LANSING — The Lansing Economic Area Partnership last week was awarded $500,000 from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support its business incubator activities through the Lansing Regional SmartZone.

The Lansing Regional SmartZone is contracted to LEAP for staffing, programming and management. The Michigan Strategic Fund award is designed to stimulate the creation and continued growth of technology-based businesses and jobs partially related to commercialization efforts of Michigan State University.

“The Lansing region has a groundswell of entrepreneurial activity. We are building an incubator network that will service high tech businesses, especially those being created at the MSU Innovation Center,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “We are thrilled to able to continue this work and continue to assist these innovative businesses.” 

In 2010, LEAP has received $100,000. 2011 saw the new LEAP SmartZone and MSU partnering and awarded with $150,000. This year’s $500,000 reflects growing MEDC confidence in the LEAP/MSU Innovation Center partnership, working to commercialize businesses and create investment and jobs locally.

“In the past couple of years MSU and LEAP have done a lot of planning and made significant investments in the area of creating value from the innovative ideas and technology being developed at Michigan State University every day.  This grant from the MEDC will help us to keep building momentum to engage more faculty and students in the business of building high-tech businesses.  It really is an exciting time as we stimulate the entrepreneurial engine in our region– and the MSU-LEAP-MEDC partnership is a big reason for that excitement,” said Charles Haseman, Executive Director of the MSU Innovation Center.

Funds for this initiative were provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a Michigan Strategic Fund program designed to accelerate the growth and diversification of Michigan’s economy.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”), a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, provides administrative support for the 21st Century Jobs Fund.  The MEDC markets Michigan and provides the tools and environment to drive job creation and investment. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative, visit


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