The efforts of the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan have led to the creation of 225 technology firms and 7,225 jobs, and overall have secured more than $300 million in follow-on investment, says a report released Wednesday.
According to the four business accelerators making up the network — Ann Arbor Spark, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator, and TechTown Detroit — collaboration has been key to that success.
“This is one of the great success stories coming out of the renaissance that’s taking place in southeast Michigan today,” says Ken Rogers, executive director of Troy-based Automation Alley. “The four BANSEM accelerators have been to able accomplish something that the region has struggled with for a number of years: successful collaboration across regional boundaries. These results speak volumes about the value of working together to move the region forward economically.”
The business accelerators joined forces in 2010 and each offer incubation services, on-site office space, and assistance in building business models and securing needed funding. Through the partnership, the organizations share best practices and manage clients as part of an integrated portfolio, which ultimately speeds up the process for bringing an entrepreneur’s business idea to fruition, says Michelle Welsh, spokeswoman for TechTown Detroit.
“When the accelerators are talking with each other and working in an integrated ecosystem, it helps improve the way we deliver our services and the program — which helps improve the results and efficiency,” Welsh says. “Our ability to accelerate the (business creation) process is the reason why we exist. Because if we didn’t, what would be the point?”
IN OTHER INNOVATION NEWS, the 2014 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is accepting applications from start-ups and later-stage entrepreneurs. The technology cited must be past the prototype stage and fall into one of the specified categories (i.e., advanced energy, medical devices).
For more information about the November competition, which will award more than $1 million to new business concepts willing to remain in or relocate to Michigan, visit acceleratemichigan.org.