Monday, January 25, 2010

Small Business Development Centers are visiting Michigan to learn how to become a technology designated state

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In the current economic climate, Michigan has had a particularly difficult time. But it's not all bleak news — representatives from six states will be visiting the state to learn about the small business training and assistance offered by the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC).

A group of 13 representatives from six states will attend a comprehensive three-day demonstration of Michigan's development of its commercialization assistance program from January 20 - 22. They will learn the key elements for development of a strong commercialization program, with strategies for launch and ongoing growth.

"The Michigan SBTDC received numerous inquiries from other Small Business Development Centers nationwide about our technology work," said Carol Lopucki, SBTDC State Director. "They expressed interest in visiting Michigan to learn about our program. Instead of working with each SBDC individually, we decided to invite all of them to Michigan and demonstrate how Michigan's technology team has been so successful."

There are 63 SBDCs across the nation and only 7 are accredited with a technology designation. In 2003, The Michigan SBTDC was the first state to be accredited with that designation by the American's Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). North Carolina SBDC offered guidance to Michigan because of their strong technology work within their state.

California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, and Minnesota are among the states that have requested guidance from the Michigan SBTDC on how to become "T" designated and to learn technology-related best practices.

The agenda during the "T" tour will consist of participants learning how to integrate technology into the SBDC program, analyzing the tools used to assist technology businesses and developing strategic partners. The tour will also visit a few of the technology team's strategic partners which includes SPARK, Automation Alley and TechTown.

"Our strategic partners here in Michigan, as well as our technology business consultants, are what makes the Michigan Technology Team so successful," said Phil Tepley, SBTDC Technology Team Coordinator. "The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) leads Michigan's economic diversification strategy and has played a key role in the success of this program."

COVERAGE OP: The "T" Tour will be at Tech Town in Detroit on Thursday, January 21. The media is invited to attend the Tech Town tour that is scheduled from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. "T" Tour participants will be available to answer questions from the media following the tour. Tech Town is located at 440 Burroughs Street, Suite 100 in Detroit.

About Michigan SBTDC Technology Team

The MI-SBTDC Technology Team's mission is to help Michigan transition to an innovation based economy by providing direct assistance to Michigan's emerging technology companies. The Technology Team was created as a collaboration between the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

The Team, comprised of 9 technology consultants, provides no cost specialized counseling in the following areas: financing assistance (equity and R&D grants); business, strategic, and commercialization planning; and access to resources.

About Michigan SBTDC

The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center provides counseling, training and market research for Michigan's new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding new businesses, new technology companies, and innovators. The MI-SBTDC is located at the Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As host of the MI-SBTDC™ State Headquarters, the Seidman College of Business oversees the twelve-region MI-SBTDC™ network. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest MI-SBTDC by calling 616.331.7480 or visiting

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