©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan SmartZone Accelerators Picking Up Speed

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Jennifer Owens
(517) 335-4590

More Than 70 Companies Assisted to Date

Michigan’s seven SmartZone business accelerators are moving full speed ahead.Since their inception, the accelerators have assisted more than 70 companies and helped raise more than $165 million in capital for these firms.

The companies served are just the beginning of the accelerators’ reach.More than 50 additional companies have applied to receive accelerator assistance.

The high demand for the accelerators’ services can be attributed to the success stories of the firms already assisted.The products produced by the firms currently enrolled in the accelerator programs have a market potential of more than $120 billion.

“The SmartZone accelerators are already proving to be a valuable resource, helping to steer fledging Michigan companies towards commercial success,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting chief executive officer at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“In the years to come, these accelerators will have limitless potential to serve as a catalyst of growth for Michigan’s business community.”

The SmartZone business accelerator program was created in July 2002 through Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) assistance.SmartZone business accelerators are designed to help entrepreneurs and researchers identify technology with commercial potential.The seven business accelerators are located in the Automation Alley, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Michigan Tech Enterprise, Mount Pleasant, Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Area and Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZones.

Types of services offered at the accelerators include technology mining, technology assessments, business feasibility studies, business planning, entrepreneurial training, venture capital preparation and introductions, market analysis, product development, management recruitment and business development mentoring.

Michigan’s 11 SmartZones are designed to stimulate the growth of technology-based companies and jobs by aiding in the creation of recognized clusters of new and emerging businesses.Since the inception of the SmartZones in April of 2001, 24 companies have located within the zones and six new business incubator facilities are either under construction or operational.To date, SmartZones have spurred more than $120 million in private investment.

The Michigan Economic Development, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life

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