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Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location
Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location - Doug Coombe | Show Photo

Ann Arbor : Featured Stories

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Entrepreneurship: Stories From the Front Line

As Nikka Costa sings, "Everybody's got their something." Poetry slammers, story tellers, and, yes, even entrepreneurs. Thus the EntreSlam, a new tale-telling competition for Ann Arbor's business minded. We talk to the creators of this MOTH Story Hour for start-uppers.

Got Art? A Chat with FestiFools' Mark Tucker

Festifools is right around the corner (that corner being the month of March), and its puppet masters and luminaria makers are busily getting ready. Concentrate chats with founder Mark Tucker about what it takes to put together an arts event in Ann Arbor, and asks him to reflect on our community's attitude about public art and art education.

How Mob Mentality is Helping Ann Arbor Businesses Profit

In an age of corporate big box shopping and free-shipping, tax-dodging Internet sales, cash mobs are using tweets and Facebook posts to support local retail. This local first flash mob movement is gaining momentum across the country with Ann Arbor and Detroit joining 200 other groups to participate in the first ever International Cash Mob Day on March 24th. Will you be there?

Concentrate Speaker Event: The Complete Downtown Experience

How do you create a downtown that appeals to current residents, future generations, and potential employers? Concentrate and the Ann Arbor DDA present the first in our four-part speaker series, "Great Places." First up, CEO & executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, Dan Gilmartin. If you haven't heard Dan speak you're in for a treat. Join us for tomorrow's event!

Can Live Music Pay The Rent?

A staple of any culturally vibrant community is its live music scene. But how do the venues that provide that scene survive in high-priced downtowns and the growing digital economy? Concentrate's Richard Retyi does a deep dive into the business of booking bands for Ann Arbor's and Ypsilanti's stages.

Only In Ann Arbor: Ron's Roadside BBQ (aka Romanoff's Catering)

Good things can sometimes be hard to find. But that makes them all the sweeter, doesn't it?. Take Ron's Roadside BBQ. Fans complain about its obscure location, poor signage, and threadbare surroundings. But once they sink their teeth into the "low and slow," the criticisms melt away. Little do many know that Ron's (aka Romanoff's Catering) has 40 storied years of history. And nearly 200,000 toy soldiers!

Ann Arbor Advises the White House

It's hardly a surprise that the University of Michigan is considered a world-class institution with deep political connections. But with the urgent concerns of today's economic policies, the Obama Administration, in particular, has reached out to Ann Arbor for guidance, expertise, and advice.

Ann Arbor's Well Coiffed Community

They have clients that travel from as far as a thousand miles away. Some offer their employees health and retirement benefits. Others have attracted loyal customers via social media and late night hours. They are the crème de la crème of Ann Arbor's hair salons.

The Eternal Entrepreneur: A Conversation with Mike Burns

Mike Burns is a born entrepreneur, and at 58, he could easily run rings around guys half his age. Or fly rings around them, as the case may be (he pilots WWII era P-51 Mustangs). More importantly, Burns is an entrepreneur who believes in doing business in Michigan. It's why he sources nearly all the components to his iPad accessory, the HandeHolder, locally.  And it's not just a recession thing. It's part of his overall business philosophy.

Ann Arbor's Craft Cocktail Comeback

Why order a vodka tonic when you can have The Last Word? Or, better, a drink recipe that's created on site and with locally sourced ingredients? Custom cocktails (aka "mixology") have come to Ann Arbor and fans of unique libations are embracing the trio of downtown venues that sling more than just beer and shots.

Got Talent? A Conversation with Kurt Riegger

When it comes to building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, Kurt Riegger, COO of OcuSciences, argues that there's no lack of ideas or innovations in Ann Arbor. Talent with enough experience to execute on those ideas may be another question. Riegger has launched, funded, and advised 26 companies, and chats with Concentrate about what our community needs to succeed.

Are You Satisfied? A Conversation with ForeSee Result's Larry Freed

Ann Arbor-based ForeSee Results has seen growth every quarter of its existence. That's a pretty impressive track record for this U-M spin out. CEO and co-founder Larry Freed talks about his home grown approach to hiring, our area's startup climate, and what we need to keep and attract more young talent.

Are You MPowered?

The student-run MPowered is U-M's startup for startups. Living up to its name, it has not only prodded the university into offering more classes in entrepreneurship, it has also attracted a community of business-minded students through its 1000 Pitches Summit and annual Career Fair. This year they debut "Startup Weekend," a 54-hour event which seeks to create a web or mobile applications business in a weekend.

Walk This Way: The Challenge Of Pedestrian Malls

The idea of establishing a pedestrian mall in downtown Ann Arbor has long been discussed but never acted upon. Concentrate's Jon Zemke looks at how some communities have found great success with their people-only plazas, but most have encountered failure. Would Tree Town buck the odds or struggle like the rest?

MI vs SF: The Art Of The Business Plan Competition

One excels at style. The other, substance. But when it comes to nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem, both matter. Jon Zemke attends Silicon Valley's quarterly Founder Showcase and our own annual business plan competition, Accelerate Michigan, and finds a clash of both cultures and community.
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