November 18, 2020

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., November 18, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the business landscape around the U.S., entrepreneurs who have traditionally focused on in-person engagement have learned to embrace the new virtual business culture. To remain relevant and survive, companies have reimagined their business model with the support of a strong community of entrepreneurs.

When faced with the challenge of going virtual, entrepreneurs and businesses needed a new platform to connect, collaborate and restore their sense of community. Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) has made it their mission to reinvigorate a diverse and inclusive business community that blends the benefits of working online with the coworking world. With four locations across the region and over 100 members, the group has proven to be valuable to encourage connectivity.

In this type of organic and evolving community, local businesses find the support and strategic connections coming full circle. The following veteran entrepreneurs, mentors, newbies, professionals and corporations have found a win-win relationship in the virtual world through CMURC’s structured connectivity:

Girl! What’s In Your P.U.R.S.E. – The economic disruption as a result of the pandemic has placed millions of financially vulnerable people in danger of severe hardship. Latrice Goodwine, CEO and Founder of Girl! What’s In Your P.U.R.S.E, implements programming to assist others in strategically planning their financial future to avoid misfortunes. Through services from Courtney Jerome Media and Beauty In Me for marketing resources, Young Basile for intellectual property services, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation funding opportunities - the switch to online-based instruction and connectivity has allowed Goodwine to increase her impact at a statewide level.

“A benefit of being a part of the coworking community is you get to witness others operate in their area of genius,” said Goodwine, “Being a part of a community where you can add value and others can pour value into you has helped grow my business through thoughtful and intentional connections.”

Dribble Stick Training – Throughout the course of the pandemic, gyms across the country have been required to shut down. As a result, Luke Lloyd, creator of Dribble Stick Training, began offering exclusive on-demand videos on his mobile app breaking down weekly workout assignments to improve ballhandling. The Dribble Stick Training product, a tool designed to improve dribbling in basketball, can be purchased on their website. With CMURC’s guidance, the site has developed as a proprietary, comprehensive e-commerce solution that links the site to a third-party distribution and fulfillment company. The merchant services developed allow Luke to stay focused on sharing the product with coaches and players across the globe.

Young Basile P.C. – As innovation is often derived from moments of adversity, Young Basile has been a key player in the development of new concepts from local start-ups. Whereas most legal counseling once occurred in person, Young Basile has shifted online with attorneys connecting at weekly CMURC Virtual Perks or one-on-one over video chat. Virtual Perks include: Community Lunch on Monday at 12 p.m., Ideation on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., and Beer:30 on Thursday at 4:30 p.m – all of which attorneys attend to ensure the ideas of entrepreneurs are protected.

“Getting to know other professionals and entrepreneurs through online events has been incredibly impactful,” said Heather Kleinhardt, Associate Attorney at Young Basile, “CMURC facilitating Virtual Perks has been a great way to connect with others in the community.”

BluWave Wellbeing – Countless Americans are coping with stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic. For years, wellness classes have mostly been an in-person affair. BluWave Wellbeing has made the shift online with the mission to positively impact employee wellbeing and workplace culture. By offering workshops for organizations to integrate ‘play’ into their professional DNA, meaningful connections are established. To assist in getting the word out, the team has united with Cooke Productions for video creation work as a result of funding opportunities, and enhanced connections by collaborating in the Bay City and Midland CMURC.

“While the past year has been challenging for many, we’ve seen some magic happen in our very own region,” said Erin Strang, President + CEO of CMURC, “The virtual connectivity in the community has brought a fresh perspective to the concept that we really are all in this together.”

As the Michigan ‘three-week pause’ comes into effect, it is absolutely crucial that small businesses unite to survive these challenging times. Don’t ‘pause’ your business growth - to learn more about finding success in a virtual world, visit cmurc.com for more information.