WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Ranks No. 1 (Episode 116)

Airline passengers rank Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport as the best mega airport in North America, according to a new study from J.D. Power.

The 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power surveyed just over 32,000 U.S. and Canadian travelers focusing on six metrics, from airport accessibility to the baggage claim service.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear more on the significance of these findings from Jeff: 


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“DTW is an American airport success story. A decade ago, it was a very poorly rated airport. Today, they’re at the top of the mega category.”

– Michael Taylor, the travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, on DTW’s top ranking

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Well, this is certainly some good news for our region, both for lifestyle reasons, as well as for businesses in Southeast Michigan. Airline passengers rank Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airport as the best mega airport in North America, according to a new study from J.D. Power.

The Motor City’s airport emerged as the winner among mega airports followed by Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and then in third, Las Vegas International Airport.

The 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power surveyed just over 32,000 U.S. and Canadian travelers focusing on six metrics, from airport accessibility to the baggage claim service.

Michael Taylor, the travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power had this to say:

“The rise of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to the top isn’t much of a surprise. They’ve been near the top of the mega rankings the last few years. DTW is an American success story,” Taylor said. “A decade ago, it was a very poorly rated airport. Today, they take the top spot in the mega category.”

Now, why is this important? Well, first Detroit is a hub through which many travelers pass through and from which some get their only impression of Detroit and the surrounding region.

Airports are a gateway into a region and create that all-important first impression. The better the experience, the more likely people’s willingness to come here will be. And that translates to revenues for our region, as well as fostering local businesses here.

And certainly, while business travel is down currently due to the COVID crisis, future business travel will return and the DTW gateway into our region is another reason to be proud that you are from Detroit.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Ranks No. 1 (Episode 116) appeared first on StartupNation.

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: The Power of Cause Marketing (Episode 115)

Does doing right have a positive impact on a company’s performance? New research shows indeed it can. Adding what’s known as cause marketing into your marketing messaging can be a powerful way for businesses to attract and retain customers.

Marketers today must focus on cause marketing campaigns and messages that represent what the business truly stands for, rather than just jumping on the latest hot-button issue.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to learn more on cause marketing from Jeff: 


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Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Does doing right have a positive impact on a business’s performance?

Well, new research shows indeed it can. Adding what’s known as cause marketing into your marketing messaging can be a powerful way for businesses to attract and retain customers. Cause marketing generally refers to a business standing for something in order to strengthen a brand’s value and its attractiveness to customers who also care about the same cause.

Could be fighting for equal rights, could be supporting an environmental cause, or it could be underscoring the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing in the COVID-19 era.

Sounds good, right? It is. But it’s a tough balance to cut sometimes between the hard selling that typically goes with advertising and promotions and the softer side of cause marketing. And if you go there, you must come across as authentic, or there could be worse consequences than not going there at all.

After all, advertising and marketing messages are intended to sell, sell, sell, and keeping a focus on doing good can confuse or cloud the focus of selling hard. And worse yet, you never want your business to come across as disingenuous, thereby hurting your brand equity.

For example, if a company’s messaging includes the importance of wearing masks and then customers see that the brand isn’t taking steps to protect its staff by not enforcing its staff to wear masks, this can have a negative impact on how a customer views the business. And any negative reaction in today’s most competitive environment can have a deleterious impact on sales.

Marketers today must focus on cause marketing campaigns and messages that represent what the business truly stands for, and not just jumping on the latest hot button issue. If you’re going to have any positive social messaging in your advertising campaigns included at all.

So, if you’re a business looking to attract new customers and secure current customers, cause marketing can be a powerful way to help you achieve just that, as long as you come across as genuine and authentic in whatever the cause messaging may be.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: University of Michigan Launches Record Number of Startups and Inventions (Episode 114)

To get this week off to a roaring start, Jeff shares exciting news: the University of Michigan has announced a record launch of 31 startups in fiscal year 2020, a 40 percent increase during a period that included the pandemic and temporarily shuttered labs.

In addition to the record number of startups launched, U of M researchers reported a rise in new inventions: a record 522 for the 2020 fiscal year, up from last year’s 502.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat for more details:


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“The launch of 31 new startup companies is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the university’s growing innovation ecosystem. The record-breaking growth and startup formation is important in 2020 because these new companies will be meaningful contributors to the growth and diversification of our state’s economy as we work to rebound from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Kelly Sexton, U of M Associate Vice President for Research Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships, in a press release

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

To get this week off to a roaring start, the University of Michigan has announced a record launch of 31 startups in fiscal 2020, a 40 percent increase during a period that included the pandemic and temporary shuttered labs.

U of M inventors went to market with a wide range of discoveries, including those from a company using machine learning predictive modeling to help cities like Flint replace their lead-tainted water pipes to another that pivoted from prostate cancer screening to rapid COVID-19 testing during a global health crisis.

In addition to the record number of startups launched, U of M researchers reported a rise in new inventions: a record 522 for the 2020 fiscal year, up from last year’s 502.

U of M Tech Transfer also reported it signed a record 268 licensed deals and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize the discoveries of university researchers in the past fiscal year, up 232 in fiscal year 2019.

Kelly Sexton, U of M Associate Vice President for Research Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships, had this to say:

“The launch of 31 new startup companies is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the university’s growing innovation ecosystem. The record-breaking growth and startup formation is important in 2020 because these new companies will be meaningful contributors to the growth and diversification of our state’s economy as we work to rebound from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Rebecca Cunningham, U of M Vice President for Research and Professor of Emergency Medicine had this to say:

“As the nation’s leading public research university, we have an obligation to ensure that our research discoveries are translated from the lab to the marketplace in ways that positively benefit society.”

So, what does all this mean to this great university?

It means a return on their investment, both financially, as well as culturally. The 2020 roster of startups raised $ 237 million during the year. Generated revenues from licensing totaling 14.5 million, and there were four exit events, as well, all of which supports and fuels further research and innovation at this great university. And that, in turn, can result in additional startups being born from research activity happening at the university.

Now, this is the way you get it done! Congratulations to the University of Michigan, and go blue.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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Jeff Bezos-backed plant-based protein AI startup eyes public offering in 2023, $300M valuation by 2024 [Video] – Report Door

Jeff Bezos-backed plant-based protein AI startup eyes public offering in 2023, $ 300M valuation by 2024 [Video]  Report Door
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Jeff Bezos-backed plant-based protein AI startup eyes public offering in 2023, $300M valuation by 2024 – Yahoo Finance

Jeff Bezos-backed plant-based protein AI startup eyes public offering in 2023, $ 300M valuation by 2024  Yahoo Finance
“startups when:1d” – Google News

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Huntington Commits $5 Billion to Michigan Small Businesses (Episode 112)

Yesterday, Huntington Bank and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a $ 5 billion investment commitment to help Michigan businesses, consumers and communities. The funding plan will be focusing broadly on providing capital to small business owners with an emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans.

You may recall that as we highlighted previously on the Business Beat, TCF Bank announced a similar program with a $ 1 billion-dollar commitment in July.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to learn more about this great initiative: 


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“Michigan’s rural small businesses and urban micro-businesses have been especially hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Michigan’s economy, and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state are seeking opportunities to stabilize and thrive. Our commitment to Michigan’s small businesses reflects the role they play in driving the state’s economy and the foundation they provide for our economic health.”

– Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of private banking, in a press release

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Kevin.

Yesterday, Huntington Bank announced a $ 5 billion investment commitment to help Michigan businesses, consumers and communities get through the pandemic crisis and beyond. You may recall that as we highlighted previously on the Business Beat, TCF Bank announced this past July a similar program with a $ 1 billion-dollar commitment.

The funding plan will be focusing broadly on providing capital to small business owners with an emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans. Over the next several months, Huntington will announce specific initiatives under the plan that it is putting in place to support these business owners.

In a press release issued yesterday, Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of private banking, had this to say about the investment commitment:

“Michigan’s rural small businesses and urban micro-businesses have been especially hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Michigan economy and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state are seeking opportunities to stabilize and thrive. Our commitment to Michigan small businesses reflects the role they play in driving the state’s economy and the foundation they provide for our economic health.”

Just as we were thankful when we heard the announcement made by Gary Torgow and TCF Bank, we’re equally thrilled now to receive Huntington Bank’s commitment to invest in our small business community and the citizens of the great state of Michigan.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder, and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Pet Care Industry is Booming (Episode 113)

Today, Jeff shares some feel-good news, highlighting a bright spot in business and in life: business in the pet care industry, particularly within the dog sector, is booming! As more people have purchased or adopted dogs in record numbers during the pandemic, that has led to record sales in services and products to take care of those dogs

Online pet product store, Chewy, said it had its busiest quarter ever ending May 3rd, with a 46 percent rise in net sales to $ 1.62 billion.

Tune in to today’s Business Beat for the full story!


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Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Today’s WJR Business Beat is brought to you by Dell Technologies

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Kevin.

At a time when there has been so much challenge associated with running our businesses and simply living our lives, there are some positive stories during this time of the pandemic, and one of those just warms my heart.

A recent article in USA Today highlights the story of what is described as perhaps the best year ever for our beloved four-legged canine friends, our best friend: our dogs.

And while it’s been a good year for our dogs, it’s been a great year for the businesses whose business it is to help us take care of our dogs. Put simply, business is booming.

Reasons for the surge and the business of caring for our dogs?

First, we’re home. Many of us are isolated and alone and the cure? A dog to keep us company and love us unconditionally during quarantine.

Second, more people have purchased or adopted dogs in record numbers, and that has led to record sales in services and products to take care of all of those dogs we now share our households with.
Twenty percent of respondents to a Nielsen survey in July said they’ve adopted one more dogs between March and June, up from less than 5 percent over the same time last year.

And the sale of dog related products? Well, dog leash sales increased to 44.6 million up 13 percent for the 24 week period ending August 15th, according to Nielsen, which also reports pet toy sales increased 18 percent to 243 million for the same period.

Online pet product store Chewy said it had its busiest quarter ever ending May 3rd, with a 46 percent rise in net sales to $ 1.62 billion.

And how about this one? Sales of dog diapers, that’s right, have increased to 24 million for the 24 weeks ending August 15th, up 202 percent from the same period last year, according to that same Nielsen research.

On the services side, visits to vets are surging. Average daily revenue of vet practices increased more than 14 percent from July 1st through the last week of August, compared with the same period last year. Revenue from visits to vets for vaccines rose more than 21 percent during that same period. And a byproduct of all of this business success, shelter euthanasia is down 43 percent because of decreased intake, expanded fostering and an increase in the percentage of pets finding homes with us from January to June of this year,
That’s a feel-good story, highlighting a bright spot in business and in life.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat brought to you today by Dell Technologies, on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Must Go Digital (Episode 111)

On this morning’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses how the pandemic has caused more businesses to embrace digital payments, making the process of managing a company’s cash much more efficient.

According to a recent Mastercard study, more than three quarters of small business owners surveyed say the pandemic has forced them to become more digital, with over half of those business owners surveyed indicating that part of their move to digital includes increasing their use of digital payments to both send and receive money.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat to learn more about taking your payments digital:


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Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Kevin.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape business in America in many ways. One of those changes? Businesses are finally embracing digital payments and that makes managing a company’s cash a much more efficient process. Money moves in real time, collections are easier and financial oversight and management becomes more efficient, as well.

According to a recent Mastercard study, more than three quarters of small business owners surveyed say the pandemic has forced them to become more digital with over half of those business owners surveyed indicating that part of their move to digital includes increasing their use of digital payments to both send and receive money, citing the speed, security and transparency as key reasons for the change in behavior.

Beyond simply sending and receiving money digitally, 77 percent surveyed say they’re moving invoicing and other manual processes to digital as well. As further confirmation of the migration to digital, online payments have grown 60 percent during the pandemic, while the use of cash and checks has decreased more than any other type of payment.

So, what does all this tell us?

Well, as we can tell to drive home here on the Business Beat, entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to stay current, stay relevant and stay in business must go digital.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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