| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

High Tech/High Growth : Development News

31 High Tech/High Growth Articles | Page: | Show All

Mary Free Bed extends patient care in MI and beyond with unveiling of rehab hospital expansion

Marking the completion of the second phase in a $66.4 million expansion and renovation project, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is hosting a grand re-opening celebration today, Thursday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. on its campus at 235 Wealthy St. SE  in Grand Rapids. 

With the second phase of the renovations focused entirely on updating the original hospital building, the medical site’s revamped three-story atrium now features a Biggby Coffee bar, day lockers for patients and visitors, and a patient library, with additional support like valet parking, mobile check-in, and a dedicated greeter aimed at “enhancing the patient experience.” 

The new ground floor of the hospital is largely dedicated to outpatient services, featuring a new Activities of Daily Living (ADL) apartment with two new therapy pools for outpatients to practice home-life skills, but also includes the new location for its Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports department — one of the largest in the nation — where both inpatients and outpatients can register for adaptive sports clinics or teams, and try specialized sports wheelchairs or check out the adaptive equipment on display. 

There is recreation therapy on the second floor, and the hospital’s third floor is home to the private room pediatric inpatient unit. Also on the third floor, there is an additional 15 private rooms available for pediatric and adult speciality services. 

The hospital celebrated the opening of the renovation project’s first phase in March of 2015, a $42 million upgrade to the building the houses Mary Free Bed’s orthotics and prosthetics and bionics department, its OrthoSEAT and the Driver Rehabilitation program, and its assistive technology and augmentative communication department. The project’s first phase brought the total number of private inpatient beds at the Grand Rapids campus to 167, and new features included specialized therapy gyms with high-tech features like ceiling-mounted gait and balance training systems and robot-assisted walking therapy. 

Kent Riddle, the CEO of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, says recent facility upgrades have transformed the rehabilitation hospital from a regional provider to a national provider. 

“The technology and robotics, the electronic simulations and therapeutic equipment and lift systems that up make up this new facility is just about as technologically rich as any facility in the world for rehabilitative care,” Riddle says, adding that its combined new and existing programming puts Mary Free Bed at first in the nation for the number of rehabilitative programs under one roof while its patient volume alone earns it a spot in the top five. 

“We really tried to stretch beyond the norm to make (this space) the best, so it’s an exciting day because we’ve been planning this and looking forward to this for about four years now.”

He says that while, currently, patients from every Michigan county come through the hospital’s physical front doors, richer telehealth programming will further extend Mary Free Bed’s reach. 

“When we really assess the gaps and the need for rehabilitative care throughout Michigan, we expect that many more (patients) will be coming through that front door from all around the state,” he says.

For more information on the new facility and Mary Free Bed’s full host of rehabilitative care programming, visit www.maryfreebed.com. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital 



Related articles: 

Mary Free Bed packs more features, specialized medical programs into expansion, renovation plans

Vision Real Estate Investment opens new Monroe Center St. NW offices with community in focus

It’s been about a year and a half since real estate developer Tim Engen began pulling together his own industry dream team. Though the staff of the new Vision Real Estate Investment’s five-person firm may have been knitted together with a diverse group of professional backgrounds, it’s their shared roots in the Grand Rapids area that he thinks give them such a solid foundation to start with. 

“Everyone I spoke to advised me to follow my passion and to surround myself with the best individuals in the industry, and thanks to that advice, Vision Real Estate Investment was born,” says Engen, who made a switch to the real estate development world after two and a half years as vice president for the Caledonia-based tech firm Netech. 

He says his extensive work in the ever-growing West Michigan tech sector affords him a skill set that is uniquely valuable in a redevelopment context, allowing VREI to optimize internal systems to make quick, real-time decisions and maximize operational efficiency in its service areas that include acquisition, development and property management. 

Engen officially announced the opening of VREI and its new 140 Monroe Center St. NW office building — the recently built 4,000-square-foot space that was ready for move-in besides adding furniture from Haworth and a custom reception area designed by Grand Rapids’ Studio Wise. 

“We really wanted to make this space pop and wanted something that would be custom for our space as well as locally made” says VREI’s new Senior Development Manager Bradley Hartwell, a former development associate and associate broker with Rockford Construction Co. 

The new development company's remaining three members include former Prim Property Management co-owner Kyle Sischo as VREI’s new controller; new director of marketing Jessica Geerling, who in the past worked in Locus Development’s marketing department and more recently, as the marketing manager for Centre for Plastic Surgery in Grand Rapids; and VREI’s new staff accountant Stephanie Seube, who worked alongside Sischo for four years at Prim Property Management. 

Find Vision Real Estate Investment on Facebook or visit www.visionrei.com for more information. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Vision Real Estate Investment

SalesPad, LLC invests $3.85 million with expansion of GR offices, addition of 91 new jobs

In an effort to meet an increased product demand with an expansion of its current Grand Rapids-based workforce, software developers at SalesPad, LLC have announced the addition of 91 new jobs and the growing of its operations at 3200 Eagle Park Dr. NE. 

“We need innovative, creative, tech-savvy software developers and support specialists to keep up with our company’s growth,” says SalesPad CEO Pete Eardley, whose company currently employs 110 people. 

The $3.85 million investment comes on the heels of the approval for a $364,000 grant by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which was made possible with help from economic development organization The Right Place, Inc. 

According to Economic Modeling Specialists International, West Michigan’s information technology industry is growing at a rate of 13.8 percent — 9.4 percent higher than the national average — and TRP’s Thad Rieder, senior business development manager and project lead for the SalesPad expansion says SalesPad is no exception to that industry growth.    

“West Michigan’s high-tech community continues to grow, and SalesPad is a part of that growth story,” Rieder says. “We firmly believe that our region’s strong work ethic, culture and innateness is what retains and attracts companies like SalesPad to West Michigan.” 

Founded in 2003, SalesPad products focus on increasing business productivity and efficiency with enterprise software that works with applications like Microsoft Dynamics GP and Intuit Quickbooks alongside creating customized software solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. 

“In order to grow, we really need tech talent,” says Matt Williams, president of SalesPad. “We honestly believe in the people, work ethic, and resources found in West Michigan. We’re committed to expanding and doing things right here in Grand Rapids.” 

Click here for more information on career opportunities at SalesPad, LLC. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of SalesPad, LLC. 

OST acquisition of Visualhero Design is necessary combination of strengths in changing tech industry

In an effort to utilize their respective strengths in a changing marketplace where design and technology continue to converge, information technology consulting firm Open Systems Technologies has announced the acquisition of Grand Rapids-based design consulting firm Visualhero Design, expanding OST’s capabilities to find solutions with new methods of problem solving that extend from research through product.

Though the official acquisition of Visualhero by OST is very recent, the two companies began collaborating about five years ago, with OST initially drawn to the application of Visualhero’s “human-centered” design strategy in its own software development practices.

“When we started working with Visualhero, we recognized the amount of energy and expertise they had in this area and how much value it provided in even just our customer engagement,” says Michael Lomonaco, director of marketing and communications at OST.

“It’s no big secret that IT is being challenged in ways that it has never been challenged before,” Lomonaco says. “Those traditions of what OST was built on and founded in with the data center and the cloud is obviously a piece of that — keeping lights on, high availability, disaster recovery — those things must continue and OST must continue to be a leader in those more enterprise technologies.”

However, Lomonaco says the once more distinguishable areas of design, data analytics, software development and a more recent Internet of Things are leaning increasingly on one another to provide the more enhanced user experience customers are seeking, and OST’s acquisition of Visualhero affords a more seamless alignment in strategy.

“More than acquiring new technology, it’s redefining our engagement and our service offerings and how they come to fruition and mature for our current and future customers, not to mention the product development side and that whole cycle,” he says.

Founded in 2005 by CEO Andy Van Solkema, who will now assume the role of Chief Designer at OST, Visualhero began building its reputation as leaders in human-centered design, or design thinking, as a response to businesses’ growing need for clarity in the management of more and more sophisticated technology. 

Van Solkema says in the last decade, the service of human-centered design itself has changed, going from designing communication to objects to now what are becoming more complex systems enabled by technology.

“To define that you have to understand the two aspects of design,” Van Solkema says. “The aspect most people think of first is the one that’s visceral and object oriented, and that’s really evident in our U.X. space and depth of knowledge we have.

"However, the design thinking and human-centric design…We come in to define clarity, to help to define strategies that can then inform technology choices, and likewise on the feedback loop, the technology choices and level of expertise OST brings to the table with its data center can inform our design teams with insight from the market,” Van Solkema continues.

OST and Visualhero will continue to operate from their respective west side offices at 605 Seward Ave. NW and 560 5th St. and maintain separate brand identities for the time being, though Lomonaco says OST did retain all 12 members of the Visualhero team in the acquisition.

However, both Lomonaco and Van Solkema say it’s not something as simple as shared office space that the partnership between the two firms is founded on — it’s a shared understanding of the complexity of what makes good design, and combined tools to make it happen.

“Good design is really not just about design; that it takes really smart business partners and their ability to allow us to create clarity for them and the really strong technology to enable those experiences, is really the whole basis of our motivation here and we’re really excited,” Van Solkema says.

This acquisition comes on the heels of another major announcement from OST, which the National Association for Business Resources just named as a “2015 Best and Brightest Company to Work For.” The accolade, which OST has landed two years in a row, was given to 101 top companies across the United States.

The winning companies were recognized in the January 14 online edition of Corp! Magazine.  In addition, OST will be recognized at an awards gala on May 5, 2016 in Grand Rapids.

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of OST/Visualhero Design



Related articles:

Silicon Valley knocks at West Michigan firm's door


Open Systems Technologies (OST) continues to dazzle


OST expands collaborative workspace; attracts employees, clients to Grand Rapids' growing West Side

KPMG LLP moves 60 GR employees to renovated space at nearly full 99 Monroe center offices

With its official grand opening celebration slated for June 4, U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG, LLP has officially announced it will move its 60 Grand Rapids-based employees to a new office space at 99 Monroe.

"Although KPMG has served clients in the Grand Rapids area for a number of years now, our needs and services have grown, necessitating a move to a new, larger, innovative physical space," says KPMG Michigan Managing Partner Heather Paquette. "We have a strong commitment to the Grand Rapids market and wanted this move downtown to reflect that commitment." 

Alongside an effort to accommodate increased firm growth, KPMG plans to expand client services to include more emerging, technology-based solutions – a perfect fit for the existing roster of 99 Monroe Ave. tenants curated by building owner Franklin Partners, says the real estate firm's CEO Don Shoemaker. 

"They're a perfect example of why we're so bullish on downtown Grand Rapids," Shoemaker says. "There continues to be a search for talented employees and employers are looking for, 'how do we attract the right employees?' In KPMG's case, like a lot of places, they're looking for tech-oriented people. Those people are in great demand and not as great supply, so we're paying attention to where we're located to attract those employee and how do we retain them?" 

He says Franklin Partner's high-tech, amenity-focused building renovations are exactly the kind of office environment young, tech driven talent is attracted to, and KPMG LLP fits the bill. 

"They're a great firm with great credits and a great reputation, so we're really excited to have them in downtown Grand Rapids," he says. 

Shoemaker says the remaining 9,000 square feet is already committed, putting the 12-story building at 99 Monroe at 100 percent occupancy – up from the 40 percent occupancy the building was at prior to the firm's purchase and renovation in 2012. Shoemaker is waiting for official signatures on the lease to release any more details on the final tenant, but did say the company has a small existing presence in downtown Grand Rapids and represents many of the same modern, tech-driven values as the other building tenants. 

"They're a good, stable employer. A great addition to the space." 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Franklin Partners, LLC. 

Start Garden to triple its downtown footprint to serve more startups


Rick DeVos' latest venture, Start Garden, is set to take a huge step in 2015. The early stage venture capital fund, the largest in Michigan with over $2 million in funding over the last two years, will open a Startup Village on the 2nd floor of the historic Trust Building on Pearl Street.

The new space in the Trust Building will be nearly triple the size of Start Garden's existing space on the ground floor of the Trade Center Building at the corner of Louis and Ionia. In addition to providing funding, the current Start Garden space has been home to classes for entrepreneurs, Update Nights and pitch events, as well as large scale seminars on growing small companies.

"After more than two years, this move is not just a relocation of Start Garden, but a major step in our growth," says Rick DeVos, CEO of Start Garden. “This move is a response to our ecosystem as it matures from experimenting with ideas, to building fast-growth startups. Two years ago we didn't have a portfolio. Now, we have a substantial number of companies into which we've invested. Enough to populate a startup village for the region. We expect to make additional announcements after the first of the year.”

The historic Trust Building in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the most notable landmarks on Pearl Street, and was purchased by CWD Real Estate several years ago and underwent a multi-million dollar interior makeover. Earlier in November, CWD announced that Huntington Bank will move its regional headquarters from 50 Monroe into the Trust Building.

Construction partners for the Start Garden build-out include include Lorenz & Co. Interior Design, AMDG Architects and Triangle Associates, Inc.

Photos courtesy of Start Garden

Bargain hunters paradise: one website pulls Craigslist, eBay, others together for shoppers, sellers

It all started as an idea for getting rid of the junk left behind when relationships dissolve. But now breakupgoods.com has become the go-to site that pulls together items from Craigslist, eBay, AutoTrader, and other sell-your-stuff websites, and lets shoppers and collectors arrange their wish lists into Pinterest-style boards.

Tom Liravongsa, a computer programmer, came up with the idea in 2010 after two friends purchased expensive used cars at hugely discounted prices because the cars had been left behind after relationship breakups.

But back in 2010, the developer tools to pull information from sales sites automatically wasn't available. Liravongsa pulled a few thousand items manually, then the site went viral with over two million users in a month, and the supply just wasn't there.

"The important piece is that the site knows the general location of where you are and shows all the products for sale near you," Liravongsa says. "You don't need to now look at all these different websites -- it pulls from hundreds of websites where people sell items -- we find that users are using it as a search engine to search Craigslist, eBay, and others all at the same time."

Breakupgoods.com also offers a "tag it" button that resides on your browser bar and acts much like the Pinterest "Pin It" button: when you're on a site and see something you want to buy, you simply tag it and add it to one of your boards on breakupgoods.com.

The site searches by location to find items for sale near the user's location. Users can also search by category or city and state. And users can post items to sell.

Liravongsa says the site received a $95,000 investment boost from Start Garden and re-launched in December 2013. In its first month, breakupgoods.com drew some 260,000 users.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

With new name comes new focus on repair of game systems, phones, computers for former Play N Trade

Change is on the horizon for the former Play N Trade franchise in Muskegon, and that change involves a new focus on repair services for handheld game systems, game console systems, mobile phones, and computers.

Electronic Entertainment Exchange, Inc. (E3) purchased the former Play N Trade franchise at 5506 Harvey St. and will relocate it this spring to 222 Seminole Road under the new name of E3 Trade N Repair. The new location, formerly the site of Bitz Computer Repair, will undergo some façade improvements before the store moves in.

Customers are still able to trade in games and purchase game-related accessories like they did at Play N Trade, but will have the added convenience of being able to drop off their broken gaming systems for repair and save a bit of money, says Ron Kuszewski. Kuszewski owned the Play N Trade franchise and will stay on at E3 as general manager.

"We have accessories and games for all game systems going back to Atari days," Kuszewski says. "We can work with any game-related item. Vintage game systems parts are not readily available elsewhere, and there's really nobody who fixes handheld game systems like Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSI, or 3DS. We repair all of them."

Kuszewski says customers can also drop off broken tablets, MP3 players, and laptops for repair.

The store, still located on Harvey St. until the move, has made the shift to the repair services and is accepting electronics for repair now. E3 Trade N Play employs three certified repair technicians. Kuszewski says most repairs take just two to five days.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids technology startup offers medical practices unique options to improve bottom line

Digital Limelight Media (DLM) doesn't work with just anybody. The Grand Rapids-based technology startup has been in existence for just over a year, working with medical practices to improve the practice's bottom line by determining which advertising method is attracting new patients, where those new patients are coming from, and how much money those patients spend at the practice.

And while DLM could do this for every medical practice that wants to hire them, they don't. DLM says it offers exclusivity to every client in every city, working with only one plastic surgeon, for example, or one family practitioner.
 
"We don't report on first-page rankings, we report on revenue," says company founder and CEO Kyle Peacy, 27. "We don't care who ranks on Google first; we care if they made money and where that money's being made. We measure returns on new business only, not business referred by a friend or a doctor, but patients who found the website and contacted the doctor."

DLM (15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 320) operates out of a collaborative workspace that generates an overflow of creative energy among the five people in the company. Peacy and business partner Ryan Rogers, 28; Drew Page, 22, business development; Tyler Rix, 22, graphic design; and Jake Moore, 26, account manager.

While the group's camaraderie is lighthearted, as exemplified by Rix's white board graffiti of a grizzly bear wearing a sunglasses and a necktie, and a he-man panda with a Two Hearted Ale in his fist, it's an integral part of the serious business of keeping the energy flowing for clients.

DLM offers the whole media package: website development, search engine optimization, email marketing, reputation management, and social media management.

But lead management is the company's bread and butter; when a lead comes in through the client's website, it generates a call to the medical office, which prompts the office to contact the potential new patient within five minutes of them hitting "Send." That, says Peacy, leads to setting appointments, which leads to getting new patients into a client's office.

Source: Digital Limelight Media
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Netvantage Marketing touts Grand Rapids as a city where technology businesses can thrive

A year after opening its Grand Rapids office, East Lansing-based Netvantage Marketing has leased additional office space and brought on two full-time employees in Grand Rapids Tech Hub, an office community created specifically for technology and design entrepreneurs above San Chez A Tapas Bistro (38 W. Fulton St.).  

Netvantage Marketing is not a web development company, but works with individual clients and outside web developers to market websites through search engines, using search engine optimization (SEO). Adam Henige, a co-owner with Joe Ford, says Netvantage Marketing provides the expertise to get websites higher rankings in Google searches, making them easier for new and existing customers to find.

"We've just come off our best January ever in the history of the company (founded 2008)," Henige says. "A lot of business development meetings are coming up because a lot of web developers need our expertise added to theirs, and we need their web development added to our expertise. It's the number one reason we've had a very, very busy 2013 so far."

The Grand Rapids location began with just one 200-square-foot office in the Grand Rapids Tech Hub, Henige says, but has doubled in size to accommodate two employees who relocated from East Lansing. Although the company operates from minimal square footage, Henige says the Tech Hub includes plenty of conference room and space to meet with clients when needed, and an energetic atmosphere.

"This is an exciting spot to be in," Henige says, "because everyone up here is a young company and very techie."

Source: Adam Henige, Netvantage Marketing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Related Articles
East Lansing-based Netvantage Marketing sees promise in Grand Rapids, opens satellite office

$120M energy storage research grant could help W Michigan advanced battery manufacturers, colleges

Zeeland-based Lakeshore Advantage, an economic development corporation, has been named an affiliate partner in a $120 million federal Energy Department grant to fund research and development of new technologies in energy storage. The grant will create the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, located at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, IL.

Dubbed Michigan's SmartCoast, the Holland area has seen an investment of $1 billion by companies such as Johnson Controls, LG Chem, and Toda America to develop advanced energy storage solutions. Lakeshore Advantage President Randy Thelen says West Michigan is recognized as having one of the highest concentrations of advanced energy storage manufacturers in the world. As market demand and applications continue to grow (think cell phones, power tools, electric automobiles, and military uses), the demand for new technologies grows.

"Soon we'll see a great deal of military applications and alternative energy applications -- battery packs to store wind energy and distribute it later. We're at the very early stage of a very big industry," Thelen says. "Research conducted as the result of this grant is going to get to the core of costs, power density, and weight. People are using more and more energy and being more and more mobile, and we need a way to store the energy so people can have the mobility that they want."

Argonne National Laboratory received the grant, but had pulled in a series of strategic partners to write a strong application for the monies. As one of those partners, Lakeshore Advantage will bring in West Michigan manufacturers, colleges, and universities already involved in advanced energy storage research as part of the momentum for further research and development. Thelen says the industry could bring untold numbers of high-tech jobs to West Michigan and Chicago.

Source: Randy Thelen, Lakeshore Advantage
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids electronics recycler opens resale e-store on city's southwest side

If you're looking for a bargain in refurbished computers, laptops, audio systems, or gaming systems, Comprenew's new e-store could be your playground. The new storefront at 453 S. Division Ave. follows on the success of an established store at 1454 28th St SE.

Comprenew recycles some 300,000 lbs. of discarded electronics a month, says Marketing Director Paul Kehoe, and part of that recycling push is to refurbish and sell the 15 to 20 percent of the intake that is marketable.

"Our shelves are full," Kehoe says. "Laptops and flat screen displays are big sellers and our inventory is strong. People have upgraded their electronics to new models, and the things they recycle with us are in great condition."

Comprenew gets its recycled electronics through community and corporate recycling events and from area residents who drop off their unwanted electronics at the recycling center (629 Ionia Ave. SW). Certified repair technicians refurbish the top products for resale in both stores. The mix of inventory depends on the items recycled, and Kehoe says it can include VCRs, turntables, and vintage stereo systems.

Kehoe says the S. Division store is in a century-old building. A three-month renovation readied the space for the sale of today's electronics while maintaining the vintage atmosphere with the aged wood floors and original brick walls.

E-store hours (both locations): Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Source: Paul Kehoe, Comprenew
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Technology industry demands new skills, Davenport Univ. responds with two advanced tech programs

In response to industry and government demands for technology workers with advanced skills, Davenport University will launch two new technology degree programs in the Fall 2013 school year.

The programs -- Master of Science in Technology Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics -- will prepare students for jobs that continue to open up as corporations and governments become more technology driven, says Dr. Michael Clancy, dean of Davenport University’s College of Technology.

"A new report from Hewlett-Packard and the Ponemon Institute says a cyber attack averages $8 to $9 million in damage costs," Clancy says. "Davenport sits on the Information Technology Executive Council (iTEC), which has the 18 largest companies in Michigan, so we're hearing all the challenges and problems they're having."

Clancy says that one of the problems he hears consistently is that, when people in IT are promoted to management, they don't have any management training, for example, in how to put together a departmental budget. The Masters of Science and Technology Management will fill that gap, combining technical and business education to prepare students for corporate and government IT management roles.

Digital Forensics -- preserving, analyzing and reporting on digital media, involving computers, mobile devices, memory storage and network activity -- is a "very, very techie program" that equips students to conduct in-depth investigation into cyber crimes, such as, data theft, data corruption, and the planting of viruses and worms in computers, mobile devices, memory storage and networks.

"Because Davenport University is labeled by the federal government as a Center of Academic Excellence in IT security, our graduates can move right into the NSA or Department of Homeland Security as a digital forensics specialist," Clancy says.

Interested students can apply now for classes that begin with the Fall 2013 semester.

Source: Dr. Michael Clancy, Davenport University College of Technology
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Flourishing Coopersville technology company doubles size of its HQ

Since 2007, Coopersville-based IT Resource has grown from 10 employees to 22, and has additional job openings. That growth made it necessary for the 12-year-old company to expand its 3,100 square feet to over twice that size to accommodate more employee workspace.

IT Resource bought the building at 701 W. Randall in 2007, sharing the building with Spectrum Health's MMPC and Scott Robinson, DDS. When Spectrum moved out in January, IT Resource took over that 2,200 square feet, adding space for 12 employee cubicles, a full kitchen for employees and a window-lined employee rejuvenation space.

"We're still working on 400 square feet with wrap-around windows," says Leo Reap, co-owner with Gary Lutz. "It will have a sofa, loveseat, high top tables and a flat screen TV where employees can look outside or listen to music on their iPod. It may have exercise equipment -- it's kind of an open canvas right now because haven't gotten input from everybody on what they'd like to see in there."

Reap says the kitchen includes a stove with an oven, which has been a hit with employees who like to bake treats for the office or cook their lunch. He adds that employees who live close are encouraged to ride their bikes to work, so the company installed a shower for employees who want to freshen up after their ride.

IT Resource still looks to fill a senior level Cisco-certified voice over security engineer position, and Reap says the company is always looking for the best and brightest IT technicians.

The company plans an open house for October 11.

Construction and design: David C. Bos Homes.

Source: Leo Reap, IT Resource; Andrea Snyder, StudioThreeTwenty
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Related Articles
Coopersville-based IT Resource seeks technology engineer, adds six jobs

Ottawa County to determine feasibility for agricultural technology business incubator

The Ottawa County Planning Commission is looking to the future of agriculture in the region with a new study to determine the feasibility of a business incubator to nurture new agricultural technology startups.
 
"A couple of years back, our citizen survey said economic development is something the county should get involved in," says Ottawa County Economic Coordinator Josh Spencer. "One way [to do that] is to focus on a strength in the area, and that's agriculture. There's no organization that focuses specifically on the agricultural technology market."
 
With large agricultural supply companies in the region, such as Zeeland Farm Services, and national and global food processors like Heinz, Sara Lee and Boar's Head, Spencer says there could be plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop innovations in technology and equipment for the industry.
 
Ottawa County commissioned Florida-based Greenwood Consulting to conduct a study to determine if there is a demand for a business incubator of this type, its sustainability and a possible location for it. Interested persons can complete the online survey here until August 24, 2012.
 
"We think there's a big opportunity in the food safety industry for new technology around how food is packaged and shipped, or different types of containers," Spencer says. "Also any type of machinery used in agricultural production or food processing. Farming is starting to use more equipment that uses GPS technology and apps that allow farmers to use phones and electronic devices to identify diseases in plants. We're hoping ideas like that come about."
 
The feasibility study is funded by a $20,000 USDA grant and $20,000 from Ottawa County.
 
Progress reports on the study, which will be complete and presented to the planning commission in October, and on the proposed incubator will be posted on the Ottawa Planning Commission Facebook page, here.
 
Source: Josh Spencer, Ottawa County Planning Department
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
31 High Tech/High Growth Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts