STERLING HEIGHTS — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator for a second year in a row.

The incubator provides entrepreneurial resources, business solutions, capital raise assistance, access to Oakland University resources and student interns, and proactive support to business startups at every stage on their path to success.

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This grant will develop and enhance the incubator and its numerous program offerings to small business clients. Among these are:
* The Lunch and Launch series, in which subject matter experts host seminars on various business topics of interest to entrepreneurs;
* Fireside Chats, during which successful entrepreneurs tell their stories; monthly Capital Raise Meetups, which focus on pathways to successful funding;
* The Executives-in-Residence program, which includes on-site experts providing their services to clients, and;
* Business Advisory Boards, which include more than 70 seasoned business professionals lending advice and counsel to client companies.

While maintaining these programs, the incubator is striving to achieve a number of support milestones, including establishing a Mac-OU INCubator advisory board, hosting a pitch competition in the upcoming year and providing matching funds for the Adopt-a-Biz corporate-sponsor program.

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“The Macomb-OU INCubator is extremely grateful to the MEDC for these important and critical funds to create an entrepreneurial and innovative environment in Macomb County and Southeast Michigan,” said Julie Gustafson, Mac-OU INC executive director. “These funds will allow us to continue to provide exciting and relevant programs that promote high-technology, early-stage business growth that results in job creation, revenue generation and economic growth in the area.”

Located within the Technology Advancement SmartZone of Sterling Heights, the Macomb-OU INCubator provides comprehensive development and innovative support to startup and emerging businesses with a focus on the defense, homeland security, advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. For more information, visit the incubator Web site at or call (586) 884-9320.

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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 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