not unlike our goal to innovate, accelerate, and educate, OU INC clients and associates have taken steps to develop new technologies and skills. Beginning with a Michigan energy forum, this volume of the newsletter highlights some of the growth and development seen in the community and state.

Some of the positive improvements that can be seen in the following stories show educational growth, as in the case of young people becoming interested in engineering, as well as through graduating engineering undergraduate students. With regional and national awards and recognitions, OU INC clients have also seen new developments and positive changes emerge for their companies. Events hosted at the incubator encouraged growth and skill development though networking, business education, and knowledge of policies and trends in energy and how that will engage innovation.

We look forward to seeing this trend of growth and innovation continue for 2014.





Featured Events
Advancing Michigan's Energy Forum

 Diane Byrum introduces a panel at the MI Energy MI Jobs Advancing Energy Forum
Diane Byrum introduces panelists Douglas Jester, Joshua Brugeman and Jim Leidel.

On September 30, 2013, OU INC hosted the Advancing Michigan's Energy Forum. The forum, put together in collaboration with Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, hosted a number of speakers who discussed various energy topics, energy situations and the future of energy use in the state.

These speakers included Dianne Byrum, former Democratic leader of the Michigan House of Representatives and partner at Byrum and Fisk Communications, Steve Bakkal, Director of the Michigan Energy Office, Joshua Brugeman, Director of Energy Efficiency at Next Energy, and Jim Leidel, Director of Clean Energy Systems at OU INC.

Michigan Shifting Gears 

       Michigan Shifting Gears Graduates, December 2013
Michigan Shifting Gears Graduation celebration at OU INC, December, 2013.

Michigan Shifting Gears, a career transition program for seasoned professionals who are looking to change careers, hosted its graduation celebration at OU INC in December. The event was kicked off by the program's creator Diana Wong, PhD, founder and CEO of Sensei Change Associates, as well as Amy Cell, Senior Vice President of Talent Enhancement at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The keynote speaker for the graduation was Retired Major General Robert W. Smith III.

Shifting Gears is designed for people with several years of work experience who are looking to begin a new career. The program was started in 2009, and is designed to aid in the career transition process, regardless of participants' current employment situations.

Registration for winter 2014 cohorts, which will be held in the Great Lakes Bay region and Ann Arbor, closes on Friday, January 10. Future classes will be held throughout the state beginning in April. For more information or registration, visit


Sunrise Pinnacle Awards

Dr. Chris Kobus with award winner Bernard Sullivan
Dr. Chris Kobus and winner Bernard Sullivan

On October 11, the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce held the Sunrise Pinnacle Awards at the Royal Park Hotel in downtown Rochester, to honor various members of the community for their services. Oakland University mechanical engineering professor Chris Kobus presented the OU INC Economic Development Award to Bernard Sullivan.

Sullivan, founder of the Livonia-based Sullivan Corporation, was given the award based on his work with the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce SCORE program, which helps news businesses get off the ground. Sullivan has been a part of this entrepreneurial development program for the past decade.

Unclassified NATO Meeting at OU INC

To fulfill its NATO obligations, the US participates in several ways, including the Land Capability Group Land Engagement (LCGLE). Participating nations are tasked with standardization in order to improve interoperability of land engagement assets among allies.

The US Army TARDEC hosted an unclassified NATO meeting with participating NATO nations at the Oakland University Incubation Center 17-20 September. The objective of this session was to continue the development of standards for the performance leveling of Defensives Aid Suites (DAS), commonly referred to as Active Protection in the U.S. This activity is covered in STANAG 4686. The objective of this meeting was to further define the methodology for assigning performance leveling to Active Protection Systems for the purpose of future selection by our NATO allies. The Team of Experts is comprised of designated Government officials from each participating nation. The U.S. Head of Delegation Authority for 4686 resides with U.S. Army TARDEC at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI.


NATO flag 

Girl Scout Junior FIRST Lego Kickoff


Girl Scouts at OU INC
Girl Scouts learn new STEM skills at OU INC.

This fall, OU INC hosted over 150 Girl Scouts and their parents for a day of learning. On Saturday, October 14, the business incubator hosted the Junior FIRST Lego Girl Scout Kickoff. This event, sponsored by the University, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and three local FIRST Robotics teams, promoted interest in STEM (or science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and was geared toward elementary school Girl Scouts. It was hosted by the School of Engineering and Computer Science Outreach Program and OU INC.

The girls were given the opportunity to experience different STEM demonstrations, such as using Lego robotics, constructing paper helicopters, computer programming, career brainstorming, and even riding a Segway.

Senior Engineering Design Projects

The capstone senior design class for engineering students is comprised of teams of mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering majors collaborating on a working robotic model. This year, the teams were asked to create an autonomous device that can run a slalom course through 6-8 small orange plastic cones. Time and accuracy around the cones and back, as well as the cost of creating the project are scoring factors for the competition.
Aside from the competition, teams are required to create a final written report, explaining how their project uses applicable professional engineering standards, what impact it could have on society, who potential customers could be, reliability and aesthetics, among other factors.



An engineering senior design team runs their robot throught the course.
Senior engineering students run their robots through the course.

FIRST Robotics Team

 Dr. Khalid Merza and Mustangs plan how to build their robot.
Dr. Khalid Merza and some Mustang team members plan out their robot.

Oakland University-sponsored FIRST Robotics Teams from Troy's Boulan Park Middle School received awards in November after competing in the MI FTC Canton Qualifier. These young teams competed against 7th to 12th graders to design, build and program robots to compete against and collaborate with robots from other schools. The Mustangs, a new team coached by Oakland Engineering professor Khalid Mirza, earned the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. The other team from Boulan Park, the Broncos, won the competition and will be going to the State Championship. 

 Client News
Two OU INC Clients win at AMIC
    AutoBike Logo

CureLauncher Logo

Two OU INC clients recently claimed first-place finishes and won $25,000 each in North America's largest business plan competition, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC). At the competition, AutoBike won in the Next Generation Manufacturing category and CureLauncher took first place in the Life Sciences category.

AMIC is an international business event designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. Individuals and organizations with the best and brightest new business concepts competed to attract local and national investment capital to help foster their business.

AutoBike is a new venture that has created technology that monitors a bicycle's operating environment and adjusts the gear so that the user can simply hop on and enjoy the ride.

solves the clinical trial enrollment problem by using a patent-pending, technology-enabled process that translates enrolling trial information to improve patient understanding, matches patients to enrolling trials and contacts trial sites on behalf of patients.

Auburn Hills based start-up Munetrix is successfully taking Public Private Partnerships to the next level by including non-profits. Already deeply ingrained in the public sector with local governments and school districts, Munetrix announced a new data sharing agreement with Michigan-based Municipal Advisory Council, a Detroit not-for-profit. This announcement coupled with the existing partnerships Munetrix has with Oakland University, the Citizen's Research Council of Michigan, SEMCOG, the two northernmost lower peninsula COGs (NEMCOG and NWMCOG) plus the state's major school associations, Munetrix is on a path to create a new acronym – the P4! Munetrix has been an Oakland University Business Incubator partner since 2012. They are a provider of financial transparency data for municipalities and local school districts in Michigan.

 Munetrix Logo
N-Finite Supply
In October, NFINITE–SUPPLY, a veteran-owned small business, successfully launched their ecommerce platform and virtual supply chain system. Today, their offering is in excess of 5,000 brands and suppliers and over 500,000 items that can be delivered next day to over 95% of the US. Their first month membership grew to over 300 users, representing 53 educational institutions in 31 states. In 2013 they have added investors and welcomed new board members and additional resources in marketing, curriculum development and investor relations. They have expanded in just a few short months from 3 to 8 employees. NFINITE-SUPPLY is also applying for patents for their mobile application currently in development and working on next generation education and government purchasing platform technology. They are currently fundraising to accelerate system and sales expansion.

In December 2013, Wesley International Pack Mule visited OU INC client iTrack to view a demonstration and beta test of the latest technology in Autonomous Ground Vehicles. The technology proves to be highly flexible, easier and less expensive to implement and change, and highly fault resistant and easy to maintain. Wesley produced a YouTube promotional video for their tugger vehicles during that demonstration featuring the iTrack technology.

iTrack, a Michigan-based company, was established in 2008, and specializes in creating precise tracking and autonomous navigational systems in GPS-denied environments.

Screenshot of autonomous vehicle in YouTube video
Call For News:
The OU INC Team welcomes any news or article ideas that you may have for us to post in our newsroom, as well as in our newsletter. We are looking for ideas ranging from information about upcoming events to profiles about inspiring professionals. Please send any ideas to, or call Alicia Linn at (248) 648-4803.
Pure Michigan SmartZone, Rochester Hills Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion
2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
(248) 648-4800

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Around the Region

January 10, 2014

Michigan Shifting Gears Registration



January 16, 2014

Market Entrance: Establishment of Local Distributor Relationships

Where: Macomb-OU INC
Contact: Joan Carleton,
(586) 884-9324


January 23, 2014

Market Entrance: Establishment of a Subsidiary

Where: Macomb-OU INC
Contact: Joan Carleton,
(586) 884-9324


January 30, 2014

Market Entrance: Establishment of Joint Ventures

Where: Macomb-OU INC
Contact: Joan Carleton,
(586) 884-9324

January 30, 2014

Annual Conference for Entrepreneurship: ACE'14 Conference

Where: Burton Manor, 27777 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia MI 48150

More info