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GLITR’s Third Year In Review: September 2003 – August 2004

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September 2003: Joseph A. Nathan, who joined Compuware as a professional service technician in 1981, announced his retirement from the position of president of the company at age 50… The University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute hires four new faculty as it begins moving into its new 230,000-square-foot, $100 million laboratory building… Michigan’s oldest private Internet service providers, Online Technologies Corp. of Ann Arbor, has been purchased from a group of 14 investors by a new team of four owners in an all-cash deal, led by Yan Ness, a cofounder of Systems & Software Group, who will be CEO of the company… Kent and Washtenaw counties win top e-government awards… Troy’s Clarity, developing software to cancel out background noise in voice applications, gets $11 million in financing… The Ann Arbor pattern recognition and data mining software developer NovoDynamics gets funding from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital investing group in Arlington, Va. funded by the CIA… Hyundai announces 225 new jobs at a 168,000-square-foot technical center near Ypsilanti… Pfizer Inc. reports more than 700 layoffs in Kalamazoo County since its takeover of Pharmacia Upjohn, but also $216 million in new investment and 248 new positions created… SBC finally gets FCC authority to sell long distance services in Michigan… The Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Fund has awarded $2.3 million to a partnership of Wayne State University and Detroit biotech company Asterand to build a Detroit-based human tissue research bank…

October 2003: Verizon Wireless hiring 100 staff at its stores to handle local number portability for cell phone accounts, which takes effect next month… Digital Drive 2003, the renamed Digital Detroit conference, convenes for what would turn out to be the last time — and the IT Report picks up a Digi Award for digital industry leadership… Compuware announces a loss and its stock tumbles… Computer recycler Re.Source Partners moves into a new 16,000-square-foot building in Mt. Clemens… The UM Office of Technology Transfer 2003 annual report showed 257 new invention discoveries from researchers, up 8 percent from the previous year; 76 new licensing agreements with corporate partners, up 25 percent; and $9.1 million in licensing revenues, up a strong 60 percent…. Battle Creek city and school officials announce an OC-48 (2.5 gigabits per second) fiber ring will be constructed around the city to boost tech industry growth… Compuware cuts employee pay 9 to 10 percent in an austerity move… Uni-Solar installs Europe’s largest photovoltaic system in Europe, 300 kilowatts in Luxembourg… The Dossin Great Lakes Museum fires up a Detroit River Webcam…

November 2003: SBC announces a six-year, $238 million deal to provide voice, data and other telecom services to Michigan state government… Esperion Therapeutics stock plunges nearly 30 percent on worries about one of its heart drugs… DTE Energy to build a $3 million hydrogen tech park in Southfield… NextEnergy names James Croce CEO… Ann Arbor’s T/J Technologies begins selling advanced materials for lithium ion batteries and fuel cells… Energy Conversion Devices raises $25 million in a stock sale… BioStar Private Equity, a new life sciences fund, closes with an initial raise of $6.2 million… Washtenaw County joins Automation AlleyComcast completes a statewide upgrade to 3 megabits per second for its high-speed Internet service… Asterand, the Detroit human tissue bank, raises $4.6 million…

December 2003: GLITR introduces its first redesign — narrower columns and a more professional looking template designed in Dreamweaver. The redesign also introduces the Blue Box, today known as the Spotlight feature… State legislators pass a three-bill package to create a “fund of funds” to solicit investments and turn that money over to venture capital companies to invest in Michigan start-ups… ‘Smart paper’ developer Gyricon Media rolls out its first commercial product, a sign board called the SyncroSign Message Board… State budget woes have turned “Freedom to Learn,” a program originally intended to give every student in Michigan a laptop with wireless Internet connectivity, into a small pilot program of laptops that will cost no more than $275 per student and which are limited to school districts with high poverty levels… The Michigan NextEnergy Authority approves 14 Michigan companies as certified alternative energy technology businesses… Pfizer Inc. offers $1.3 billion to buy Esperion Therapeutics

January 2004: Covisint gets out of the online auction business for auto parts orders… Delphi plans to unveil 14 new products at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas… Esperion Therapeutics gets $32 million in the settlement of a suit against a hedge fund manager that purchased huge quantities of the company’s stock without filing required federal paperwork… Lansing-based Arialink expands its wireless broadband service area to Williamston… New York-based Arotech buys FAAC Inc., a privately held company in Ann Arbor that for more than 30 years provided simulators, systems engineering and software to the United States military… Grand Rapids-based ITS Communications expands into the Chicago market… Detroit’s visitors and convention bureau fires up an online hotel reservations and travel package booking service… A Suttons Bay search engine marketing firm, Oneupweb, announces plans to add staff in the current quarter… Automation Alley plans a new, $2.5 million headquarters in Troy… New Detroit Public TV Web site offers learning games for kids… Kettering University to build a $3 million fuel cell center on its Flint campus…

February 2004: Plymouth-based American Blind & Wallpaper sues Google over its AdWords system, which allows competitors to buy American Blinds’ name as a keyword so its competitors’ paid ads show up on the same page as the search results for American Blinds… Royal Oak’s downtown area will soon offer free Wi-Fi… The Pontiac telematics firm GPSi gets $1.7 mllion in funding… Compuware buys Covisint, the auto industry secure connectivity and collaboration provider… Strategic Staffing Solutions signs a 12-year lease to take over the 29th floor of the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit, increasing its space from the current 12,000 square feet to nearly 17,000 square feet… Grand Rapids-based iServ expands its DSL network to more than 50 cities across Michigan… Fry Inc. rolls out Open Commerce Platform, a new e-commerce development template… Troy resident Peter Wilens launches friendworks.com, a Web site designed to “help people find a group of friends in an area by matching similar profiles.” (Oh, man. JUST missed.)

March 2004: GigaTrans, the wireless Internet access provider whose growth plans were stunted by the surprise death of its 44-year-old founder, is sold to Netcom LLC, which bought the former Big Net out of bankruptcy…. Strategic Staffing Solutions buys MDC Consulting, an IT consulting firm with $3.2 million in revenue… the two-day Create Detroit conference kicks off with a presentation from urban economist Richard Florida… Auburn Hills-based United Solar Ovonic receives an order for 1.25 megawatts of photovoltaic panels from Sunset Energietechnik GmbH of Germany… Ottawa Wireless launches a paid WiFi service in Grand Haven…

April 2004: Discera LLC, a company developing microsystems technology for cell phones, gets $12 million in capital… Lansing’s Arialink wires the entire Lansing Center as a Wi-Fi hot spot… Compuware stock jumps on good earnings news… Detroit Metropolitan Airport expands its Wi-Fi network into the older L.C. Smith Terminal… Automation Alley announces an expansion to an eight-county footprint, now including the City of Detroit, Monroe County, St. Clair County, Washtenaw County and Livingston County… Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick lead the ribbon-cutting of TechOne, the first incubator building of Wayne State University’s TechTown research park… Three Rivers-based Rural Communications announces plans to offer wireless Voice Over Internet Protocol service in St. Joseph and Kalamazoo counties… Lansing’s Old Town becomes another Arialink hot spot… Michigan draws $49.1 million in venture capital in the first quarter, up from $17.9 million a year earlier…

May 2004: Small tech developer Mobius Microsystems gets $1 million in capital… LDMI Telecommunications moves into a larger data center in Southfield… Dow Corning expands into organic chemicals for electronics production… Biotech firm Genetics Squared gets $1 million in capital… Uni-Solar gets a solar panel deal with the Air Force on an experimental satellite… Outage hits Wide Open West cable modem customers… the Detroit Wireless Project, an effort to bring free wireless Web access to Detroit, gets tax-deductible donation status… Delphi says sales of its portable satellite radio receivers will hit 1 million in June… Ann Arbor’s Gyricon Media launches new wirelessly programmable ‘smart paper’… GLITR’s first-ever Tech Tour of Michigan visits Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Traverse City, searching for the latest in high-tech economic development around the state…

June 2004: Wayne State and NextEnergy host a major event on training the alternative energy work force of the future… Telecom trade groups seek to kill the Michigan Broadband Authority… The MBDA makes another loan, $1.2 million in East Lansing-based ACD.netIcon Creative of Ann Arbor opens an office in Europe… Automation Alley tops 500 members… Uni-Solar panels to provide 353 kilowatts for a museum in Beijing… Clarity Technologies’ software to separate the human voice from background noise is used in headsets at the Indianapolis 500…

July 2004: Madison Heights adds city maps on the Internet… Strategic Staffing Solutions buys a New Orleans firm and opens a Houston, Texas office… TechSmith’s Camtasia screen capture technology is embedded in Siemens medical imaging machines… Compuware issues a warning that its revenue and earnings will fall short of Wall Street expectations… An independent national survey has ranked Michigan the No. 1 state in the nation in the use of technology in government… GLITR Editor Matt Roush test-drives the brand-new Ford Escape Hybrid, the auto industry’s first hybrid SUV… MichBio takes over management of the state’s signature biotech industry event, what had been called the BioMed Expo… IT consultants Xede are on a hiring binge… Grand Haven lights up city-wide Wi-Fi network…

August 2004: Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University announce a major new high-speed connectivity system, the Michigan LambdaRail, a 10-gigabit network…. Ann Arbor’s Velcura Therapeutics gets $1.5 milliion in funding… U.S. Signal expands its fiber network into Lansing… Midland’s Dow Corning says global demand is soaring for its silicon products… A group of regional government officials and business leaders have collaborated to inform the public about the military resources housed in Southeast Michigan with a new Web site, www.arsenalofdemocracy.orgMicrosoft Corp. announced that it would invest up to $4 million over the next five years on collaborative projects with Michigan state education officials, aimed at improving student achievement and developing a more competitive work force.

Tomorrow: GLITR’s fourth year, September 2004 – August 2005

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