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The Importance of Innovation for Small Businesses


Early in my career, there was a very wise mentor who lead the engineering department where I worked and his name was Fred Whitson. Fred would eloquently state, “how high does the customer want us to jump”? What I took from his statement was the more atypical decision of qualifying a customer before developing a solution for them. I now call this decision process “Zero Gate” to reflect what should be the first step in the typical “5 Gate” process of innovation. To successfully innovate, you have to listen to your customers. Without knowing the customer, their pain points, and…

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January 18, 2018

MMAC Future 50 – Keynote Speakers


MMAC/COSBE began the Future 50 program to recognize the outstanding achievements of local, fast-growing entrepreneurs.Winners must be privately-owned, located in the seven-county region, have been in business for at least three years, and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.The winning companies are honored at the annual Future 50 Luncheon, are highlighted in the MMAC's Membership Directory and are often featured in news articles published by the local media.

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January 01, 2018

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Midwest Awards – Jerry Jendusa


Jerry Jendusa has never been afraid to take risks. So when he was approached by a customer at Gulfstream Aerospace with the idea of replacing fluorescent tubes in airplanes with LEDs, Jendusa was excited to tackle the challenge. He began working on a plan in his basement while honoring a non-compete agreement that meant he could not draw a salary for more than a year.Jendusa obtained equity through family and friends and cobbled together a small amount of cash, a Small Business Administration loan and a minimal line of credit. Despite the financial difficulties, Jendusa was driven to make this…

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January 01, 2018

Ready for Takeoff — The Sky is the Limit for EMTEQ


Over the past 12 years, New Berlin-based EMTEQ Inc. has evolved from a basement startup company to a global aerospace supplier specializing in airline components, lighting, engineering and certification that expects $100 million in revenues by 2010. The firm's customers are primarily the military, aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aircraft manufacturers. EMTEQ's founders – Jerry Jendusa, Jim Harasha and Todd Lyda – began designing and building radio frequency cables for aircraft in the basement of Jendusa's Wind Lake home in April 1996. That August, EMTEQ moved to a 4,000-square-foot facility in Muskego's industrial park, and the company had $1…

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January 01, 2018

Emteq: A culture of innovation


By: Christine McMahon: This is a story about Emteq, an American dream-come-true built on a culture of innovation. Founded in 1996, Emteq is a worldwide leader in the production and supply of innovative products for the aviation industry. Like a number of other great companies, Emteq began in its founder's basement. Jerry Jendusa conceived of the company in 1996, and in his basement he focused on sales and marketing by day, and built product by night. Today, Emteq has grown to 475 employees and is located in an 82,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in New Berlin with six additional offices located in…

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January 01, 2018

Biz Times Featured Cover Story


"Get Unstuck" Jendusa sells company and tackles his next challenge. "Fake it 'til you make it" is a fitting mantra for Jerry Jendusa's entrepreneurial journey. Back in 1995, he had five years of aviation industry experience under his belt and was working as a health care technology sales manager. He wanted to use his aviation background to start a new business that created unique, niche products and provided value-added service in the aerospace industry. And the culture of the company must be unique, too. But how could he start a company like that without any manufacturing experience? Enter Jim Harasha,…

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January 01, 2018
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