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Michigan Entrepreneurs Show Off At 'Great Lakes Showcase'

Southfield-based PublicCity PR showed off a couple dozen Michigan entrepreneurial and nonprofit success stories Monday in what it dubbed the "Great Lakes Showcase" at the Southfield Westin.

PublicCity PR principal Jason Brown said the intent was to showcase successful startups and nonprofits for the news media, economic development officials, service providers and the community.

And of course, plenty of the companies were technology-based. Who should I bump into at the entrance but Pay Anywhere, the mobile payments technology subsidiary of Troy-based North American Bancard, the credit card processor.

Essentially Pay Anywhere is offering a free credit card reader that attaches to a smartphone and software that turns the phone into a wireless credit card processing machine. The company is fresh off a very successful display at last week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Just down the aisle was, a Web site founded in 2008 by three "sisterpreneurs," Rejeana Heinrich, Kathy Clark and Debi Robinson. Based in Standish, the site features a selection of thousands of Michigan-made products.

"The point of the site is pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps," Heinrich said. "The more products we all buy that are made in Michigan the better off we all will be."

And the site isn't just for consumers. It's also intended for retailers looking to buy large quantities of goods wholesale.

"Retailers know customers are looking for Michigan-made merchandise," Heinrich said. "The wholesale side of our site is growing exponentially."

Products listed include health and beauty, food, automotive, pet supplies, jewelry, fashion and more.

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Several companies also were at a table sponsored by TechTown, the business incubator in midtown Detroit that's run by Wayne State University.

First, there was RegainGo, a daily deal Web site focused on the market of home products and services in southeast Michigan. It's the brain child of young entrepreneurs Clark Covert, CEO, and Jason Beale, COO. More at

Next, there was Rippld, an online business site for creative professionals like Web designers and photographers who want to stay independent but who also want to get together into a virtual ad agency to pursue opportunities. Its founders are Lander Coronado- Garcia, Adrian Walker, and Wilbert Fobbs III, and their Web site address is

Then there was, an online news site for local and community happenings. What's unique about this site is that site users will vote news stories up or down, determining their placement on the site.

The nonprofit section featured a bunch of worthy companies, like The Heat And Warmth Fund that helps the less fortunate pay their heating bills. and HYPE, Helping Youth Progress and Excel, which is building a huge indoor game and workout center on Hines Parkway in Dearborn Heights.

All in all a very cool event. Congratulations to Public City for putting it on.

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