Rob DeWit is president and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo. The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is a business incubator and accelerator for life science companies. The center celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has about 75 percent of its lab space and nearly all of its office space occupied. The center initiated its Launch MI Lab, a fully equipped and staffed bioscience laboratory, in late 2012. Five companies have graduated from the center and moved on to become successful startups. Responsible for hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars added to the local economy, the center is expanding its offerings with a $600,000 Michigan Strategic Fund grant awarded in 2012. DeWit has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry starting with the Upjohn Co. and serving the legacy companies in a variety of roles until retiring from Pfizer in 2008 as the R&D site lead in Kalamazoo. In addition to his continuous association with drug safety activities, DeWit led a complete preclinical laboratory in Japan for two years, participated in global acquisition team work, and represented safety interests for consumer health care, manufacturing quality assurance teams, and the animal health divisions of the various companies. He also aided research and leadership functions in the United Kingdom. DeWit started his career with Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis in Ann Arbor. He received his bachelor of science degree from Calvin College and his doctorate in toxicology from the University of Michigan. More at


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