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Highlights From GLITR’s First Year…

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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Highlights from the first year of the Great Lakes IT Report…

Inaugural issue Sept. 18, 2001: University of Michigan is the world’s fourth visited education Web site, with 1.7 million unique visitors a month… Kalamazoo sets an Investing in Innovation forum… local Internet pioneer Gary Baker leaves Arthur Andersen (eventually to land at EDS)… state library begins offering e-books… Microsoft readies the launch of XP.

Rest of September 2001: Compuware predicts revenue decline to $420 million for its quarter, vs. $490 million a year earlier… Cybernet Systems of Ann Arbor announces more advances in massive multiplayer gaming technology… at retailers’ behest, Michigan considers taxing online purchases… a survey finds consumers ready to pay a 10 percent price premium for hybrid cars…

October 2001: GM and Toyota seek a partnership on offering Internet services in cars… GLITR co-sponsors its first event, an anti-terrorist technology seminar called DefendTech… a Rochester firm called VIA Information gets a $5 million deal to provide call center support for Hewlett-Packard customers…Ann Arbor’s Esperion Therapeutics begins testing a drug to boost so-called good cholesterol… Ann Arbor’s Internet2 brags of new speeds of “a mind-boggling 10 gigabits per second”… T/J Technologies of Ann Arbor wins a $2 million federal battery research grant (knowledge that’s now at work in A123 hybrid battery packs in various hybrid cars)… Michigan venture investing falls to levels not seen since 1996, $98 million for the first nine months of the year.

November, 2001: The Michigan Economic Development Corp. responds to an economic slowdown by backing off worker attraction and boosting business attraction… Gov. John Engler calls for a uniform statewide permit and fee process for competitive telecom providers as well as a public finance authority for low-cost loans to telecoms. Engler and other state officials decry the lack of availability of broadband service in many areas of the state… Arialink expands its wireless broadband to areas around Lansing… Digital Detroit 2001 attracts over 1,000 tech leaders to the Ritz Carlton Dearborn… The small tech incubator and investor Ardesta, led by Rick Snyder, distributes the world’s smallest press release for its one-year anniversary, on a microscope slide, and a small microscope with which to view it… Heidi Van Arnem, who overcame disability to become a tech entrepreneur, dies of respiratory failure at 35… Pfizer announces it will invest $600 million to $800 million in its Ann Arbor pharma research campus, for which the state offers $80 million in tax abatements and credits.

December 2001: Dean Kamen promises to introduce a revolutionary new transportation device, but it turns out to be the Segway (Your humble narrator’s comment: Oh, please. So thousands of commuters in, say, Boston, are going to dump their cars to ride a motorized pogo stick at a blistering 12 mph. Through the slush. In 20 degree weather. With nothing to protect them from the elements but their coats. Riiiiiight.) …. Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy… Auto tech supplier Nexiq moves its headquarters from New Hampshire to Sterling Heights… Esperion Therapeutics announces more tests of its heart drug candidate ApoA-I Milano (a drug that has yet to see market, and I have never heard an adequate explanation why except for some very cynical speculation)… the Troy document manager Lason Inc. files for Chapter 11… the MEDC releases state maps showing broadband access gaps…

January 2002: Software Exchange of West Bloomfield offers development of a basic five-page corporate Web site for $399.99… FIRST Robotics’ game unveiling comes to the Novi Expo Center… problems strike the local changeover of MediaOne’s old RoadRunner high-speed internet service to Comcast’s new high-speed network… Verizon to spend $100 million to bring 1XRTT data transfer to Michigan… Travel Michigan reports Web visits up 23 percent after Sept. 11… Ann Arbor’s Merit Network Inc. boosts top network speeds to OC-48 or 2.5 gigabits per second… Grand Rapids-based U.S. Signal Co. expands its fiber optic network to Chicago, Milwaukee and Indianapolis…Delphi rolls out XM in-dash satellite radio…Gov. Engler hosts a “Broadband Breakfast” to tout more access for Michigan… The tech networking group DetroitNet is founded by Bob Waltenspiel and Dave Glenn… Ann Arbor’s Fry Multimedia lays off 22 people and closes its Seattle office… Sterling Heights-based Nexiq Technologies gets $6 million in venture capital for its remote vehicle diagnostic technology… Xerox subsidiary Gyricon Media announces move to Ann Arbor to work on ‘smart paper’…

February 2002: Oakland County deploys a new Web site featuring e-gov applications… Western Michigan University goes wireless for its Web access, deploying 600 WiFi hot spots… Altarum, the renamed combination of the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan and Vector Research Inc., unveils its new Ann Arbor headquarters… Lawrence Technological University becomes the first private university in Michigan to get access to Internet2… AT&T (at this point a competitor to the local phone company, then called Ameritech) enters residential phone service market in Michigan… Compuware sets a ‘topping out’ ceremony for the steel frame of its new downtown Detroit headquarters…

March 2002: San Francisco International Airport installs 20 kilowatts of solar panels from UniSolar of Auburn Hills… Sterling Heights-based Big Net Holdings named one of five Internet providers allowed to offer broadband services on AOL Time Warner  cable systems around the country… Compuware sues IBM for copyright infringement and antitrust violations, alleging that IBM copied Compuware software code and manuals… Gov. Engler signs a broadband-boosting bill that will give tax credits and other advantages to companies stringing broadband access to underserved areas… Glima, the tech industry association that’s now part of Automation Alley, releases a ‘kit’ with which to form new chapters… Ann Arbor’s Mechanical Dynamics is sold to California’s MSC Software… Serial entrepreneur Dick Beedon’s Just Talk, a company developing technology to accomplish tasks like filing expense reports and managing contacts by speaking into a phone, shuts down, a victim of lack of interest from Michigan’s venture capital community…

April 2002: Delphi rolls out a new wireless remote vehicle diagnostics system…Smart paper pioneer Gyricon Media has a pilot with Dow Jones… Ann Arbor IT Zone cuts back on paid staff… Yahoo rates metro Detroit the nation’s No. 56 Web-savvy community, up from 79th (out of 86 major metros) in 2001… Compuware Corp. stock pounded after a disappointing financial report… Covisint LLC reorganizes and lays off 50… Comcast successfully tests Voice Over Internet Protocol service in Southfield and Westland, but says it isn’t sure when it will begin offering the service commercially….Biomes Inc. becomes the fifth company to move in to Kalamazoo’s Southwest Michigan Innovation Center… Tecumseh Products Co. buys the assets of Ann Arbor’s Manufacturing Data Systems… Ann Arbor hits No. 3 on a list of the nation’s most wired cities…

May 2002: Glima announces a new chapter in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area… Energy Conversion Devices installs the world’s largest photovoltaic roof, 76 kilowatts, in Spain… the MEDC says a shortage of tech workers is a threat to Michigan’s long-term competitiveness… NPower Michigan, a nonprofit established by Microsoft to help nonprofits use technology effectively, kicks off in Detroit… Gov. Engler, Pew Internet & American Life Project leader Lee Rainie and Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy headline the Michigan IT Summit before a crowd of 1,000… Two west Michigan Internet service providers, Grand Rapids-based Iserv and Holland-based EagleNet, merge, hitting 45,000 customers between the two… Canada’s Ballard opens an alternative energy lab in Dearborn…the Michigan Venture Capital Association is formed… State government announces ‘Learning Without Limits,’ an initiative to arm all state students with portable wireless Internet access by 2004…

June 2002: Farmington Hills-based Covansys buys Kansas-based PDA Software Services for $16.5 million and promises to keep its 180 employees…SBC Ameritech hopes to be allowed to offer long distance services soon… Compuware rolls out iStrobe, a new browser-based application performance analysis tool… the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor funds 18 life sciences research projects with $45 million… Local Indians and Pakistanis worry about nuclear saber-rattling on the subcontinent… GLITR circulation hits 12,000… Troy’s Clarity LLC, a voice capture software developer, powers Chrysler’s UConnect voice command system… United Solar opens a new manufacturing plant in Auburn Hills capable of building 30 megawatts of solar panels a year… Dan Gilbert buys Quicken Loans and Rock Financial back from Intuit, for less than a fifth of the $500 million price he sold it to Intuit for in 1999… Pfizer cuts the ribbon on a $250 million technical development center in Ann Arbor.

July 2002: Compuware stock tumbles to a six-year low after a Morgan Stanley analyst says new IBM products are a competitive threat… Just one venture capital deal in Michigan in the second quarter, down from six a year earlier… A book names Michigan Technological University the state’s nerdiest school… Lason emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy… Buchanan’s FurnitureFind.com is a dot-com that actually got venture funding… Genomic Solutions announces its buyout by Harvard Biosciences for $26 million, and will lay off 20 of 60 Ann Arbor employees… ProQuest announces the complete digitization of the New York Times’ back issue file… Cleantech Venture Network created in Ann Arbor…

August 2002: U.S. Signal expands into Indiana… Royal Oak quality software developer Integral Solutions bought by Minnesota firm… Automation Alley in cooperative research agreement with U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center… Compuware debt downgraded to junk-bond status… Clarity LLC raises another $2.5 million in funding… Competitive telecom companies urge the Michigan Public Service Commission to force SBC Ameritech to provide access to local switches… a federal judge in Detroit forces Ameritech to offer competitors ‘unbundled’ services… Gyricon Media plant opens…

Coming Wednesday… September 2002 through August 2003…

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