The Macomb-OU INCubator has always been a powerful advocate of diversification for small businesses. Our Lean training programs even roll up under “Lean Diversification,” with the goal for course graduates to simplify processes using Lean tools and subsequently have the resources necessary for company diversification.
The recent inaugural Techweek Detroit conference featured Josh Linkner, four-time tech entrepreneur (including Founder and Former CEO/Chairman of ePrize, now Hello World), current CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners and a NY Time’s Bestselling Author. Linkner’s new book, “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation” dives into the importance of not relying on prior successes as a future sustainability plan. Linkner refers to this as reinvention, Mac-OU INC calls it diversification. The same point remains of never settling and understanding that what might be working great now will need future improvements.
My prime example is Mac-OU INC client company, Microcide. Microcide’s patented surface-sanitizing products (think hand soap, mouthwash, and fruit and veggie spray, among others) are ahead of the curve of new technology, as they are non-alcoholic, Triclosan-free, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly and most importantly, EPA- and USDA-approved and effective against antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.
The obvious application is new hand soap and mouthwash for sale at major superstores. Yet, think again. While this is a valid application, Microcide also has a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Mars Space Mission. Though the mission is in the distant future, R&D is being accomplished at this very moment. Microcide’s sanitizing wipes will be used to disinfect the fresh produce grown on the flight in the tabletop greenhouses. The long flight for the astronauts now includes fresh, healthy, clean vegetables.
Mac-OU INC’s Lean Diversification program is not the only assistance we provide in this realm. Our recent partnership with the Michigan Defense Center and Logistic Specialties Inc (LSI) has resulted in an upcoming defense contracting series, with Doing Business with the Department of Defense and Winning Federal Contracts as a Small Business scheduled for June 17 and 19, respectively. It will continue on into the fall.
My point should be clear – learn about defense contracting and give it a go. All you have to lose is your time. You may be surprised at the options for diversification/reinvention!
So, let’s start brainstorming! I would love to hear your diversification success stories.
Marketing & Communications Manager