©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Entrepreneur assistance, community development projects win state approval

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kathy Fagan

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of Entrepreneurial Service Provider Request for Proposals awards and two community revitalization projects that will generate more than $15 million in new investment in the state.

“Today’s MSF actions will provide support services to innovative technology startups and bring new vitality and economic opportunities that will serve as catalysts for further investment in Michigan’s communities,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “These new investments in our state will strengthen our communities, accelerate the growth of early-stage companies and fuel new opportunities for our talented workforce.”

Entrepreneurial Service Provider Request for Proposals awards:
On April 22, the MSF approved an allocation of $6.65 million for the Entrepreneurial Services Program and issued a Request for Proposals, which sought applications from nonprofit organizations and universities in Michigan to provide specialized support services to assist entrepreneurs in launching and growing high-tech companies throughout the state. The MSF today approved nine awards of the 20 proposals that were received:
1. Invest Detroit – $1.35 million over two years to administer the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and the Institutional Investor Forum.
2. BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting – $960,000 to fund the continuation of the Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program.
3. Ann Arbor SPARK – $500,000 over two years to create Michigan Angel Fund II and to continue success of Michigan Angel Fund 1.
4. NextEnergy – $800,000 over two years to fund the continuation of Michigan Accelerating Technologies Energy Grant (MATch).
5. Inforum Center for Leadership – $367,281 over two years to fund the continuation of inGAGE™ training initiative and accelerate the success of women-led ventures.
6. University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship – $582,376 over two years to disseminate best practices in entrepreneurship training.
7. Invest Detroit – $605,300 over two years to administer the Michigan Hacker Fellowship.
8. Michigan Venture Capital Association – $987,850 to support Venture Upstart III for a two-year period.
9. Michigan State University Foundation, Spartan Innovations – $500,000 over two years to enhance and grow the GreenLight Business Model Competition.

The MSF also approved awards for these community improvement projects:

The Wright Opera Block Project is the historic renovation of the Wright Opera House and adjoining properties into residential units and retail space in the heart of downtown Alma. In 2010, the Wright Opera Block was decimated by fire. The developer will restore the building to its former historic glory. The Wright Opera Block consists of multiple three-story buildings and an adjacent one story building known as the "Boiler Building". Within the Opera Block the top two floors will be renovated into resident units for 47 Alma College students. The first floor will be renovated to accommodate multiple commercial/retail tenants, roughly 18,000 square feet. To complement the building renovations, the City of Alma will be upgrading the surrounding infrastructure to accommodate the increased residents as well as the visitors and employees of the newly created commercial spaces. The infrastructure project will include the reconstruction and landscaping of three downtown parking lots, and LED street lighting.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $6.7 million and create 42 full time jobs. As a result, the project is being awarded a $1 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant and the City of Alma has been awarded $419,958 in Community Development Block Grant funds.

The County of Macomb Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is seeking approval of local and school tax capture in the amount of $1,592,970 for the demolition of the former Crowley’s Dept. Store in the City of Roseville. The City of Roseville and Macomb County have deemed this a top priority for the region. The redevelopment and site improvements will make way for a new building to house a national retailer. The project will generate approximately $8.4 million in total capital investment and create 295 permanent full-time equivalent jobs. The City is also considering a 10-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act property tax abatement which will provide an overall savings of approximately $800,000.

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 80,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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