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



OU INC's mission to innovate, accelerate, and educate spans across several industry sectors critical to the region including energy, automotive, information technology and medical devices. This volume of our newsletter focuses on the medical sector. The path to commercialization for medical devices can be complex and arduous, which also presents opportunities to innovate.

Several OU INC clients have developed key innovations to expedite and simplify this process. Some are highlighted here along with upcoming regional and international events. More information can be found on Michigan's medical device industry in this month's Xology Magazine publication, as well as at Medical Main Street's INNO-VENTION 2013 Conference this November.



Featured Events
Medical Main Street's INNO-VENTION 2013

Medical Main Street's INNO-VENTION, Nov 6-8, Troy Marriot

Information Technology has taken a foothold within health care and mobile technology. Medical Main Street, powered by Oakland County, understands the importance of IT and the continuously evolving health care industry, which is the central focus of INNO-VENTION 2013 – a Medical Main Street Conference.
INNO-VENTION 2013 – set for Nov. 6-8 at the Troy Marriott – highlights how IT is fueling changes in health care and the next generation of medical devices. More than 600 professionals in health care, mHealth, medical device manufacturing, and other life science industries are expected to attend.
"We bring together a unique alliance of world-class hospitals, universities, biopharma and medical device companies that keep each other informed of the latest developments," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Medical Main Street and the INNO-VENTION conference raise the region's visibility and our reputation as an engine of innovation in health care and the life sciences."


Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Accelerate Michigan logo

  Entrepreneurs and students will be presenting their business concepts at the 2013 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition on November 12-14. The goal of the competition is to seek out the best and brightest new ideas to invest capital to help foster growth within Michigan. AMIC was founded by New Economy Initiative, Ann Arbor Spark, Automation Alley and MAComb-OU INC. The winning company vision will receive $500,000, while the winning student business concepts will win $25,000.

More Info
 Summer Outreach Medical Imaging Camp
Summer Camp students listen to a class about medical imaging at Beaumont Hospital's medical imaging lab.
 Beaumont Hospital's Imaging Lab

This summer, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Chris Kobus led the "I See You" Workshop, an outreach program for high school students interested in biomedical imaging. Designed to raise awareness of technology, and to show a relationship between medicine and engineering, this four-week educational workshop brought students to Oakland's Campus for a look into what medical imaging is all about.

Sessions included learning about imaging technology, MRIs, the history of the x-ray, and even a tour of the state-of-the-art 3D Imaging Lab at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. This partnership with Beaumont was an obvious one, says Kobus. "It turns out that Beaumont has resources dedicated specifically to outreach and is actively seeking partnerships like this one. It was an easy match."

MMIC "Best Shot" Competition at OU-INC

On Tuesday, September 10, OU INC hosted the "Best Shot Competition" in collaboration with the Mid-Michigan Innovation Center (MMIC). This competition allowed businesses to present a customer pitch to a team of expert judges while a live audience looked on. The grand prize included a one-year membership to both OU INC and MMIC, legal services from Witzke Berry Carter and Wander PLLC, as well as printing services from Spartan Printing and tickets to the MMIC "Crowd Camp" at Ann Arbor Spark.

The judges for the competition were James Croce of Greenlark Energy Partners, LLC, Amanda Chocko of Start Garden, and Joey Silvian of Virtual Interactive Agency.

Coming out on top of the competition was Damon Bryant, PhD of 1st and Goal Recruiting.

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Mid-Michigan Innovation Center logo

 Client and Business News
Michigan Life Science Council
Michigan Life Science Council logo

OU INC services the medical device community through strategic partners such as the Michigan Life Sciences Council. The Council is a consortium of business professionals that offer their expertise to businesses in the life sciences fields. Understanding the needs of advanced manufacturing and healthcare in Michigan, the Life Sciences Council is a "one-stop shop" for companies in the emerging life sciences sector. It allows online and one-on-one access to legal, financial and tax experts, as well as many other professionals in their respective fields.

There is an increasing demand for new products and services from Michigan's life science sector, covering fields from traditional health care, chiropractic and holistic care to medical devices. The Council is poised to assist these organizations as they grow and face new challenges. All of the professionals have many years of experience in their particular niche of life sciences, and are excited to meet and work with these entrepreneurs.

Versicor is a start-up company that offers a hardware and software platform used to build medical devices. Many medical devices are developed with one-off embedded hardware and software, which increase complexity, risk, and financial requirements. Versicor offers a validated, proven and robust hardware platform in conjunction with intuitive and economical model-based software. This model-based design technology of Versicor allows medical device developers to rapidly move from prototype to production, while avoiding costly rework through its flexible and agile development through its flexible and agile development platform.
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  Versicor Logo

Linares Medical Devices, an accelerator client with OU INC, is a company based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, specializing in the development of innovative plastic-based orthopedic hardware. The company currently has over 50 patents pending on a range of orthopedic hardware including prosthetic knee, hip, and shoulder joints, fracture fixation devices, hardware for use in spine surgery, process patents on new materials, as well as patents on numerous medical devices, including testing equipment.

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 OU INC Welcomes New Client: Functional Innovation Enterprises

Function Innovation Enterprises founder Nathan Barnett
Nathan Barnett

OU INC welcomes new client Functional Innovation Enterprises. Functional Innovation Enterprises LLC was founded in 2010 by Nathan Barnett, an occupational therapist. In his profession he experienced first-hand some of the challenges in providing the highest level of patient care while in a cost effective manner. He developed an instrument which acts as both a standardized balance assessment and a versatile treatment tool that could be used in almost any health care setting. The Barnett Rehabilitation System is one of the first portable, standardized, assessment and treatment instruments on the market. By utilizing research as the backbone of their products and methods, the company has found a unique niche' in the healthcare sector through providing the versatile treatment and evidence-based assessment products for use in therapy settings.

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The Southeastern Michigan Economic Outlook

Southeastern Michigan Economic Outlook Logo

A new economic report is coimng to the regio via Oakland University. Drs. Jonathan Silbermand and Ronald Tracy are in the process of putting together a publication that will reflect the current economic state of Michigan in each of its editions. Southeastern Michigan Economic Outlook is to be put out quarterly, and will provide fiscal information to the area and beyond.
While there may be other regional reports similar to this elsewhere, Silberman doubts that there is one as comprehensive as Southeastern Michigan Economic Outlook. This publication will look at several consistent types of data reports. Each edition will incorporate specific data categories:

  • Ecomony at a Glance - includes statistics collected from private and public agencies, such as passanger counts at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, truck crossings at the Canadian border and commercial vacancy rates
  • Consumer Confidnece - emulates the national consumer confidence index
  • Business Confidence - mirroring a national business confidence index
  • An Expert Panel - uses survey data similar to Blue Chip Economic Indicators

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How you can get involved: 
To participate in the Business Confidence Index, please complete a very brief one-time online registration form. You will then receive an email each quarter to a seven question survey that takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Your participation will help make this a more rigorous tool, and something you will be able to use in making decisions for your business. - contributed by the editors of Southeastern Michigan Economic Outlook

 BBCetc Logo
Contributed by Kristin Burgard, BBCetc

If you are part of an early-stage technology company, the government's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs can be an important source of funding for your project.

Through the SBIR/STTR programs, 11 federal agencies award over $2.3 billion in non-dilutive grants and contracts annually through a

competitive awards-based process. The programs encourage technology-based businesses to explore ideas and profit from their commercialization. They are also a great way for technology-based companies to raise money without giving up equity.

FASTconnect, a Michigan-based program to assist the state's SBIR awardees in their product commercialization efforts, is also working to increase SBIR/STTR participation among women and minorities.

Intern feature
Alicia Linn - OU INC

New Intern Alicia Linn's photo


Oakland University graduate student Alicia Linn recently joined the staff of OU INC as a Communications Intern. In collaboration with the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Alicia is responsible for various media projects, including the incubator's newsletter.

With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University, Alicia has experience as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her internship at OU INC, she is currently the Communications Coordinator for Ossian Law P.C. in Ferndale.


Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize

Michigan I-Corps, a program stemming from the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, promotes innovation and sustainability in the state. This year, they have developed a program that could mean real business for some adventurous teams.

The Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize (MCIP) is a new competition that allows people with business ideas to make their concepts into reality. This program is for Michigan-based teams, all of which must have at least one student from a state college integrally involved. Prizes include recognition for all teams involved, as well as monetary prizes and possible investments for select teams.


Michigan I-Corps logo


2013 GLEQ Competition 


The Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest (GLEQ) is an organization that supports high-growth businesses in their early stages. This fall, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to submit their ideas to the GLEQ competition in one of three tracks: New Business Idea, Emerging Company, and Vision to Action Challenge.

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Client Highlights

Funding Awarded
  • Munetrix, an internet SaaS financial management and transparency alternative for local governments and school districts, received $14,800 through the Business Accelerator Fund. They will use the funds to expand features and marketing strategies that will enable them to expand both in Michigan and into additional states.
  • Hilsen, LLC is a a company automating the existing procurement methodology to allow rapid market change by creating value and true savings for participating golf courses and suppliers. They received a $ 30,000 award from the Business Accelerator Fund.
  • Oria Collapsibles, LLC is a company with portfolio of IP related to patented Oria spray technology for pallets and related application, and patented Oria industrial materials and related applications. They received a discretionary Business Accelerator Fund Award of $9,000.
  • Autobike, LLC, which produces automatic transmission bicycles, has recieved an investment award of $250,000 from the Michigan Pre-SeedCapital Fund, matching their recent angel investment of the same amount.

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

October 24, 2013

Michigan Energy Conference: Powering the Future

More info

October 30, 2013

NextEnergy Energy Storage Event

When: 9am - 2pm

Where: NextEnergy Center

461 Burroughs St

Detroit, MI 48202

October 30, 2013

Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Applications Due

When: 5pm


November 6-8, 2013

Medical Main Street Conference: Inno-Vention 2013

Where: Marriott Hotel

200 W. Big Beaver Road

Troy, MI 48084

Contact: Leslie Smith

(248) 353-0735, extension 152

More Info

November 7, 2013

Michigan Energy Forum: Balancing Energy & Environmental Demands

When: 5-7 p.m.

Where: SPARK Central

330 E. Liberty

Ann Arbor, MI 48104


More Info

November 12-14, 2013

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Semi-Finals

More info

November 14, 2013

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Gala Awards

When: 5-9:30pm

Where: Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI 48201

More info

January 30, 2014

Annual Conference for Entrepreneurship: ACE'14 Conference

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

More info