Fall Newsletter 2016--Making a Difference

Advocacy Corner

How successful is your incubation/acceleration/co-working program? Do you collect data and use it to measure your program's success? Do you promote that success to your stakeholders? If so, MBIA would like to help you promote your achievements. MBIA's Advocacy Task Force is collecting information on programs all over Michigan and will compile that information into a state-wide report that can be shared with legislators at the state and local levels.

What exactly is advocacy? It is a proactive word meaning to educate.  Unlike lobbying, which seeks to influence a politician or public official on a specific issue, advocacy is designed to help legislators understand what incubation/acceleration/co-working is, how it benefits communities, and how legislators can get involved in activities and legislation that support incubation/acceleration/co-working. Successful advocacy allows them to make informed decisions on various topics that arise in legislative matters regarding incubation/acceleration/co-working.

As part of the Advocacy Task Force's work, MBIA will collect data on programs all over Michigan and map where programs are active and having impacts. Once this data is collected, MBIA will share the results with members as well as state legislators. This information will also be put in the advocacy toolkit that is under development at the MBIA website, and programs will be encouraged to share the data with local governments. A list of state and local government officials is maintained at the MBIA website.


MBIA needs your help. Please send in any impact metrics you collect in whatever format you collect them: annual reports, end of the year statistics, grant reporting metrics, etc. If you have data available electronically, please email your document(s) to Harry Blecker at hblecker@kettering.edu. If the information you have is hard copy only, like a bound report or a printed annual report, you can mail those to Harry at Kettering University, 1700 University Ave Campus Center, 5th Floor, Flint, MI 48504.

Happy Birthday, WMU Starting Gate!

WMU's Starting Gate program recently celebrated 3 years as a university based accelerator.  Over these past three years they've helped 41 student startups with hundreds of mentors and many valuable resources.  Several of these companies have gained national recognition and have received funding from both angel investors as well as through competitions.  The next program starts on October 3 and runs through March 31, 2017.  If you're interested in mentoring, leading a workshop, meeting the students, sponsoring the high school entrepreneur camp, or investing, please contact Lara Hobson, Operations Director, at lara.hobson@wmich.edu.  More information can be found on the website: http://www.wmich.edu/startinggate

Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator Lands $55,000 USDA Grant

Ottawa County, MI - On July 8, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed a grant agreement to provide the Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator (GLATBI) with $55,000 to enhance their marketing, outreach, and training efforts.  The GLATBI, located in Ottawa County, serves entrepreneurs, farmers, and existing businesses who have an ag-technology idea or invention they would like to develop, either into a business or to license to other entities. Ottawa County ranks third in the State in total farm receipts, making it a perfect location to discover and develop ag-technologies.

The USDA funding, which comes from the Rural Business Development Grant program, will help the GLATBI promote their services and better connect with entities seeking assistance. The Rural Business Development Grant program is a competitive program designed to support targeted technical assistance and other related activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues.

 Development of ag-technology ideas and inventions can create new businesses and jobs that will spark the economy in Ottawa County and around the State. GLATBI provides hands-on, customized business services to help clients address their specific challenges as they launch their ag-technology into the marketplace.  The GLATBI’s eight sponsor organizations also use their expertise to assist staff in addressing each client’s unique business hurdles.

 Once an entity meets with the GLATBI about their ag-technology, staff uses their industry resources to assess the viability of the entity’s concept or invention before signing an agreement to provide services to the entity.  This ensures a high level of success for both the GLATBI and their clients.  There is no upfront fee for clients to receive services.  When the client begins generating revenue, then a portion of that revenue, called a business services fee, is paid to the GLATBI. The amount of the business services fee depends upon whether the client builds a business, licenses their product, or if the client is an existing business.

Join Us in Milwaukee!


Co-hosted by MBIA and the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association, this multi-day event will offer educational and networking opportunities for all entrepreneurial support professionals working with incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, maker spaces, economic development agencies, universities, SBDCs, and more.

The GLIn2 Summit kicks off with an opening reception on Wednesday October 19, 2016 at 5:30-7:30 p.m.  We are excited to announce our key note speaker Tracy Kitts, Chief Administrative Officer with the International Economic Development Council. Kitts was the VP, COO and acting CEO of the National Business Incubation Association (now International Business Innovation Association) for several years.  Don’t miss hearing him on Thursday October 20, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

The GLIn2 Summit features sessions focusing on three key topics: business coaching, entrepreneurial ecosystems and serving entrepreneurs.  Subject matter experts from Wisconsin and Michigan will be sharing their experiences and insights.   The coaching track will be lead by David Terry, President/CEO of Destination Coaching & Training LLC.  Terry specializes in strategic business growth, assisting entrepreneurs and professionals in mastery of time and money, developing a market niche, and building a winning team.

Early bird registration rate of $149 until September 30th to join us for the entire summit. Single day rate of $99.

Reservations can be made by calling 414-935-5943 and mentioning the “WBIA Block” or click here. The room rate is $165 if booked by September 18th.

REGISTER HERE: http://wbiastate.org/events/

MI Meetup at GLiN2

Are you planning on attending the Great Lakes International Innovation (GLiN2) Summit in Milwaukee this October? If so, plan on joining your Michigan colleagues for an evening of networking and fun. Details will be available as the conference gets closer.

The GLiN2 Summit is a joint event brought to you by the Michigan Business Incubator Association and the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association. There will be a full slate of sessions to choose from regarding best practices and successful programs, as well as networking with new friends from across the Midwest. The multi-day conference wll be marketed to incubation, acceleration, and co-working programs in states throughout the Great Lakes region. Many of our Canadian colleagues will be in attendance, too. A strong Michigan presence is desired since Michigan is co-hosting this first event in Wisconsin and the second one will be in Michigan in 2017. Let's show our peers how dedicated Michigan is to supporting entrepreneurs and startup companies.  Hope to see you all in Wisconsin!

Member Meeting in Kalamazoo on 9/12

Want to learn how to make better use of the member-only areas of the MBIA website? If so, join us on September 12 as MBIA President Sandra Cochrane walks us through the various pages available to members. You'll see how easy it is to upload your program events to the MBIA calendar, how to post questions and responses to MBIA bulletin boards, how to upload and download helpful documents from the sample documents file cabinet, and more. The member meeting will take place at the WMed Innovation Center inside the WMU Business, Technology & Research Park in Kalamazoo: 4717 Campus Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. The WMed Innovation Center is kindly providing lunch. To attend in person, please register by clicking this link: http://www.viethconsulting.com/members/evr/reg_event.php?orgcode=MBIA&evid=14900747. A webinar has been set up so people unable to attend in person can learn about the MBIA members-only features via their computers. To access the webinar, follow this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8886643678852509954.

Host a Member Meeting in 2017

As you all (hopefully!) know, the MBIA hosts a member meeting every other month at various incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces around the state. These meetings are opportunities for member programs to show off their sites and clients, as well as a chance for members to interact face-to-face and discuss topics of importance to them. Meetings are always held from noon to 1:00. If possible, the host facility provides lunch for the dozen or so people who attend, but if a program cannot afford to provide lunch, attendees are asked to brown bag. Host locations are needed for the following dates in 2017:

January 5
May 4
July 6
September 7

If you'd like to host an MBIA member meeting at your location on one of these dates, please send an email inquiry to michigan.incubation@gmail.com.
MBIA Template 1 - Fall Newsletter 2016--Making a Difference