Summer Newsletter 2018

2018 Member Meetings

MBIA Member meetings are on-site, in-person networking and learning events that take place every other month at different member locations across the state. There are only two more member meetings remaining in 2018. All member meetings take place from 12:00 - 1:00 PM. Unless indicated that lunch is provided, these are considered brown-bag luncheons to which you bring your own meal and beverage. We hope to see you at a member meeting soon.

September 6—Port Huron (The Underground Incubator)
November 1—Flint (U of M Flint)

6th Annual Michigan Inventors Expo

Our friends at the Michigan Inventors Coalition are once again presenting the Michigan Inventors Expo in East Lansing on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at the Kellogg Conference Center. In addition to a keynote speaker, participants have an opportunity to take part in the Spin, Pitch & Sell contest! Michigan State University's Regional Economic Innovation (REI) Center is supporting the lunch and networking mixer.

Any incubator/accelerator/co-working space that wants to have a booth at the event may secure one for $100, the special entrepreneurial support organization rate. Inventors who want to showcase an invention can sign up for a booth, too, for only $75. Booths are limited to 50 this year, so sign up early.

Don't miss out on this great opportunity for exposure and education. Information and registration can be found at

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Would your client companies like a chance to win $500,000? If so, encourage them to present at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition on November 13. Company Registration Deadline is August 15 (Companies MUST register to be eligible to apply. Company Application Deadline is August 31).

To be eligible to compete, a company must meet all of the following criteria:
• has competed in Accelerate Michigan no more than once before
• has not received more than $25,000 in awards from Accelerate Michigan
• has raised <$2 million in capital investment
• has <$5 million in annual revenue
• has the potential to achieve >$10 million in revenue within 5 years • is a scale-able, technology-based business that is beyond proof of concept.

Information is at

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Great Lakes International Innovation Summit

The 3rd annual Great Lakes International Innovation Summit is scheduled to take place on October 11 and 12, 2018 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center (509 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203). The GLIn2 Summit panning committee is hard at work putting together an exciting, interactive conference focused on the regions around the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes International Innovation Summit began in 2016 as a collaborative event co-hosted by the Michigan Business Incubation Association and the Wisconsin Business Innovation Association. It has now expanded out to other Great Lakes states such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota, as well as Canada. This multi-day event offers 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.

We hope all MBIA members will take advantage of this opportunity to interact with peers from across the Great Lakes region. A block of rooms is now available at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Go to to reserve your room. Keep an eye on the GLIn2 Summit website for additional information about the event (

InBIA’s e.Builders Forum & Training Academy

On September 17 & 18, 2018 entrepreneurial ecosystem builders will gather in Detroit for InBIA’s second Ecosystem Builders (e.Builders) Forum. Hosted by TechTown Detroit, which has become a hub of entrepreneurship in a city that is working on revitalization after several years of economic turmoil, this two-day event will combine InBIA’s seasoned practitioners with local industry leaders to share tools, resources, and success stories from disadvantaged communities seeking economic redevelopment. Disadvantaged communities may represent various regions of the US and Canada that have undergone devastating industrial sector collapse; have a scarcity of resources vital to the sustainment of small businesses; or have earning/wage levels below the national average. A major theme of 2018’s e.Builders Forum is how distressed areas can redevelop spaces from traditional industries and identify new resources to support local entrepreneurs.

After the rich and interactive experience of e.Builders, make plans to stick around another day to take advantage of one of InBIA’s top-notch training courses. The e.Builders Training Academy will take place on Wednesday, September 19, and will feature some of our most popular courses for industry-specific professional development.

For information on both events and registration, go to

Looking for Funding?

Some people say love makes the world go round, but money makes the business world go round. And just like looking for love, looking for money can be a long, heartbreaking process. So where does a startup go to find money, especially in Michigan? Take a look at the information below to learn about some of the financing options for startup companies in the Great Lakes State.

  • Emerging Technologies Fund: Matching funds for federal SBIR awards. Invest
  • Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund: A $6.8 million fund investing in high-tech start-up companies; $1 million is dedicated to a University Commercialization Fund to help universities transfer technology to the marketplace. Investments are made to turn innovative early stage Michigan tech companies into viable businesses, which expand and strengthen our state’s economy.
  • Invest Detroit: A group of funds dedicated to the development of the Detroit region. Funds include the First Step Fund, the Small Business Fund, and the Detroit Innovate Fund.
  • Bioscience Research & Commercialization Center: Provides startup and gap funding to promising Michigan-based life sciences and medical device ventures entering the commercialization phase of development.
  • Michigan Venture Capital Association: A list of venture capital firms operating in Michigan.
  • Michigan Angel Fund: Established by Ann Arbor SPARK and funded by the MEDC to help finance early stage companies in the state of Michigan and to attract additional angel investors to the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Ann Arbor SPARK Microloan: For companies in the city of Ann Arbor with a product near commercialization, or that are ready to ramp up sales.
  • Battle Creek Unlimited Direct Investment Fund: Fund is used to recruit businesses to Battle Creek and to help established businesses grow. The fund supports the economic development efforts of the City of Battle Creek and its designated economic development agencies. Both loans and equity investments are available from $30,000 to $500,000 (up to 50% of the total capital in any deal).
  • Northern Initiatives: Provides loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs that might not qualify for loans from traditional banks for a variety of reasons.
  • Opportunity Resource Fund: Provides loans of $10,000 to $250,000 for the start up or expansion of a small business previously denied credit by another lender and/or those who do not meet traditional underwriting criteria.

  • 5X5 Night: At emerge 5x5 Night, the community will vote on their five favorite ideas. The five creators with the most votes will have five minutes each to sum up their ideas. Five judges from the community will then pick one idea to receive five thousand dollars to help make the idea a reality.
  • Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition: This international business competition is designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. Top prize is $500,000.
  • Momentum Business Plan Competition: The $50,000 competition is open to anyone living in or agreeing to relocate business operations within Mason County, Michigan and continue operations in Mason County for a minimum of three years from the date of the award.
  • Green Light Business Model Competition: A startup event series that brings together entrepreneurs and small business supporters from all over the State of Michigan. In addition to networking with innovators and venture capital investors from across Michigan, participants pitch their new business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges for a chance at winning up to $50,000 in prizes.

  • Local Stake: Growing small businesses can raise between $50,000 and $500,000 in debt or equity funding from local investors efficiently, effectively, and securely. In return for their investment, investors receive either a share of the future revenues of the business, or equity ownership in the business.
  • CraftFund: A platform for local residents passionate about crafting better communities through investments in food, drink, and real estate development.
  • FundMIFriend: Connecting Michiganders looking to keep their investment dollars local with promising small and start-up businesses in the state in search of the capital each needs to get rolling and turn ideas into action.
MBIA Template 1 - Summer Newsletter 2018