(DETROIT – May 28, 2014) Today Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator and TechTown Detroit announced their collective economic impact on Southeast Michigan’s innovation economy. Together the efforts of the region’s key technology business accelerators have resulted in the creation of 7,225 technology jobs and 225 technology companies, which have gone on to secure more than $300 million in follow-on investment.
The accelerators, which came together in 2010 to form the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan (BANSEM), are designated SmartZones by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Each offers programming that facilitates the commercialization of technologies developed within private enterprises, universities and health systems. Activities include mining intellectual property for commercialization potential, assisting entrepreneurs in building business structures around technologies, and helping businesses secure necessary funding for development and growth. Each also offers incubation services, as well as on-site office and/or wet-lab space.
As a result of their collective efforts, strategies for each accelerator are now set together to maximize program diversity and reach; best practices are shared to improve business outcomes; and clients are managed as an integrated portfolio to ensure faster delivery of future services, as entrepreneurs often move from accelerator to accelerator as their business matures.
As highly efficient curators, the BANSEM accelerators are able to quickly connect technology entrepreneurs to critical and often unattainable resources across the stages of development. These resources reduce the time it takes for an entrepreneur to assess viability, enter or adapt in market, connect to experts, form a team, secure essential funding, or find the perfect location.
Accelerated outcomes preserve resources not only for the entrepreneur, but also for the region, as the accelerators aren’t dedicating resources for extended or unnecessary periods of time. Ultimately, the value of an integrated ecosystem is demonstrated in the resulting economic impact.
“BANSEM accelerators continue to act as a catalyst for economic growth in our region,” said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit, and chair of BANSEM. “Beyond education and encouragement, the impact data released today speaks to a clear-eyed commitment to execute – not in silos, but as a thoughtfully integrated support system.”
“Collaboration is critical to economic development,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “As is the case with BANSEM, where each organization brings specific strengths and resources to the table, working together can create significant, positive impact on the success and development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. An entrepreneurial economy is the foundation for a healthy and growing innovation economy; the companies that start here today grow in to the jobs creators of tomorrow.”
“This is one of the great success stories coming out of the renaissance that’s taking place in Southeast Michigan today,” said Ken Rogers, executive director of 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 relationship between the BANSEM SmartZones not only creates a positive economic impact for Southeast Michigan, but also fosters critical knowledge exchange that leads to the elimination of duplicate services and the creation of a more efficient and effective support system for the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Julie Gustafson, executive director of the Macomb-OU INCubator.
“The outputs we’re seeing from BANSEM are exactly the outputs we were hoping for when the collaboration was formed,” said David Egner, executive director of the New Economy Initiative. “Most importantly, they speak to what we can achieve when we bring our collective intelligence and resources together in service of creating jobs and growing the economy.”
About the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan (BANSEM)
In 2010, Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator and TechTown Detroit came together as the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan (BANSEM). The collective effort was funded through a $3 million grant from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan. BANSEM’s mission is to attract and retain businesses as a fully integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem, a model that drives network-wide efficiencies and enables the preservation of time and resources.
About Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.
About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a technology business association and business accelerator dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan and enhancing the region’s reputation around the world. Automation Alley offers talent and business development programs and services to tech-focused businesses of all sizes — from startups to large corporations — to help them grow and prosper. Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley’s membership has grown to include nearly 1,000 businesses, educational institutions, government entities and nonprofit organizations from the city of Detroit and the surrounding eight-county region. Automation Alley provides a variety of exclusive benefits to its members to help them succeed, including networking opportunities, meeting space and public relations tools. Automation Alley also serves the general business community in five key areas: entrepreneurial services, talent development, international business services, product lifecycle management, and defense and manufacturing. Automation Alley collaborates with regional partners to provide its members and clients with the best business resources available, to drive local economic growth, and to positively influence the stories being told around the globe about the people and businesses of Greater Detroit. For more information, visit automationalley.com.
About Macomb-OU INCubator
The Macomb-Oakland University INCubator supports economic development in Southeast Michigan by accelerating high-tech businesses, cultivating academic innovation and encouraging research & development. To help small businesses grow, the incubator creates customized success strategies for startup and emerging companies in the niche industries of defense, homeland security, advanced manufacturing and technology. For more information, visit the incubator website at oakland.edu/macombouinc.
About TechTown Detroit
TechTown is Detroit’s business innovation hub. As the city’s most established business accelerator and incubator, it serves as a dynamic point of convergence for talent, customers and capital. By helping entrepreneurs navigate the path to market, its work catalyzes entire communities of startups in technology, retail and wholesale for an inclusive approach to economic development. TechTown is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located within the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone. For more information, visit techtowndetroit.org.
Ann Arbor SPARK: Jennifer Cornell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Automation Alley: Erin Sommerville, email@example.com
Macomb-OU INCubator: Joan Carleton, firstname.lastname@example.org
TechTown Detroit: Michelle Welsh, email@example.com