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Innovation Economy Gets 7,225 Tech Jobs Thanks To Local Accelerators

(DETROIT) Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator and TechTown Detroit announced their collective economic impact on Southeast Michigan's innovation economy.

Together the efforts of the region's key technology business accelerators have resulted in the creation of 7,225 technology jobs and 225 technology companies, which have gone on to secure more than $300 million in follow-on investment.

The accelerators, which came together in 2010 to form the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan (BANSEM), are designated SmartZones by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Each offers programming that facilitates the commercialization of technologies developed within private enterprises, universities and health systems. Activities include mining intellectual property for commercialization potential, assisting entrepreneurs in building business structures around technologies, and helping businesses secure necessary funding for development and growth. Each also offers incubation services, as well as on-site office and/or wet-lab space.

As a result of their collective efforts, strategies for each accelerator are now set together to maximize program diversity and reach; best practices are shared to improve business outcomes; and clients are managed as an integrated portfolio to ensure faster delivery of future services, as entrepreneurs often move from accelerator to accelerator as their business matures.

As highly efficient curators, the BANSEM accelerators are able to quickly connect technology entrepreneurs to critical and often unattainable resources across the stages of development. These resources reduce the time it takes for an entrepreneur to assess viability, enter or adapt in market, connect to experts, form a team, secure essential funding, or find the perfect location.

Accelerated outcomes preserve resources not only for the entrepreneur, but also for the region, as the accelerators aren't dedicating resources for extended or unnecessary periods of time. Ultimately, the value of an integrated ecosystem is demonstrated in the resulting economic impact.

"BANSEM accelerators continue to act as a catalyst for economic growth in our region," said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit, and chair of BANSEM. "Beyond education and encouragement, the impact data released today speaks to a clear-eyed commitment to execute – not in silos, but as a thoughtfully integrated support system."

"Collaboration is critical to economic development," said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. "As is the case with BANSEM, where each organization brings specific strengths and resources to the table, working together can create significant, positive impact on the success and development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. An entrepreneurial economy is the foundation for a healthy and growing innovation economy; the companies that start here today grow in to the jobs creators of tomorrow."

"This is one of the great success stories coming out of the renaissance that's taking place in Southeast Michigan today," said Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley. "The four BANSEM accelerators have been to able accomplish something that the region has struggled with for a number of years: successful collaboration across regional boundaries. These results speak volumes about the value of working together to move the region forward economically."


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