September 4, 2013


Entrepreneurs in the middle of Michigan might be surprised at how many resources are available for their business. Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) is one of these great resources for technology startups.

Not all incubators provide lab space and co-working space, but the CMURC in MT. Pleasant is a bit special. The smart zone incubator focuses on, though isn’t limited to, high tech and high growth companies and those in the medical sciences.

The program first started out focusing on nano-technology, but is now focused on growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mt. Pleasant, a city of about 25,000 residents and home to Central Michigan University.

The incubator’s Right Choice program takes entrepreneurs through all phases to commercialization. The program sounds very hands on, providing everything from help developing a pitch, setting up an LLC, and assistance with crowdfunding through a platform that matches any money you’ve raised.

“It’s open to all entrepreneurs, but we’re a perfect fit for a tech company. If it’s a traditional company we help pair them up with the SBTDC (small business technology and development center) and we’ll work together,” said Elissa Richmand, Marketing Director of CMURC.

Part of the program is mentoring and work space, providing access to their newly designed co-working space with a total of 35,000 sq. feet, 18,000 sq. feet for the incubator and 17,000 sq. feet for the lab space. Residents get access 24/7 to the space.

“We have an amazing lab built specifically for half biology and half chemistry. Right now many are being used by CMU faculty and staff and some of our clients,” said Elissa.

The workspace also has a service provider station. Local companies are vetted to provide legal, accounting, web development, design, and other vital services for a startup. That sounds awesome for any early stage company. You can’t do it all, and you don’t have to struggle to find good, reliable companies to work with when the incubator can help provide it for you. The program and services provided by the CMURC are affordable and often provided at a subsidized costs.

Mt. Pleasant isn’t’ always mentioned as town with hot startup activity, but Elissa feels like that could change. She believes that incubators can help retain successful companies in Michigan.

“The region is all very supportive. We have a client that relocated to Grand Rapids. They stayed in Michigan and that’s a huge win for the state,” said Elissa. “For the nature of their industry, they were looking at Chicago and New York but choose Mt. Pleasant to start and Grand Rapids to stay.”

Learn more about the non-profit business incubator located in the cozy, college town of Mt. Pleasant.

For more incubators, Check out the Michigan Incubator and Co-Working Space List.