October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Michigan Strategic Fund Approves Investment in Programs to Continue Research in Innovation and Technology Across the State

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

With the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), early stage entrepreneurial activity continues to thrive across the state. To continue the momentum, the Michigan Strategic Fund, administered by the MEDC, has approved funding for seven statewide programs dedicated to strengthening Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating value in further developing talent and technologies.

The approved funding is for the following programs:

  • MVCA Venture Upstart III ($300,000)
  • BBC Entrepreneurial Training Corporation ($480,000)
  • MTRAC Statewide Program Innovation Hubs ($2,600,000), of which $2 MM is allocated to the University of Michigan MTRAC Statewide Life Science Innovation Hub
  • Michigan Small Business Development Center:
  • Technology Counseling Services ($1,840,000)
  • Business Accelerator Fund ($710,000)
  • Emerging Technologies Fund ($1,280,000)
  • Core Services ($1,840,000)


“We are dedicated to supporting high-tech entrepreneurs, from their initial idea all the way through to commercialization,” said Fred Molnar, vice president of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at MEDC. “The seven programs and initiatives approved today by the Michigan Strategic Fund will continue to provide individuals with the tools and resources needed to continue to diversify the Michigan economy and enhance growth across the tech startup ecosystem.”


The MVCA Venture Upstart III offers a variety of supportive programs to enhance venture capital activities in Michigan. The Michigan Venture Fellows Program is focused on increasing the number of venture professionals in Michigan and accelerating the fundraising and deployment of capital into early stage companies. As part of the new 2018 Venture Fellows Program, MVCA is building on initiatives to assist venture capital firms in fostering a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial and investment community in Michigan. The MVCA Education & Outreach initiatives enable MVCA to conduct research, educate, advocate, build networks and communicate to a variety of stakeholders and the general public on entrepreneurial and investment opportunities, challenges and successes within Michigan.


Through a variety of the initiatives it manages, including Technology Counseling Services (TCS), Core Services, Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) and Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), the Small Business Development Center offers resources and funding to accelerate entrepreneurs through the ecosystem.


For new entrepreneurs starting and growing high-tech businesses, the TCS program provides training and support with strategic planning, business operations and investment attraction. More than 27,161 counseling hours offered by the program has led to the creation of 990 jobs, 109 companies and more than $397 million in follow-on funding.


The BAF provides a series of small grants (totaling a maximum of $50,000) for high-tech businesses to access the required specialized services they need to grow and compete, such as IP attorneys and marketing specialists. The BAF program has supported the commercialization of 213 products, resulting in 318 jobs and over $147 million in follow-on funding.


ETF assists with attracting Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) awards to companies and technology within Michigan, and provides matching funds of up to $25,000 for Phase I and $125,000 for Phase II clinical research associated with these awards. The ETF program has helped 157 companies in creating 351 jobs and attracting more than $204 million in third-party and follow-on funding.


General support such as business counseling, market education and grant writing assistance is the focus of the Core Services program. To date, its clients have created 5,884 jobs, retained 4,116, and attracted over $399 million in follow-on funding.


Supporting Michigan startup companies in preparing and submitting grant applications for the federal STTR and SBIR programs, which fund the commercialization of high-tech discoveries, the BBC Entrepreneurial Training Corporation has provided 389 individuals with onsite training and webinars and has supported 87 companies one-on-one with proposals since 2017, resulting in more than $27 million of SBIR/STTR funding coming into Michigan.


The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Program is a statewide program that supports the translation of competitive-edge research into commercial applications at all Michigan-based higher education institutions, hospital systems and nonprofit research systems. With the extension of its funding, the program will continue to support high-tech advancements across the state through the Innovation Hubs.


As part of the MTRAC program, the University of Michigan MTRAC Life Science Innovation Hub provides support to projects in the life sciences with high commercial potential and focuses on four specific market segments: devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and healthcare IT. Since the inception of the MTRAC Life Science program and the Innovation Hub, more than 65 projects have been supported within the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Spectrum Health, Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System. Of those projects, there have been 15 startups launched, 39 jobs created, 12 licenses obtained, four options and over $18.8 million in follow on funding for participants.


MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit www.michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship


For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 98,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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