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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Featured Article, March 2015

Macomb County business owners encouraged to apply for Innovation Fund


Last spring, JPMorgan Chase & Co. pledged $100 million to support Detroit’s economic recovery.  As part of this commitment to the region, Chase has partnered with Macomb Community College (MCC) to create the Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, Powered by JPMorgan Chase & Co.  Comprised of $1 million from Chase and $1 million from MCC, the Innovation Fund aims to stimulate economic development and job growth by providing funding to entrepreneurs in high-growth businesses.

“The Innovation Fund represents an important grow-your-own element in our local economic development strategy,” said Dr. Jim Jacobs, president of MCC, to the Detroit Free Press.  He went on to explain that this fund will foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem not just in Macomb, but in southeast Michigan.

Businesses from nine counties (Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne) are eligible to apply.  The focus is on companies in advanced manufacturing, information technology, alternative energy, health care, and logistics and supply chain.

There are two funding options from which to choose.  The first is a grant of up to $25,000 to support early-stage businesses.  The second is an award of up to $100,000, which must be matched by the business, to advance the progress of emerging companies toward larger-scale funding.

Applications for this first round of funding will be accepted through Thursday, April 30.  Chosen finalists will present their business idea to a panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs.  Companies chosen to receive funding must offer employment opportunities to MCC students through internships.

“In the process, we want to make sure everybody gets something out of this,” Jacobs told Crain’s Detroit Business.  “They may not get an award of cash, but there may be a meeting, some advice given, some suggestions of modification.”

The Innovation Fund is part of MCC’s new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

According to its website, the center’s vision is to “develop a culture of students and residents that are inspired and motivated to explore entrepreneurship.”

The center is open to former and current MCC students as well as to residents and small business owners of Macomb County.  Services include identifying available resources, building an action plan and providing mentors.  Interested individuals can apply for coaching through their website.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is located in A Building, Room 211, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township.  It is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  For more information, visit their website or call (586) 226-4833.


03/11/15 - Business applicants sought for Innovation Fund – C&G News

02/19/15 - Oakland biz owners eligible to apply – Hometown Life

01/25/15 - Application period nears for Innovation Fund program – Crain’s Detroit Business

09/16/14 - JPMorgan Chase, Macomb Community College to aid start-ups – Detroit Free Press