Trends, products and advances


Wedge hires first president

A startup company that created a video screening tool for job seekers and recruiters has hired its first president.

Spectrum Health enters partnership to drive value in health care

Spectrum Health and Medtronic plc entered an agreement with the goal of improving outcomes for Spectrum Health patients while reducing the cost of care.

Partners launch ‚ÄėGrand Rapids X GRAM‚Äô video series

A new talent attraction video series will show off Grand Rapids as a place that has it all.

Samaritas welcomes in-person visitors after year of COVID-19

A full year after being separated from their loved ones by COVID-19 and the state’s stay-at-home orders, Samaritas’ senior residents once again are able to see friends and family in-person, and it’s been a long time coming for both residents and staff members.

Animation creative producing ‚ÄėNonprofitopoly‚Äô board game

The owner of a local animation studio is putting a utilitarian twist on Monopoly.

Doctors stress vaccines, tout collaboration at chamber’s virtual health care summit

West Michigan’s medical professionals agree, despite warnings of more COVID-19 cases, the vaccines are working and are necessary to help the region and the country come out of the pandemic.

Metro Health recovery program limits hospitalizations

COVID-19 vaccines are a welcome sight as people across the country are flocking to get their shots.

Acrisure adds asset management division

The global insurance broker Acrisure launched a new asset management division.

Ten-digit dialing will be required for all calls in 616 area code

The Michigan Public Service Commission announced telephone users in four Michigan area codes soon will be required to include an area code in every phone call ‚ÄĒ known as 10-digit dialing ‚ÄĒ as part of the rollout of a new way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Michigan House passes bill to improve rural internet access

LANSING ‚ÄĒ The Michigan House on Thursday approved a bill to encourage internet companies to provide broadband access to underserved areas after the coronavirus pandemic shone a light on that need.

Pandemic exposes technology gap for higher education

Although local colleges and universities have been offering online classes for years, the pandemic revealed one common problem when it began over a year ago.

Ford partners with U-M on robotics research, new building

A grand opening was held Tuesday for the University of Michigan's Ford Motor Co. Robotics Building, a four-story, $75 million, 134,000-square-foot complex.

Comcast introduces faster Wi-Fi speeds

Comcast announced it is introducing the fastest speed of Wi-Fi available in West Michigan this month.

Report reveals needs for future of work

A new global report by Steelcase reveals those who have been working remotely during the pandemic will be looking for the comforts and convenience of home blended with the community, cultural and productivity benefits of the office when they return to work.

MiSTEM Network examines unconventional learning method

The MiSTEM Network is offering $100,000 in grants to Michigan K-12 science, technology, engineering and math educators to participate in its MiSTEM Playbook pilot.

Consumers stays on track to deliver EV fast-charging stations

2020 didn’t turn out to be the milestone year Consumers Energy was hoping for with its PowerMIDrive program, but the Michigan utility kept some momentum on the road to Michigan’s clean energy future.

SmartZone authority releases RFP from local tech businesses

The city of Grand Rapids’ SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority announced a request for proposals from entrepreneurial service providers to operate its business incubator. 

SalesPad launches latest version of SalesPad Desktop with integrated Square payments

Distribution software company SalesPad announced the release of SalesPad Desktop 5.2, which features integration with payment processor Square.

Kent County board chair establishes broadband subcommittee

Kent County Board of Commissioners chair Mandy Bolter announced she will convene a new broadband subcommittee.

Grand Rapids Public Library offers hotspot lending program

Grand Rapids Public Library cardholders now have access to free and unlimited internet, courtesy of a hotspot lending program funded by a grant from the Wege Foundation.

BluCase gears up for next accessory rollout

A longtime entrepreneur, Bill McCurdy created a business that makes safe storage cases for cellphone accessories.

Grand Rapids ranks 49th best metro area for STEM professionals

A new report says greater Grand Rapids is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the top metro areas for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Industrial tech firm expands to North Carolina with acquisition

Grand Rapids-based Feyen Zylstra announced it acquired Dynics Services Group, the North Carolina-based engineering division of Ann Arbor’s Dynics Inc.

Creston Industrial partners with German tech company on informational website

Creston Industrial Sales is partnering with CimSource Gmbh to help manufacturers transition to digital tooling solutions via an informational website that explains the problems and solutions associated with the transition to Industry 4.0.

Founder grows U-Plant Landscape Designs

Sandy Jonick started U-Plant Landscape Designs after hearing from homeowners who would be happy to dig a hole and plant their own flowers and shrubs if someone could just provide a blueprint.