The Seventh Annual Making It In Michigan Conference Provides Food and
Agricultural Entrepreneurs Fresh Thinking to Grow Their Business
One-Day Event Hosts Educational Sessions and Trade Show Featuring Over 160
Michigan-made Food and Agricultural Products
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matthew Birbeck
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – The MSU Product Center is pleased to announce the
seventh annual Making It In Michigan Conference and Premier Specialty Food
Show to be held Wednesday, November 12th from 7:30AM – 4:00PM at the Lansing
“This is poised to be our biggest event yet in terms of the number of
Michigan vendors participating in the Marketplace Trade Show and the caliber
of industry experts that will be leading the educational sessions,” states
Matthew Birbeck, MSU Product Center’s High Impact Venture Action Team
Project Manager. “We will be showcasing some innovative processes and
strategies specifically targeted for food and agricultural entrepreneurs
supporting this year’s theme of ‘Fresh Thinking For Success’,” says Birbeck.
Garden Fresh Gourmet Founder Jack Aronson and Co-CEO John J. Latella will
share the company story of developing an iconic brand and building brand
engagement with customers and will field questions from the audience.
Attendees will be able to provide questions to be addressed by the panel
through the MSU Product Center social media channels prior to the conference.
The one-day event features morning educational sessions that will bring
together leading Michigan experts to help guide attendees in refining and
growing their businesses in the following areas:
• Making Your Product Shelf-stable
- The Essential Process Authority Review for Shelf-stable Food Products
- Product Formulation Challenges for Commercial Refrigerated and
• Growing Your Specialty Food Business
- Working with Retailers – Getting Product On The Shelf and How Retailer
Size Affects Your Opportunity
- Growing Sales and Meeting Customer Expectations
- Making The Most Out of Limited Marketing Resources with Effective Social
Media and Public Relations Strategies
• Finding the Right Poly Packaging Product For Your Own Product
• Protecting Your Business
- The Latest Status in Food Safety Modernization Act Compliance
- Determining the Right Business Structure – is an LLC Right For You?
The $79 per person conference registration fee includes breakfast, lunch,
and educational sessions, digital copies of all presentations and reference
materials and admission to the Marketplace trade show.
The Marketplace trade show in the afternoon will feature over 160 new and
existing businesses that will be showcasing their Michigan-made food and
agricultural products to the general public and Michigan-based food buyers.
The trade show is free to the general public.
Conference participants will also have time to network with the winners of
this year’s MSU Product Center awards and learn from their success stories.
Awards will be presented for the Best Barrier Buster, Start-up to Watch and
Entrepreneur of the Year. MSU Product Center innovation counselors and staff
members, Product Center clients, business consultants, regulatory officials
and food and farming groups will also be available to provide in-depth
information and counseling.
More information and conference registration is available at
www.productcenter.msu.edu/miim/registration. Those interested in attending
can also call Greta McKinney at 517-353-7185 or send an email to
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About the MSU Product Center
Founded in 2003, the MSU Product Center helps Michigan entrepreneurs develop
and commercialize high-value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in
the agriculture, natural resources and bioeconomy sectors. The Center’s
statewide network of innovation counselors provides business counseling
support to Michigan residents interested in starting or expanding a business
or product line.
The Product Center’s assistance in launching 396 known new businesses and
business expansions has had the following estimated economic impacts:
• Increased annual sales: $321.9 million (cumulative first year sales only)
• Value of increased investment: $322.1 million
• Jobs created: 1,147
• Jobs retained: 644