Yep, it’s almost that time of year again. The eighth annual Great Lakes IT Report Spring Tech Tour will be taking place all across Michigan May 13-20. If you know an interesting, growing, Michigan-based tech company in West Michigan, Mid-Michigan or Up North, let me know and I’ll put them on my itinerary for a tour stop.

Every spring, I put somewhere between 1,500 and 1,700 miles on a Tech Tour Mobile, making good on my promise to make your Innovation and Technology Report a truly statewide publication.

In the spring, the focus is on homegrown technology entrepreneurship. I’m looking for relatively young, growing companies in the following industries:

* Computer hardware
* Computer software
* IT services
* Advanced manufacturing
* The life sciences, including health care services, pharmaceutical research and development, and medical devices
* All things green, including solar power, wind power, hybrid and electric vehicle development, advanced batteries, alternative fuels and biofuels.

The Tech Tour’s schedule is as follows:

* Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, the Upper Peninsula. (I’ll be staying in Marquette but willing to travel a ways afield to find an interesting company.)
* Sunday, May 15, travel day
* Monday, May 16, Traverse City
* Tuesday, May 17, the Tri-Cities — Midland, Bay City, Saginaw
* Wednesday, May 18, Grand Rapids
* Thursday, May 19, Kalamazoo
* Friday, May 20, Lansing

Here’s how the tour works: I’ll be available in Marquette and the area to meet companies from about noon Friday until Saturday evening.

For the rest of the cities, I’ll be available to meet with companies from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the tour stop. After I meet with companies, I drive to the next city, check into my hotel, and write about the morning’s experiences. Rinse and repeat, and you’ve got yourself a Tech Tour.

The people in Kalamazoo have already jumped all over the opportunity and filled up my tour stop. But I haven’t heard much from the people I’ve e-mailed in the other cities on the list, so I’m making this public appeal.

So if you own, run, work at, or know of a technology-based company that fits the bill in any of those cities, let me know right away at


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