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Biz accelerators make $18M in investment, help companies secure $101M more

New numbers about Metro Detroit's emerging new economy are making more than a few local economic development managers take notice.

The Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, which is composed of TechTown, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator and Ann Arbor SPARK, has helped create more than 1,000 jobs in the region, according to a new study from the Kauffmann Foundation. Those business accelerator agencies have also invested $18 million in 339 companies through various funds they manage, helping attract another $101.2 million in seed capital.

"These are strong numbers," says Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley. "We are excited about what the future brings when the economy is growing."

The study, conducted in the first half of 2010, also identifies the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan's strengths, such as mentoring for various stages of entrepreneurs, and funding and utilizing strong relationships with local universities. It also stresses the need for continued economic diversification to help create a healthier entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"Our business community has learned that diversification is key," Rogers says. "The automotive industry is a bed rock for us, but we now understand that we need to grow other emerging sectors."

Source: Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley
Writer: Jon Zemke
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