The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) takes a quirky approach to highlighting the state’s strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in its new video series, Entrepreneurs in Elevators. Inspired by the popular Jerry Seinfeld web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Entrepreneurs in Elevators gives viewers a peek into the lives of local innovators to learn what it takes to start and grow a business, and how to take advantage of the abundant startup support resources available in Michigan.
“There are thousands of entrepreneurs in Michigan with incredible stories,” said Fred Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at MEDC. “Entrepreneurs in Elevators is a unique way to hear—straight from the source—about challenges, successes, failures and support that these innovative minds have encountered throughout their journey.”
Hosted by serial entrepreneur David Ollila, president and chief innovation officer at Skypoint Ventures in Flint, the series launches with four initial videos featuring entrepreneurs from across the state: Karen Smoots, founder of The Green Glove Dryer, based in Kalamazoo; Fares Ksebati, co-founder of MySwimPro, based in Ann Arbor; JT Weis, CEO of Abcor Industries, based in Holland; and Danny Ellis, founder of SkySpecs, based in Ann Arbor.
“For decades, I’ve been living and working within this growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that is fostering passionate innovators as they develop new ideas, products and opportunities for themselves and others,” said Ollila. “The Entrepreneurs in Elevators series is a unique platform to share those stories and, hopefully, inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in the state. Plus, is there any better place to hear a businesses’ elevator pitch? We think not.”
New episodes, set in Detroit, Flint, Bay City and Lansing, will begin to launch in December. To watch Entrepreneurs in Elevators, visit
MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit michiganbusiness.org.