Fall Newsletter 2017 - Innovation Happens in Michigan

Register Now!

This year's Great Lakes International Innovation (GLIn2) Summit will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 26-28. This year's theme is 'Innovation Happens Everywhere'. MBIA members have led the planning committee comprised of incubator/acceleration/co-working professionals from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Canada. The purpose of the GLIn2 Summit is to convene all kinds of entrepreneurial support providers to collaborate and share best practices. Whether you run an incubator, an accelerator, a co-working space, a maker space, or some other organization that caters to entrepreneurs, the GLIn2 Summit is the place for you in September. Early bird registration is available through September 1, so don't delay! Click here to register.

The session committee has put together a compelling schedule of sessions and speakers. The four tracks are Serving Clients, Program Improvement & Management, Industry Trends, and Profiles in Innovation. Session topics include raising capital, environment & culture, entrepreneurship & incubation in the Midwest, case studies, and more. The full program agenda can be found here,

Our keynote speaker is John DeGraff, a lecturer in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics and a managing partner of Ann Arbor-based Innovatrium. There is also an Innovatrium location at Whitewater University Technology Park at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In addition to our keynote speaker, many practicing incubator managers and service providers from Michigan and other Great Lakes states are leading the sessions. Complete speaker bios can be found here.

A New Name & A New Logo! Please VOTE this week!

The MBIA board of directors has talked for the past several months about changing the name of the Michigan Business Incubator Association to the Michigan Business Innovation Association. At the July board meeting, the board voted and approved the name change. Now, the board is asking the membership to approve the name change as well. 

There are several reasons why a change should be made. First, the MBIA isn't just about incubation anymore. As an association, we want to be more inclusive of other kinds of entrepreneurial support organizations like acceleration programs, co-working spaces, maker spaces, economic development agencies, local governments, and other entities active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Michigan. Changing the word "Incubator" to "Innovation" helps convey that sentiment. Next, organizations all across the country are dropping the words "incubator" and "incubation" from their names, following a global trend away from the word. Perhaps it is because the word is seen as old-fashioned or as too restrictive, but organizations such as the Wisconsin Business Innovation Association and the International Business Innovation Association have adopted the new moniker and broadened their member base. Lastly, with the name change, the MBIA will be able to expand its marketing efforts and target a larger group of entrepreneurial support professionals who otherwise would not see an incubator association as relevant to them. Changing our name means changing our image to one that is fresher and more relevant, bringing in new members with different perspectives.

CALL TO ACTION: Your vote is needed! According to MBIA by-laws. a name change must be approved by a majority of the members, and every vote matters. You have received/will receive a personal email with a unique link to the voting webpage. Please do not ignore it. Click it right away and go vote. It only takes a minute--literally! Make your voice heard and vote right away. Please VOTE by Friday, September 8.

gBETA is coming to Detroit!

Nationally-ranked startup accelerator gener8tor is expanding its successful gBETA program to Detroit, and wants to meet your startups!

gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.
Join us for office hours to learn more about the program, and tell us about what you're working on.

Participating Companies Receive:
Access to a community of entrepreneurs including their fellow cohort members, as well as gener8tor and gBETA alumni.

A formal relationship with at least 2-3 mentors with relevant expertise.

Introductions to the gener8tor network of successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and technologists. 

Individualized coaching and mentorship from the experienced gener8tor team. 

Office space.

$1M+ in deals and perks from vendors like SoftLayer, Rackspace, Amazon, PayPal, Zendesk and Microsoft.

To learn more, email Stella Safari, Director of gBETA Detroit at stella@gener8tor.com

Member Meeting Hosts Needed

Please consider hosting a member meeting in 2018 and sharing your program with the rest of the MBIA members. As you know, the MBIA has monthly board meetings, and every other month we follow the board meeting with a live member meeting. These member meetings are hosted throughout the state at locations such as yours. They are always from 12:00-1:00 and are bring-your-own-lunch (unless the hosting organization is kind enough to spring for lunch, which is not required). The hosting organization gets to choose the topic of discussion for each member meeting, too.

If you would like to host a member meeting at your location in 2018, below are the dates to choose from. If you are interested, please email michigan.incubation@gmail.com with the date(s) you prefer and to reserve a date. If you know the topic you'd like to address at your meeting, include that too, or leave it blank for now and pick a topic as your date gets closer.

January 4
September 6
November 1

Save the Date!

The MedHealth Regional Innovation Cluster, in partnership with Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Detroit Regional Chamber, are hosting a MedHealth reception at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition from 3-4:30 pm on November 16, 2017. Registration will be available after October 1, 2017.

It's Not Too Late! Become a GLIn2 Sponsor!

If your organization is interested in sponsoring the GLIn2 Summit, there are a number of sponsorship levels to consider. If you are planning to bring 2 people to the Summit anyway, the Great Lakes Sponsorship is a perfect way to get your organization’s name in the spotlight for just a couple hundred dollars more. Sponsoring is easy—you can do it right at the website with a click of your mouse: https://www.glin2.com/glin2-sponsorship-levels.
Great Lakes Sponsors (6) = $500 each
1.   Lake Superior
2.  Lake Michigan
3.  Lake Huron
4.  Lake Erie
5.  Lake Ontario
6.  Canada
  1. Two (2) Tickets to Full Conference
  2. Name - Logo - on Conference Tote Bag & Promo Material in Bag
  3. Name - Logo - Link on Website
  4. Name - Logo - Link Promotion via Social Media
  5. Name - Logo - Link in Public Relations and Printed Materials
  6. Exhibit Table in Meal Area

CMURC Receives Regional Chamber of Commerce Honor

Central Michigan University Research Corporation will be honored for its regional work and support for entrepreneurs when it receives the Partners in Growth Small Business Award at the Great Lakes Bay Regional Chamber Summit on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The organization has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in the region establish companies, create new ideas and jobs.

The award highlights groups or individuals leading initiatives to improve communities. CMURC — a coworking space, incubator and accelerator established nearly two decades ago through a Michigan Economic Development Corporation initiative — has grown as a hub for business development. In March 2017, CMURC expanded from the Mount Pleasant location to open a second facility in Uptown Bay City and announced a future third location in downtown Saginaw’s SVRC Marketplace.

“We’re proud to enhance communities through CMURC’s impact on small businesses and its ability to help forge partnerships with the university," Central Michigan University President and CMURC Chair George E. Ross said. “CMURC and Central Michigan University share a united commitment to continuing the growth and further expanding the influence of the Great Lakes Bay Region. We thank the chambers for this honor.”

Welcome New Member, The Underground Incubator

MBIA's newest member is The Underground, St. Clair County region’s first full-service business incubator, support center and innovation center. The Underground launched in June, 2017, in 5,000 square feet of the historic former Sperry’s building in Port Huron.  The facility is themed with Thomas Edison inspired quotes, murals of various inventions, in a space that has a cool industrial look and feel.  It consists of two large, furnished open office areas, four enclosed offices, two conference rooms, a pending state-of-the-art business support center, two quiet rooms, kitchen, print area, reception area, bathrooms and an elevator.

The Underground offers programs and services to entrepreneurs across the entire county.  There are many partners in this endeavor, including colleges and universities, banks, consultants, non-profits, and other successful entrepreneurs who just want to give back to the community. The facility hosts a variety of businesses, from startups to international companies. 

Quentin Bishop is the business attraction specialist for the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County. He is also the newly appointed incubator manager.  In June, the EDA received a $121,000 Gatekeeper Grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to hire a manager for the facility for two years.

Welcome Quentin and the Underground!

WMed Innovation Center Updates Launch MI Lab

The WMed Innovation Center has implemented a co-working laboratory space called Launch MI Lab, a twist on the previous Launch MI Lab mass spec services concept. The updated Launch MI Lab makes shared laboratory space available to startup high-tech companies that are not yet ready to rent dedicated lab space. A 1,500 square foot shared lab space located within the WMed Innovation Center, Launch MI Lab provides month-to-month rental of dedicated bench. Also included is access to shared equipment such as a walk-up mass spectrometry system, fume hood, biosafety cabinet, centrifuges, autoclaves, various microscopes, incubators, freezers, RO-DI water, flake ice machine, glassware washer, standard lab supplies and tools, and much more.


Event-Packed Fall at the Muskegon Innovation Hub!

The Muskegon Innovation Hub is the center of the startup community in Muskegon.  This fall the Hub offers several events that are structured to empower and support entrepreneurs.

Marketing Mondays
Join us every third Monday of the month at noon for Marketing Mondays.  Each month, a marketing professional shares their expertise in marketing at the Hub. Admission is $10 and lunch is included. RSVP at Eventbrite.com

September 18, 2017: Aligning Technology with Marketing Strategies
Explore valuable digital marketing strategies to develop a comprehensive marketing campaign.  Presented by Chanda Cregg of MLive Media Group.
October 16, 2017: Utilize YouTube to Engage with Your Audience
Maximize video marketing to introduce new products, connect with potential customers and increase engagement with your audience. Presented by Leandra Williams of Stingray Advisory Group.
Marketing Strategies Trainings
Join GROW from 3:00pm – 6:00pm for marketing workshops that will provide you with the information and resources to grow or develop your business.  Admission is $30 for one session, or $60 for all three!  As event seating is limited, we regret that walk-ins cannot be accommodated.  Please register at http://bit.ly/MuskegonMarketing to reserve your seat.
September 12, 2017:  Marketing 101
Are you marketing your business effectively?  Discover how to use your organization’s value proposition to target potential customers and develop a successful marketing campaign. Facilitated by Julie Lankes of BoxBoom Creative.
September 19, 2017:  Branding and Selling Your Value Proposition
Does your business have a defined brand?  Are you effectively bringing your value proposition to the market?  This workshop guides you through the process of creating a brand for your business and using that brand to successfully sell your product or service.  Facilitated by Julie Lankes of BoxBoom Creative.
Muskegon Innovation Hub Open House
The Muskegon Innovation Hub at Grand Valley State University will hold their Annual Open House on Thursday, October 26 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Come learn what has been happening at the Hub over the past year, and tour our coworking space, CoLaunch. Several entrepreneurs will be on hand to show off their products!! Refreshments will be served and live music will be provided.

New Membership Category

In an effort to make membership in MBIA even more beneficial and easier, we have created a new membership category that will incorporate two separate payments into one. Called the VIP All-Inclusive level, this option includes membership dues AND registration for the annual Member Meeting, valued at $100 per person. The VIP All-Inclusive levels are:

Associate – $200
Organizational – $330
Consultant/Vendor/Partner – $375
Premier Member (5 members, 2 admissions to the annual member meeting) – $425

For comparison, the other 2018 membership rates are:

Associate (1 member) – $100
Organizational (2 members) – $130
Consultant/Vendor/Partner (2 members) – $175
Premier Member (5 members) – $225

The 2018 membership rates do include a slight increase from 2017. Membership rates have not changed at MBIA since 2011. Even with an all-volunteer board and a 1/4 time admin/marketing person, the costs of running the Association have increased. Frugality and efficiency have been the hallmark of the board for years, and we don't anticipate changing that anytime soon. We sincerely hope that the modest rate increase in 2018 will not be a hardship for any member. The minimal increase in dues will enable the Association to continue offering the benefits that members have come to expect, like an interactive website, connectivity among Michigan entrepreneurial support organizations, and interesting meetings and networking events. Thank you for your membership and your participation in the Michigan Business Incubator Association.
MBIA Template 1 - Fall Newsletter 2017 - Innovation Happens in Michigan