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Karim Motawi

Co-founder and vice president of Motawi Tileworks, Karim Motawi is half of a brother-sister team that turned their custom tile garage startup into a $2 million business.   An entrepeneur and innovator, Karim explains how new ideas can bring small start ups big help.

Post No. 3

Small can be beautiful, even in business. I've been having a lot of chats with my soon to be unemployed neighbor who works at Pfizer here in Ann Arbor. We talk about what he is going to do next and what his co-workers are doing. I have to tell you, he surprised me. He is genuinely excited and not just about his prospects, he is excited about the prospects of the region. Huh? To him, and I believe it now, too, the loss of Pfizer will be a net benefit to Ann Arbor. Pfizer was a dandelion that has just been kicked by a child. The seeds, it's employees, have been cast to the winds to start...you guessed it, more life science companies.

These new companies are going to be just the right size, small. Why is small better? People who start small companies are the most highly motivated people in business. They have just put everything on the line for something they believe in. You don't start a business on a whim, you start it because you believe fervently that you can make a success of it. My neighbor tells me his co-workers are ready to go. For years they have let opportunities for new research and ideas for startup companies go by as they enjoyed the golden handcuffs of safe and secure well paying jobs. The cuffs are off. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to the starts ups that are being developed by former Pfizer people. These little companies led by motivated bright people recently freed from a large bureaucracy are going to do some good work. And I'm betting they will be doing it right here in Ann Arbor.

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