The 19th Annual Great Lakes Lenders Conference, hosted by the Michigan SBDC, was hosted July 26th-28th in Detroit, Michigan. Bankers and Lenders from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana attended innovative professional development sessions on SBA lending programs, heard about relevant banking topics, and listened to several notable speakers including SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley.
One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote address and Q&A session from SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. Administrator McMahon discussed a variety of topics including the future of the Small Business Administration and improvement of SBA tools. One of these tools is Lender Match, an online tool to match lenders and entrepreneurs.
While in Detroit, McMahon connected with a variety of Michigan small businesses as part of her Ignite Tour. Dataspeed Inc., a small business based in Rochester Hills, MI, took Administrator McMahon on a ride in an autonomous vehicle. The ride was filmed by the local CBS station, along with a one-on-one interview with McMahon. Administrator McMahon also visited Detroit’s RBV Contracting, a 2017 Michigan 50 Company to Watch, met with local female entrepreneurs to speak about challenges they face, and hosted a roundtable discussion with small business owners.
Click here to view Administrator McMahon’s complete interview and ride in an autonomous vehicle.
The conference also gave the Michigan SBDC the opportunity to host a panel discussion on transformational technologies. A group of experts in the banking and lending industry discussed the impact of emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles, drones, and artificial intelligence. The panel held a lively discussion on this topic, and experts agreed that both lenders and small businesses should be preparing for the ways emerging technologies will change the way businesses operate. As small businesses adjust their operations or even their core business model to create and adopt these technologies, banks will also need to adjust their lending procedures. The Michigan SBDC looks forward to continuing this discussion and raising small business awareness of the potential effects of emerging technologies.