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Michigan currently has 20 SmartZones located throughout the state. These SmartZones provide distinct geographical locations where technology-based companies, entrepreneurs and researchers can locate in close proximity to community assets that assist in their endeavors. The SmartZones include technology business accelerators that provide various services including business development mentoring, feasibility studies, business planning, entrepreneurial training, market analysis, technology assessments, technology mining and more. They also facilitate the commercialization of technologies developed at Michigan universities by partnering with tech transfer offices. For more information, visit MEDC's SmartZone Fact Sheet.
The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) enhances Michigan’s economic well-being by providing consulting, training and research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies.
Headquartered at Grand Valley State University, representing a long-term collaboration between the Small Business Administration and the State of Michigan, the SBDC operates 11 regional offices and more than 20 satellite offices. The SBDC provides entrepreneurs and business owners with convenient access to consulting and training throughout Michigan at low or no cost. Visit the SBDC website to contact an office in your region
The SBDC provides consulting to innovative tech companies through its “Tech Team” of business consultants who have many years of first-hand experience launching and growing high tech companies. Their background in tech sectors including life sciences, IT, advanced manufacturing, and mobility enables them to provide in-depth support that is essential to the inception and expansion of companies built on cutting-edge technologies. Visit the SBDC website to contact an office in your region.
BBCetc manages the Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which provides group training and one-on-one proposal development consulting to Michigan’s technology-based entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. The program’s goal is to increase Michigan’s share of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding by enhancing the competitiveness of SBIR/STTR proposals. Support covers applications to all 11 participating federal agencies including NIH, NSF, DoD and DoE and requires a non-refundable participation fee of $500, which provides up to 15 hours of one-on-one assistance, access to agency tools and templates as appropriate and a reduced rate for on site training sessions for all individuals from an organization. For more information and to begin the process, contact BBCetc.
The First Customer Program assists startups and small companies with identifying critical gaps in business development, marketing and sales. The program can support, with matching funds or talent, in addressing areas required for a client to acquire their first customer in a current market or when diversifying into a new market. For more information, visit the First Customer Program website.