March 2013

ACE '13 Elevator Pitch Competition

At this year's 13th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship, OU INC. client cureLauncher won the elevator pitch competition. cureLauncher is an online system that helps people looking for medical treatment to find appropriate clinical trials. They pitched in front of over 1,000 people and a panel of venture capitalist judges. To read more about the competition and cureLauncher, click here.

MidMichigan Innovation Center Events

Lee Rouse, president and CEO of Omni Tech, will present "Strategic Planning for Organizational Effectiveness" on March 19th in Midland, 12-1pm. In this discussion she will adress questions such as:
What is strategic planning?
How does it differ from business planning?
How can strategic planning benefit your company?
What are the elements of a good strategic plan?
What is a mission and vision statement and how can they be used to drive growth?
How do you develop goals in line with your strategic plan?
How do you keep planning on track?
Learn More or Register Here

MBIA Conference

Save the date - the MBIA's annual conference is coming up on May 15th-16th in Detroit. There will be speakers from across the state and break-out sessions designed to introduce new incubation strategies. Stay tuned for more news!

MBIA Has a New Partner!

Varnum is a leading Michigan law firm providing a broad range of legal services to meet the complex needs of its clients. With more than 150 attorneys in five offices, Varnum serves as counsel to businesses and institutions throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Through its innovative MiSpringboard program, Varnum removes some of the barriers associated with starting and growing a business by providing free legal services to new business initiatives.  Find Varnum and the MiSpringboard program on the web at

News and Events

Angel Investment Group Forms In Muskegon
The time has come for Muskegon to have an angel investment group of their own. The new group, announced at Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in February, brings together 20 investors that will focus on local growth, investment, and assistance, in the areas of advanced manufacturing, food processing, technology, and water-related innovations and businesses. They will also mentor the entrepreneurs they support. The initiative will be housed at MAREC with assistance from Kevin McCurren, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at GVSU, and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center.
Muskegon entrepreneurs interested in presenting a proposal to the Muskegon Angels should contact Eric Seifert at (616) 331-6906.
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NBIA Announces New President and CEO
After a year of searching, Jasper Welch is now leading the National Business Incubator Association as a experienced entrepreneur, previous business incubator manager, strategic thinker, team leader, and public speaker: “My goal is to combine my experiences in ways that will promote, support and guide NBIA members, staff and board to achieve our strategic goals while developing and increasing financial stability for the association,” Welch says. “I’m prepared to make the commitment to the members, board and staff to contribute the executive leadership and management needed to achieve these goals.”
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Free NBIA Webinar: U.S. Equity Crowdfunding Activity
The presenter will be Judd Hollas, the CEO and founder of EquityNet. EquityNet is a leading group in equity crowdfunding and the only patented crowdfunding platform, used by entrepreneurs, investors, government entities, business incubators, and other members of the entrepreneurial community to plan, analyze, and capitalize privately held businesses. It will take place March 14th at 2pm and registration is free.
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Congratulations to TechTown and Leslie Smith!

From the NBIA Newsletter...
NBIA Summit Ends in a Showdown

Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO of Detroit’sTechTown, emerged the winner of the Summit Showdown at NBIA’s Summit for Advanced Incubation Professionals, a members-only event held Jan. 27-29 at the Turnstone WorkLife Center and The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.
The summit, NBIA’s seventh annual gathering of experienced professionals, drew 45 attendees, each of whom has four or more years in the industry. In an interactive setting, these NBIA members engaged with expert panels about the latest information on critical industry topics such as angel investing, entrepreneurship trends, accelerators and incubation networks. They also heard about the science behind the use of space from representatives of Turnstone, an NBIA partner, and participated in a forum reflecting on industry best practices.
“It was inspiring to see the interaction among these leaders of our industry,” says Elizabeth Willy, NBIA’s assistant director of events and training. “They took advantage of every minute they had together to share their expertise with each other. That’s exactly why we bring this group together.”
A highlight of the event was the Summit Showdown, a variation on the popular pitch contests, in which incubator leaders presented their most innovative practices to five-judge panels. This year’s entries included Boost/Pitch Nights, a statewide program of the MidMichigan Innovation Center in Midland, Mich., which brings together entrepreneurs and angel investors; Cowtown Angels from TECH Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, the incubator’s own angel investment fund; and the ultimate winner, TechTown’s SWOT City. That program provides technical assistance and resources to business districts and neighborhoods in inner-city Detroit.
For her winning pitch, Smith received a new iPad mini and a free registration to NBIA's 27th International Conference on Business Incubation, scheduled for April 7-10 in Boston.
MBIA Template 1 - March 2013

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