LANSING – A dozen Michigan business incubators will split $6 million in grants from the Michigan Strategic Fund to help launch and grow start-up companies throughout the state.
The biggest winners were Wayne State’s TechTown - $875,000 – Michigan Technological University - $750,000 – and Oakland County’s Automation Alley - $625,000.
Other recipients in order of the dollar value include: $600,000 - Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo
$500,000 - Grand Rapids Smart Zone, Macomb Oakland University Incubator, Ann Arbor SPARK, Mid Michigan Innovation Center in Midland, the Starting Block & The Stream in Newaygo County.
$350,000 - Central Michigan University Research Center
$150,000 - Lansing Regional Smart Zone, Kettering University
Business incubators in Michigan represent support for thousands of jobs and more than a billion dollars in economic impact and are playing a critical role in diversifying the state’s economy.
“Early-stage companies require seed capital and access to a strong network of public and private resources,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We are confident that with the funding of these organizations and the types of services they will provide, we will continue to accelerate the growth of innovative technology start-ups in Michigan.”
In October, the MEDC issued a Request for Proposals for grants of up to $2 million. Of the 23 proposals that were submitted, 12 were chosen for grants.
In order to be considered for a grant, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive business plan for delivering entrepreneurial services to start-up businesses, such as marketing assistance, legal services, and training. Applicants were required to develop a dashboard of indicators to measure the effectiveness of the business incubator and accelerator programs that also ties to the state’s strategic goals.
In June 2011, the Michigan Legislature mandated that a portion of the funds appropriated to the Michigan Strategic Fund for innovation and entrepreneurship be used for business incubators and accelerators located in the following governmental units: Houghton County, Kent County, Macomb County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, a city with a population greater than 650,000, and a Midland County satellite site of an incubator located in Isabella County.
The MSF also considered proposals from entities located in other governmental units provided that no governmental unit receives more than one award.
Author: Staff Writer