by Erica Finley Oakland Business Review

Granholm today visited Auburn Hills-based Microposite Inc., a growing company that recently began production on an environmentally friendly siding product.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm said an early stage, Auburn Hills-based company is a perfect example of the type of forward-thinking Michigan needs to help foster.

Microposite Inc., which has begun production of an environmentally friendly residential siding product, touted as the first new development in home siding in two decades, got its start in the auto and aerospace industries, supplying composite materials.

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"We are targeting innovative companies like Microposite to diversify and grow our state's economy," Granholm said, in a news release about her visit to the company.
"This is the kind of company that will create good-paying jobs and help Michigan become a leader in green manufacturing processes and products that will increase energy savings and help protect our environment."

The company debuted the new siding product - made of 80 percent perlite, polyurethane resins as a binder and fibers for strength and durability - at the International Builders' Show in mid-February in Orlando, Fla.

Despite competition from other states, Microposite set up shop in Michigan with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., including a Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit and co-investment through the Michigan 21st Century Investment Fund. The Invest Michigan! program also played a part.

"The environment (in Michigan) is helpful for us," CEO Marc Carlson told the Ann Arbor Business Review in February, citing availability of employees, manufacturing space and tax benefits.

The private company operates out of a 30,000-square-foot office and manufacturing space, and as of February, employed 25 people. Employment projections called for 62 employees.
Carlson wouldn't reveal revenue projections, but said the siding and trim industry is worth about $10 billion per year in the United States.

"It's an enormous market," Carlson told the Business Review. "And there have been no new product innovations in 20 years."

Funding for Microposite comes in part from Nth Power in San Francisco and DFJ Element in Menlo Park, Calif.


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