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Ann Arbor : Featured Stories

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Born Standing Up: The Ann Arbor Comedy Scene

Ann Arbor is known for a lot of things: food, art and lax pot laws, but comedy isn't one of them. Despite this, there's a thriving scene, with local comedians cutting their teeth across the region. But the question is, can comics make it big in Ann Arbor?

Kahootz Toys Is Hard At Play

Maybe they learned it from playing games. After the four partners who owned toy company Giddy Up sold their business in 2011 they had to decide what to do next. So, they moved their pieces back to start and launched another toy company - Kahootz. First on the agenda? Introducing a new generation to a classic favorite: Spirograph.

A New Breed: Tilian Farm Development Center

Business incubators have become a vital driving force in southeast Michigan's growing high-tech economy. But what about the state's second largest economic sector, food and agriculture? Enter Food System Economic Partnership and the Tilian Farm Development Center. Concentrate gets the skinny.

Owner In Residence: Vellum Revives Main St. Tradition

A new restaurant opening in downtown - on Main St. no less - is hardly a surprise. Vellum will, no doubt, be a welcome addition to Ann Arbor's "Restaurant Row." What makes Peter Roumanis' entrepreneurial approach a little different is that he has chosen to make the vintage space at 209 South Main his home as well.

Above The Treeline Helps Keep Print Books Alive

Rumors of the printed word's demise have been greatly exaggerated. While it's true that digital publishing grows every year, books and those who sell them will be with us for a very long time. Enter Above The Treeline. Offering a wide range of online catalog services the Ann Arbor-based company has found an important and profitable bookselling niche.

Five Really Cool Technologies Being Developed Here

It's no surprise that folks in the Ann Arbor area are an inventive bunch. Having one of the top universities in the country in your backyard helps. So, what's in the works? How about a telescope that listens to outer space? Or cars that learn how to avoid crashes? Or, best of all, head phones that won't tangle in your pocket?

Now Playing: Spontaneous Art

The name kind of says it all. Then again, maybe it doesn't. Spontaneous Art is a trio of guerilla (and sometimes gorilla) performance artists who have dedicated themselves to making life in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti region a little funkier, a little sillier, and, most importantly, a little less predictable.

Photo Essay: 'Tis The Season For Indie Art Fairs

The Ann Arbor Art Fairs inspired The Shadow Art Fair. The Shadow Art Fair begat The Krampus Ball. And so it goes, on and on, one artistic endeavor fueling the next. Concentrate's ace photographer Doug Coombe introduces you to the crafty folks who populate winter's ever-growing indie art fair scene.

Concentrate Speaker Event: Entre-SLAM!

Poetry Slams, The Moth Story Hour... entrepreneurs have a story to tell too. That's where the Entre-Slam comes in. Concentrate has asked its creators -Christa Chambers-Price and Jeanne Ballew- to explain why live storytelling is an important business skill and to hold a slam for us. Come be a judge or participate. There's a cash prize ...and pickles! Sign up now for Thursday's event!

Guest Blogger: Omar Hashwi

It's now fashionable for area start-ups to bring business and liberal arts student teams on board. U-M student body VP Omar Hashwi writes about how students, by way of entrepreneurship fieldwork, are becoming not just future corporate citizens, but "fundable founders" themselves.

A Decade of FOUND

There is little doubt that Davy Rothbart is an Ann Arbor original. As the founder of FOUND magazine, he has turned the written remnants of others into a springboard of creative opportunity. Books, movies, road tours, radio, and even an Off-Broadway musical are all part of the mix that is the FOUND empire. And now Rothbart is celebrating the magazine's 10th anniversary here in Ann Arbor.

Breaking Bread With Pop-up Chef Brad Greenhill

Pop up restaurants are becoming de rigeur for creative communities around the country and Ann Arbor is no exception. Meet Brad Greenhill, U-M engineering grad, former record label owner, web designer, blogger, and self-taught chef. Not only are his dinner events pulling in loyal crowds, his own bistro may be on the horizon.

Ann Arbor's Small Business Job Growth: The Who, What , and Where

Rumor has it that Ann Arbor is ripe with small business job growth. But who's been growing and why? Jon Zemke, Concentrate's Innovation And Jobs News Editor, reflects on 2012's third quarter and which sectors were doing their part to reduce unemployment. (Hint: Techies rule!).

What's Next For Downtown Libraries

With the current debate over whether Ann Arbor should fund a new downtown library, Concentrate's Natalie Burg takes a look at communities around the country that have decided to invest in updating their libraries, not only to meet the changing demands of today but to ready themselves for tomorrow.

Photo Essay: The Art Of Transformation

Aesthetically speaking, the shelter in Ann Arbor's Allmendinger Park is best described as functional. Others might be less generously inclined. This weekend, however, it becomes an example of how public art and community engagement can transform a nondescript building into a vibrant neighborhood asset. 
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