MT. PLEASANT — The Central Michigan University Research Corp. Thursday announced it is working with 11 companies, assisting the businesses in their early development stages, fostering the creation of 85 jobs in the region and adding $30 million to the mid-Michigan economy last year.

“We are interested in jobs being created and companies being located here,” said Erin Strang, CMURC president and CEO. “Our mission as an incubator is to assist businesses in their early developmental stages and then migrate them into the community once they have a solid foundation.”

Access to university talent and a lower cost of living in the region led CMU alumnus James Pieron to locate his retail foreign exchange business Institutional Liquidities in the CMURC headquarters. CMURC also is a State of Michigan SmartZone, one of 15 regional business accelerators and incubators designated throughout the state to provide entrepreneurial and commercial support services to growing startup ventures.

“It makes sense to locate near a university,” said James Pieron, founder of Institutional Liquidities. “Looking at the quality of the talent coming out of the university, that’s where CMU has an advantage. The quality of students is excellent.”

Pieron describes CMU’s talent as the “foundation” of his business. More than 60 percent of his employees are CMU graduates or student interns.

“When ILQ came here they had seven employees, now they have 27,” said Strang. “That’s exactly what we’re looking to do as an incubator — create those high-paying jobs that can help grow our community.”

As an incubator CMURC works with companies at various stages of the business cycle, providing assistance to entrepreneurs and companies that have some type of intellectual property, innovative technology or service.   In March, CMURC awarded Pieron with its inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented at CMU’s New Venture Competition. The award recognizes entrepreneurial success in innovation, financial performance and commitment to the community.

In addition to accessing the university’s intellectual and technological resources, CMURC also provides business acceleration and support, physical space for operations, and connections for businesses.

To learn more about CMURC visit


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