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SBAM recognizes Innovation of the Year, top entrepreneurs at Michigan Celebrates Small Business

May 9, 2015

Nearly 800 celebrants gathered at the Lansing Center on Thursday, May 7, for the 11th Annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) gala awards event. The theme for the event – Unleashing Innovation and Growth – was a call to action. Supporters and underwriters pledge to continue to reach across the country and the world to connect Michigan’s most innovative companies to new markets and opportunities. 

Yan Ness, MiQuest board chair, past chair of SBAM and co-CEO of Online Tech, welcomed this year’s awardees and 18 past winners. “Over the years, winners have come from very different industries, backgrounds and philosophies. But they have one thing in common,” said Ness. “They have accepted that there is a responsibility that comes with success – it’s like a badge of honor you have to live up to. There’s a responsibility to continue to excel; to grow their business; to improve their staff, and to give back.” 

Among the companies honored Thursday night was Civionics of Ann Arbor, recognized with the SBAM Innovation of the Year Award for their wireless sensor system for equipment health monitoring.

Go to to see a list of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch for 2015, the U.S. SBA Small Business awards and other award winners.

Contributing underwriters to MCSB 2015 included Beijing MCTD, PNC Bank, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Varnum, Hungerford Nichols, MiQuest, Accident Fund, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy Foundation, EDGE Partnerships, Michigan Business Network, Rehmann, Accident Fund, Consumers Energy, DTE Foundation, Comcast Business Class, Clark Hill, MessageMakers and Online Tech.

Michigan Celebrates Small Business was launched in 2005 by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Edward Lowe Foundation, Small Business Association of Michigan, and Chris Holman – Small Business Advocate. MiQuest is the Managing Partner for Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The mission is to highlight the contributions small businesses make to the state’s economy. For more information about MCSB, visit

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