Playing To Win

These ventures are growing through innovation and dedication

physician offices. Launched in 1998 after Payne-Nabors, 39, a nuclear medicine technologist, decided to take the entrepreneurial route, the company now employs a staff of 13 and has four vehicles. The business generated about $285,000 in 1999, its first year; $1.2 million in 2001; and $1.6 million in 2002.
The company’s high-tech medical mobile coach, which cost $654,000, serves approximately 1,000 people per year. “It’s about 55 feet and has a full nuclear medicine department. We can look at the heart and determine if we need angioplasty or bypass,” Payne-Nabors says. “We can also look at the skeletal system and the soft tissue and determine if cancer is in remission, if it has spread, or if it’s localized.” The company’s other vehicles are small mobile vans that are used for transporting medical equipment to clients. “The mobi
le environment is the trend of the future. We look forward to continued growth due to the trend of outsourcing medical services to hospitals,” Payne-Nabors says.

RISING STAR NOMINEES
This award recognizes individuals, ages 21—35, whose outstanding skills, professionalism, and perseverancehave established them as future business leaders.
D&D Innovations Inc.
TYPE OF BUSINESS Engineering
CEO Orlando Robinson
LOCATION Southfield, MI
Orlando Robinson lost his fiancée in a fatal car accident in 1997. The tragic event inspired him to develop products to ensure that motorists use seatbelts.
Robinson’s company, D&D Innovations Inc., manufactures the Seatbelt Shifter Lock, an electronic device designed to reduce fatalities by preventing drivers from taking a vehicle out of park until seatbelts are fastened. Robinson, 30, says the product is being tested for use in General Motors vehicles. The company also offers electrical, electronic, and software-engineering products and services to the automotive industry. “When a plant shuts down for whatever electrical reason, they’ll give us a call and ask us to send engineers or techs to repair the problem,” he says. “We provide emergency response.”
The firm’s largest client is Lear Corp., a publicly traded supplier of auto components to automotive industry in which D&D provides electronic and software engineering services. The deal represents some $1.5 million in annual revenues.
Should Robinson land a deal with GM, he expects revenues at his Southfield, Michigan-based firm to grow exponentially. Deal or no deal, he projects 2003 revenues to exceed $2.5 million, compared with more than $1 million for 2002. In anticipation, he’s moving his business to a 56,000-square-foot facility in the Detroit area.

TechnikOne
TYPE OF BUSINESS Website development
PRESIDENT/CEO Martin J. McNeese, L. Kareem Geiger
LOCATION Charlotte, NC
When Martin J. McNeese, 28, decided to form Website developing firm TechnikOne in 1998, he scraped together $1,200 for computing gear and software. Today, he and partner, L. Karim Geiger, 29, are at the helm of a fast-growing business that generated $450,000 in revenues for 2002, a sharp increase from revenues of $260,000 in 2001.
When the firm was in its infancy, McNeese worked 9-to-5 as an accountant while devoting his remaining hours to the business, which he ran out of his home, routinely staying up past 3 a.m. Geiger, a 29-year-old network engineer, was brought onboard in 1999

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