THIS JUST IN: MEDC programs win national recognition

Thursday, October 15, 2020

IEDC Awards highlight success of Community Development and Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Two MEDC programs focused on small business support and technology commercialization in the state have won Excellence in Economic Development awards from the International Economic Development Council, announced today at the IEDC 2020 annual conference. MEDC’s Match on Main program was recognized with a gold award in the Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives category, and the Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N) supported by Entrepreneurship & Innovation won a silver award in the Partnerships with Educational Institutions category.

“Michigan’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are a vital part of the state’s economy, and we are proud to contribute to their resiliency and growth through programs like Match on Main and Technology Transfer Talent Network,” said Mark A. Burton, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “These national awards recognize how our programs are finding innovative ways to support our communities, our startup ecosystem, and the overall economic well-being of our state.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These 35 awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

In the Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives category, MEDC’s Match on Main program was honored as an economic development initiative that focuses on retaining and growing existing businesses within communities and regions. Match on Main is a grant program that supports small businesses located in Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities and provides funding for technical assistance, interior renovations, and working capital to new or expanding businesses.

The program helped long-time pastry chef Desyree Alberganti open her newest venture, Gabrizio Italian Café and Bakery, in downtown Niles, Mich. Through a Match on Main grant in the amount of $30,000 Alberganti was able to support interior and kitchen layout designs as well as the purchase of equipment for the new bakery. Read more about their story here.

In the Partnerships with Educational Institutions category, the MEDC-supported T3N program was recognized as a participant that has formed a true partnership or joint venture in planning, development, and financing of the project and has direct economic benefit to the community. T3N is a statewide university network designed to support, with key talent resources, the commercialization of university technologies through licenses and startups. This program provides critical expertise with mentors in residence and postdocs who are focused on the commercialization strategies of university projects. Since its inception in 2012, the T3N program has led to the creation of 123 companies, 836 patents issued and more than $506 million in follow-on funding.

Orbion Space Technology, based in Houghton, Mich., utilized the T3N Mentors-in-Residence program to work with seasoned tech entrepreneurs to identify opportunities and venture creation programs. In 2019, Orbion went on to raise $10 million in an early round of venture capital funding and was named Up-and-Coming Company of the Year by the Michigan Venture Capital Association at AMIC 2019. Read more about their story here.

Today’s awards build on a growing list of accolades in 2020, including:

To see why companies are choosing Michigan, visit

To learn more about the services available from the MEDC to help businesses grow, go to

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.