Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center has received a grant to enhance the center’s business incubator program that supports energy and technology-related business start-ups.

The $100,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will help MAREC continue to recruit entrepreneurs, business start-ups, and early-stage businesses that are developing energy-related technologies, products, and services. 

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The grant will fund an incubator manager and allow for support services such as legal consultation on patenting new technology. It also makes available limited seed capital for MAREC clients, and enables MAREC to develop additional incubator office and lab spaces within the existing building. 

Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC, said the grant will strengthen the connection between the business community, MAREC and the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone.

“Part of our purpose is to support technology start-ups that emphasize energy innovation,” Boezaart said. “This grant allows us to increase our level of business incubation activity beyond what our present resources can support. One of the best ways we can help develop Michigan as a leader in the alternative energy field is to support and coach business start-ups and new ventures. Expanding employment opportunities and supporting economic growth are among our top priorities.”

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MAREC is currently home to five businesses: Smart Vision Lights, Logical Lighting Systems, Energy Partners, and McKenzie Bay International, along with a field office for Scandia Wind.

The West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative, based at Grand Valley State University, received a similar grant from MEDC. Rich Cook, venture center director of WMSTI, said the grant proposal was built on WMSTI achievements with hopes to expand its geographical reach to the greater West Michigan region, providing small entrepreneurial biotech companies affordable access to the WMSTI incubator-accelerator. 

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For more information about the MAREC grant, contact Arn Boezaart at (616) 331-6905 or