MI Roundup: iDashboards, OnStar, Zagster, Pure Michigan LIVE & More

Here’s a look at news you may have missed from around Michigan’s innovation hubs:

iDashboards, the Troy-based business intelligence software company, has formed a “value-add reseller” partnership with Phoenix Systems, a Canadian software and hardware service provider. Phoenix Systems will now offer iDashboards’ data visualization products to its customers, and the company said in a press release that it is responding to client demand for software that can translate complicated data sets into an easy-to-read dashboard. The deal is part of a recent international expansion for iDashboards; the company hired a new regional manager overseeing the German and Austrian markets, and inked a partnership deal in the U.K. earlier this year.

“Phoenix Systems has an outstanding reputation for providing automated solutions for small-to-midsized businesses that ultimately result in improved processes and lower operating costs,” said iDashboards CEO Shadan Malik in a statement explaining why his company was interested in the partnership.

OnStar, the 19-year-old subsidiary of GM often hailed as the first connected-vehicle service, announced that as of today, it has fielded more than one billion requests from its customers, who interact with OnStar through embedded cellular service, phones, or mobile apps. It started as a service that would make a phone call if the car’s airbags deployed, but today, OnStar remotely unlocks doors, loads driving directions directly to the vehicle, compiles and sends reports on vehicle health, and helps law enforcement by slowing down vehicles being pursued. “OnStar created the original connected car in 1996 and today remains at the forefront of innovation,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president of General Motors’ Global Connected Customer Experience, in a press release.

Michigan.com, the state’s largest media and marketing company, and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) are joining Zagster‘s bike-share program. With the two new bikes added by Michigan.com and one new bike courtesy of SEMCOG, the program now has a total of 57 bikes in downtown Detroit that are available to the employees of participating companies. (Quicken Loans and DTE Energy are Zagster’s founding partners in Detroit, with thousands of employees between them.) This is even more good news for a city that has suddenly gone bike crazy and will start getting bike lanes protected by guardrails downtown in the next year.

—The state of Michigan can now be toured virtually thanks to a new partnership between the state’s tourism office and Georama, the Chicago-based interactive travel website. Called Pure Michigan LIVE, the campaign conducted a live tour of Mackinac Island in June, which attracted 3,500 viewers from 22 countries, and the Detroit Zoo on July 17. (Archives of both tours are available at Pure Michigan LIVE’s website.) Pure Michigan is the first state tourism office in the nation to use Georama’s technology to enable destination marketing. To see the schedule of upcoming live Georama tours in the Great Lakes State, click here.

Algal Scientific, the Plymouth-based startup developing algae-based chemicals to improve animal feed and human nutrition, has added Mike McCabe to its senior leadership team. He brings 24 years of experience in animal health, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and genetics to the job. Prior to joining Algal Scientific, McCabe served in a variety of roles with Abbott Animal Health, Merial, and Genus. He earned his veterinary medical degree from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a degree in chemistry from Drake University.

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