State Approves 15-Year Extension for MTEC SmartZone

HOUGHTON, MI - The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has approved a 15- year extension in funding for the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone, a nonprofit business and technology incubator comprising the cities of Houghton and Hancock. The new authorization extends support of the MTEC SmartZone to 2032.

Part of the requirement for an extension was to create a satellite office. MTEC SmartZone helped create Innovate Marquette SmartZone, which was up and running in September 2015.

In a letter notifying MTEC SmartZone of the renewal, Fredrick Molnar, vice president of the MEDC, said: "Your combined efforts have paid off, and we recognize the significant economic impact that you are having in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. We also want to thank you for your support, collaboration and the excellent working relationship that has developed with the Marquette SmartZone satellite. This relationship is a shining example to others in the state on how the Host/Satellite SmartZone is supposed to function."

MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark called the SmartZone renewal an affirmation of the economic engine that is powered by Michigan Tech research and the entrepreneurial spirit of the University and the community. “It takes 30 years to create an entrepreneurial community. This extension in funding helps us complete the work we started,” she said.

The MTEC SmartZone was created in 2002. It is one of 17 SmartZones throughout Michigan. They were designed to facilitate the development of high-tech companies to create family sustaining jobs. To date, the MTEC SmartZone has worked with hundreds of clients who want to establish or grow tech-based companies in the area, and has helped create at least 700 jobs.