Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced todaythat Michigan’s Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) network is one of only two SBDC networks in the nation to be awarded the coveted national technology designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To receive this designation the statewide network had to prove a strong commitment to the allocation of both human and financial resources to serve technology-based small businesses.
“Our goal is to make Michigan a top location for technology companies looking to grow and expand, and this designation puts out the welcome mat. My economic plan focuses on bringing high tech, high-wage jobs to our state, and the MI-SBDCs will play an integral role in making Michigan a competitor in the technology sector,” Governor Granholm said.“This new designation recognizes that the MI-SBDC, one of the small business community's most valuable resources, is nurturing those ideas into prosperous technology business ventures.”
As part of the certification process the MI-SBDC, now known as the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC), fully integrated technology assistance into its strategic plan for service delivery.This included hiring four technology business resource consultants, each bringing tremendous expertise, experience and credentials to assist new technology companies.
Governor Granholm was joined by Consumer and Industry Services Director David Hollister, who will guide a new department called Labor and Economic Growth that will work in conjunction with other state agencies, like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to put a new emphasis on economic development and workforce development.
“High tech business development is the key to Michigan's future economic growth,” said Director Hollister. “This important designation by the U.S. Small Business Administration will help us open the door to that future by offering vital assistance to high tech businesses and entrepreneurs who want to thrive in Michigan.”
The MI-SBTDC staff also has worked in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to deliver services in the area of growing technology-based companies.
This partnership resulted in MI-SBTDC network assisting even more technology companies with intellectual property issues, company management structure and access to capital through traditional bank relationships, angel or venture capital financing and Small Business Innovative Research Grants.
North Carolina is the only other state network of Small Business Development Centers to hold the technology designation.
“The MI-SBTDC network now has tremendous capacity to serve not only main street U.S.A. small businesses, but also the fast growing market of technology companies,” added MI-SBTDC State Director, Carol Lopucki.”
The Michigan Small Business Technology and Development Center network provides counseling, training and research for Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding new businesses, new technology companies, and innovators.The MI-SBTDC is housed at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As host of the MI-SBTDC headquarters, the Seidman School of Business oversees the statewide, 12-region network.
"We're proud of our partnership with the Small Business Development Center," said Mark Murray, President of GVSU."This designation increases our ability to serve the state's small businesses."
Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest MI-SBTDC by calling 616-331-7480 or visiting www.mi-sbdc.org.###