Tech support

Administrator of United States Economic Development. Awards $ 2 million in grants to support MI tech startups


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Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in conjunction with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, announced that three Michigan SmartZones have received more than $ 2 million in grants from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support programs that “fuel innovation. and technology-based economic development. . “

“In Michigan, we are focused on supporting small businesses and providing essential access to capital to support growth and secure long-term economic opportunities in the state,” Governor Whitmer said. “Today’s grants will leverage private funds to create well-paying jobs and develop emerging businesses statewide, helping us usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan. “

Grants were awarded to Automation Alley’s Michigan Industry 4.0 accelerator ($ 1.3 million), Innovation Marquette Enterprise Corporation ($ 305,465) and TechTown Detroit ($ 400,000).

US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo on Thursday announced the beneficiaries of the Build to Scale program. The Build to Scale program is administered annually by the US Economic Development Administration and aims to accelerate tech entrepreneurship by increasing access to business support and start-up capital.

“EDA is proud to support this year’s ‘Build to Scale’ grant recipients as they fuel regional innovation centers across the country,” Castillo said.. “Investing in scalable startups and creating access to capital will generate more economic opportunities and support the next generation of leading companies in the sector. This is the type of vital work that President Biden’s reconstruction program promises to continue to support. “

According to Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, “Michigan is thrilled to be working with the US Economic Development Association to take advantage of these tremendous grant opportunities that will allow our communities to rebuild better. These grants will allow us to focus on equity and develop local programs and services that not only help communities recover from the hardships caused by the pandemic, but also prepare them to be resilient in the face of future economic shocks. “

Grants were awarded in two categories: the Venture Capital Fund and the Capital Challenge.

The Venture Capital Fund seeks to leverage regional strengths to accelerate innovation and job creation through high-growth technological entrepreneurship and foster inclusive access to proven entrepreneurial models. The Capital Challenge increases access to capital in communities where venture capital is scarce by providing operational support to start-up investment funds, angel capital networks or investor education programs that focus on models traditional and hybrid equity-based.

Automation Alley received a venture capital grant. They plan to use the grant to expand their Michigan Industry 4.0 (MI4.0) accelerator, powered by the Centrepolis accelerator at Lawrence Technological University and the Lean Rocket Lab in Jackson. MI4.0 aims to attract the best leading manufacturing technology companies from around the world and find ways for these companies to have a significant impact on our national value chain, using existing Michigan manufacturing as a catalyst for bridge.

TechTown Detroit has received a Capital Challenge grant, which they will use in partnership with Angel Capital Association, VentureWell and Ann Arbor SPARK, to recruit and train 200 wealthy Michiganders who are under-represented in the angel investing community and activate their potential as as investors. TechTown’s goal is to support 50 projects totaling $ 34.7 million in start-up capital.

Innovate Marquette also received a Capital Challenge grant, which will be matched with $ 306,446 in local funds. They plan to use resources from the Make It Marquette Start to Scale (Marquette STS) project, which will leverage partnerships in education, economic development and capital investors. Together with project partners, Marquette STS will educate local angel investors about evolving technology investment opportunities and connect to state, regional and national venture capital networks.

The project is also designed to be 100% sustainable beyond the proposed three-year timeline.

To consult the complete list of beneficiaries of the “Build to Scale” program, click here.

To learn more about the US Economic Development Administration, click here.

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