Changes are coming soon to South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids as Dr. Paul KingMD, and his team are about to transform a century-old building into a state-of-the-art facility for cannabis testing.
“I’m from Grand Rapids. I grew up here,” King said. “My wife had cancer. One of the only things that gave her some relief was cannabis, but we had to get it off the street and we never knew what was in it. I’m a doctor, a neurosurgeon, so I opened a cannabis testing lab seemed like a natural thing to me.”
King joins the starting team for Glen Clantonwho has more than 30 years of corporate experience in sales and marketing, corporate training/facilitation and business management, and Paul King II, who has more than 20 years of corporate experience in financial and business analysis. The youngest king also holds a degree in chemical engineering from Tuskegee University.
Once operational, Hummingbird Labs will be a full-service safety compliance facility (cannabis testing laboratory) offering a one-stop solution where customers can be assured that they meet all regulatory requirements.
“Laboratory testing for cannabis is mandatory in the state of Michigan,” King said. “We want to be a part of making sure the cannabis people consume is safe and free of contaminants, heavy metals and pesticides.”
As the only black-owned security compliance facility in Michigan, King said Hummingbird Labs will offer a competitive advantage in the form of social equity credits to its customers. Additionally, Hummingbird Labs will be located within an Opportunity Zone in Grand Rapids and part of the South City Revitalization Project, supporting investment and community development resources.
“I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia, but I grew up on the streets,” he said. “We can’t do that in Atlanta, but we can do it here. I specifically chose the Division location because I wanted to be a part of the neighborhood I grew up in and help bring jobs and revitalize the area.”
The demand for compliance testing continues to grow as Michigan’s cannabis market faces accelerated growth. Currently, demand for testing exceeds testing capacity. King said Hummingbird Labs is well positioned to meet this production challenge and gain significant market share over the next three to five years.
“It’s not great that this is a new day and we’re testing cannabis products to keep the consumer as safe as possible,” he said. “Our goal for Hummingbird Labs is to create a place where people learn that cannabis isn’t all bad and help educate people to adopt cannabis responsibly.”
King said Hummingbird Labs is offering investors the opportunity to be a part of his vision and dream by investing in his Mainvest capital campaign to build facilities, purchase equipment and general operations.
Here is the field
In front of the Michigan women organizes the ’53 Voices’ presentation challenge sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. The challenge addresses income inequality through entrepreneurship by providing anyone with access to the capital, training resources and social connections needed to break down barriers, take an idea and turn it into a viable business.
Rather than relying solely on their ability to put pen to paper, applicants will be asked to submit audio business pitches. Each applicant has up to 53 seconds to verbally describe their idea or existing business for consideration. Applications are due August 17 and must include a one-page concept paper. visit miwf.org.
“The 53 Voices Submission Challenge was created to help women and girls reach their full potential and allow their voices to be heard,” she said. Alexis Dishman, director of lending at Michigan Women Forward. “At Michigan Women Forward, we believe in an equitable future where women and entrepreneurs of color are empowered to pursue their business dreams and make them come true. We are proud to work toward this goal with Fifth Third Bank and it makes us excited to hear what this year’s applicants bring.”
Finally, the judges will identify the top 10 finalists. Each contestant will submit a 53-second video to receive $750. The top three vote-getters will receive $7,500, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council has a familiar face on board.
Kurtis Trevan joined NMSDC as a consultant in the role of vice president of minority business growth. He will also act as an entrepreneur in residence.
Trevan comes to NMSDC from West Michigan-based Gun Lake Investments (GLI), a leading tribal-owned private equity investment firm where he was CEO and co-founder. He joined the NMSDC team in early July and will be responsible for developing a growth strategy to help Certified MBEs reach $1 billion in annual revenue. It will focus on identifying and better preparing NMSDC-certified MBEs to meet the current and future needs of its corporate members. This will include building an ecosystem that includes investors, lenders, accelerators and other external resources.
Prior to joining NMSDC, Trevan spent 11 years working for his Native American tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of the Pottawatomi Nation, where he focused on business and investment. During his time as CEO of GLI, Trevan originated two of the largest tribal co-investments in history and grew his portfolio to 12 platform investments over five years in private equity, credit and real estate commercial
Trevan is the first Native American to join NMSDC’s executive leadership team, reflecting the organization’s dedication to ensuring the inclusion and representation of the communities it serves in everything it does.
“We are very excited to welcome Kurtis to NMSDC. His experience and leadership will allow us to set a bold course as we march toward $1 trillion in certified MBE revenue and end the wealth equity gap racial once and for all,” said the NMSDC CEO and President. Ying McGuire.
McGuire said Trevan’s addition to NMSDC is injecting a much-needed entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset into the organization’s work. His passion for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the private sector and more than 20 years of business experience will provide the insight needed to help NMSDC drive socioeconomic equity and create true generational wealth for communities of color in our nation, McGuire said.