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Business Incubators Key to Energy Innovation in Michigan

What does energy innovation in Michigan look like? It has many different faces, and business incubators are among the most important of them.

If you haven’t had a chance, check out a recent article highlighting one of the great successes of Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC). The article showcases Energy Partners, LLC, which is a three-year research and development project sponsored by MAREC. It has created an exciting new energy storage device that steadily discharges electricity generated by solar panels gradually—even during nighttime hours. The device is described as a “game changer.”

What is a Business Incubator?

MAREC is a great example of a “business incubator,” a concept that is growing in popularity. Incubators can look very different but they all have the same basic purpose: sharing resources with start-up companies, including many working in energy research and development. Resources provided can range from something as simple as office space and equipment to help obtaining financing.

According to the Michigan Business Incubator Association (MBIA), 84 percent of incubator businesses launched in Michigan stay in the community and an additional 9 percent stay in the state. The MBIA provides a list of incubator programs throughout Michigan. Many of them focus on scientific and technological innovation.

Rebuilding Michigan’s Economy, One Small Business at a Time

Business incubators are making a real difference in our energy future, and they are fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs that will be key to a new Michigan economy. These businesses will eventually attract millions of dollars of investment to our state and create untold numbers of jobs. And that can only be a good thing for our energy future.