AUBURN HILLS — The future of business is in the Internet and social media.

That’s what the winners of the Corp magazine DiSciTech Awards heard Thursday in a presentation breakfast at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Campus.

Keynote speaker Hajj Flemings, personal brand strategist and CEO and founder of Brand Camp University in Detroit, told the crowd that to be successful these days, they need to build personal brands through owning and using social media like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

“You need to be able to create social media buzz to drive people to what you do” in virtually any field, Flemings said.

Flemings urged those in attendance to think seriously about what they were devoting their lives to (and when asked about that for himself, he replied, “I want to change the way people think so they can do the work that they love”). And he said there’s a bit of genius in everyone — but it’s only unleashed if the work they do combines passion and process, and solves an important problem.

He said some people are builders who are happiest working in other people’s businesses — but even here, workers can be “intrapreneurs,” introducing new ideas and business lines into existing businesses. And others, he said, are “leapers,” born entrepreneurs.

And then there’s a third category, “grussle,” combining grind and hustle. “Everybody has something they love to do on the side,” Flemings said. “My talk today is partly how you pivot to what you love doing. You can pivot inside a company. You don’t have to leave the company.”

Flemings said workers must think about building and maintaining their personal brands because the average job today lasts just four years — the average woman changes jobs 10.7 times in her life, the average man 11.4 times. (His most recent corporate job, at Ford, ended on his birthday in 2009. He’s been in business for himself since.)

“You are wearing more than one hat,” he said. “You have to represent yourself as well as the employer because you might not be there in the future.”

Successful people also should be willing to “disrupt themselves,” think seriously about what could blow their current business model out of the water — and then do it, before a competitor does.

After Flemings’ speech, awards were presented to the following companies:

Digital Category Winners:
*Adviso Inc., Dearborn, developers of Projex5 software that wraps an organization’s customers, contacts, projects and company Web site into one business development portal.
* Coupon Wallet, Rochester, a digital coupon marketing system.
* Digitas, Detroit, developer of consumer analysis technology
* Future Help Designs, Pontiac, a mobile app software designer and developer
* Genisys Credit Union, Auburn Hills
* Innovative Learning Group, Royal Oak, developers of training and performance support programs
* Lakeside Software, Bloomfield Hills, developers of SysTrack IT management software
* Logic Solutions Inc., an Ann Arbor Web and mobile development firm
* Media Genesis, a Troy-based Web development and marketing company
* Mobile Comply, Clarkston, a mobile consulting, planning, education, training, PR and brand development firm
* The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a statewide mobile trade group
* North American Bancard, Troy, a merchant credit card processor
* Hello Innovation, Detroit, part of the Platinum Innovation Group, an innovation consultant
* Synectics Media, Royal Oak, a Web marketing and technology company

Science and Technology Winners:
* Attendance on Demand, Livonia, which offers cloud-based labor data systems
* Avalon Technologies, Bloomfield Hills, an IT consulting and implementation company
* CureLauncher, Bloomfield Hills, which is developing a system to link people with pharmaceutical clinical trials and ill patients
* Digerati, Detroit, a custom software development and process improvement organization
* Forensic Fluids Laboratories, Kalamazoo, a developer of oral fluid drug testing
* FutureNet Group, Detroit, an energy, environment, construction, technology and security firm.
* Global Telecom Solutions, St. Clair Shores, a telecommunications and cloud services reseller
* ImageSoft, Southfield, which provides document and process management software and services
* Miller Vein, Novi, a spider vein and varicose vein removal clinic
* Movimento Group Inc., Plymouth, a developer of automotive electronic systems, infotainment and telematics.
* Online Tech, Ann Arbor, a developer of managed data centers and backup resources
* Open Systems Technologies, Grand Rapids, a provider of IT infrastructure products and services
* OPS Solutions, Novi, and operations and manufacturing consultants.
* Scientel Information Technology Inc., Bingham Farms, a provider of software design and supply chain products.
* Syzygy Biotech, Grand Rapids, a developer of life science testing equipment.
* Robot Gartage, a Birmingham provider of Lego and robotics education and entertainment.
* The Wayne State University College of Engineering.

Overall winners were also chosen from both categories: Logic Solutions Inc. from Digital and Attendance On Demand from Science and Technology.


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