With the aim of further establishing Michigan as a leading state for high-tech companies, the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved extended funding for its “Train the Trainers,” a program managed by U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
Aided by a grant of approximately $200,000, the program will train entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors while expanding the level of mentoring and teaching of commercialized strategies.
The additional funding continues the two-year-old program and will allow institutions across Michigan to continue benefiting from the partnership with the CFE. The training works in partnership with the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program, which supports the acceleration of commercially viable, advanced applied material technologies developed by university researchers.
“As we continue to expand and deepen our opportunities for research to transfer from our universities to commercial application, it is crucial that we continue to provide training resources,” said Denise Graves, university relations director for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “This program will support our current MTRAC programs and be vital to our future innovation hubs as we implement the program statewide.”
The MEDC administers programs and performs due diligence on grants, loans, collateral agreements and approved funds. In addition, the MEDC is the state’s chief marketing agency engaged in business attraction and retention efforts along with serving as a catalyst for job creation.
Since launching the program in 2014 with $582,376 from the state, U-M has partnered with various universities — including Michigan State, Grand Valley State and Lawrence Tech — sharing best practices on how to turn entrepreneurial theories and research into practice.
The grant extension follows two successful years in which more than 450 participants and 90 instructors from 15 institutions completed the “Train the Trainers” curriculum, resulting in the creation of 14 startups and more than 30 jobs in the state. Additionally, it has helped establish Michigan as a destination to create and grow a successful business.
“Over the past two years, we have had the opportunity to support innovators across the state who are working hard to establish Michigan as a leader in commercializing advanced technology,” said Jonathan Fay, managing director of CFE. “We are eager to continue this work over the next year and beyond.”
The program milestones put forth by CFE demonstrate support for MEDC’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative, which aims to establish Michigan as the place to create and grow business by providing high-tech startup companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation.