Michigan Tech has been chosen to host the UP Regional Office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a national network of small business counselors who work through regional offices.
Tech will take over on Jan. 1. There are four business counselors who work for the region out of home offices spread across the UP (Escanaba, Gwinn, Munising and Sault Ste Marie). They will become Michigan Tech employees and members of the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement (IIE) team.
A fifth counselor will be hired and based in Houghton. Funding for the personnel and their counseling activities comes from a $424,000 grant to Michigan Tech for 2018.
IIE expects an annual commitment at or above this level going forward as long as Michigan Tech serves as the host. Jim Baker (IIE) is principal investigator on the grant and Jon Leinonen (SBE) is co-PI. “We have had a long and productive relationship with the regional and statewide SBDC office and believe that this will be a great opportunity to increase that relationship and allow for stronger connections between Michigan Tech and the UP small business community, generating impacts to student education and mutually beneficial research opportunities,” Baker said. The SBDC has a lead center hosted at Grand Valley State University.