Business Accelerator Fund
Local Business Development Resources



Through the Business Accelerator Fund, a new state grant program managed by the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) at Grand Valley State University, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will receive funds to help growing high-tech companies obtain accelerator services designed to leverage business development and job growth.

The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is pleased to administer the Business Accelerator Fund on behalf of the City of Grand Rapids SmartZone (#14 on the map). With an Infrastructure ready-made for business, Grand Rapids offers the utilities, transportation and telecommunications services needed to support businesses of all kinds, from manufacturing to research and development.

Michigan SmartZone Map


Accelerator services focus on business milestones such as positioning a company to attract private capital, developing a stronger business plan or marketing strategy or securing its first customer. Under the grant, service providers may be consulting firms, law firms, universities, manufacturers, engineers and other business enhancement activity. Services fundable through the Business Accelerator Fund will address needs for business plans, market research, patent searches, employee agreements, technology development, internships, access to expertise, prototyping, product testing, and the like.

Michigan SmartZone Grand Rapids


The program targets companies with characteristics that typically provide the highest return on investment for business and job growth. Preference goes to high-technology firms in renewable energy, life sciences, homeland security and defense, advanced manufacturing and materials, and others.


Client Eligibility for Accelerator Engagements
under the Business Accelerator Fund

  • Company may not have raised more than $1 million in private sector investments
  • Company may not have more than $2.5 million in annual revenue (not including R&D grants/contracts from federal agencies)
  • The Company must be a Michigan company or have its principal place of business in Michigan prior to entering an Accelerator Engagement or receiving accelerator services
  • Preference will be given to:

  • product based companies with a highly scalable and protectable business model
  • companies that collaborate with other Michigan companies and universities
  • companies that can create clearly identified multiplier effects  innovative service providers, CROs, and supply chain companies that contribute significantly to a region’s technology/industry cluster or strategic plan
  • companies that leverage company founders’ and/or outside parties’ cash or inkind resources to the proposed engagement

Use of Funds

Funds must be used for business development services; capital improvement, salary or production expenses do not qualify. Michigan SmartZone business accelerators will screen Business Accelerator Fund applications, channel funds to service providers, and monitor the use of funds on behalf of approved applicants.


Funding Levels

While the Business Accelerator Fund will provide up to $50,000 in funding, it is expected that the majority of the engagements will be in the $7,000 to $15,000 range.


Important Documents

Application for Accelerator Services

21st Century Jobs Fund Competitive Edge Technology Sectors

Submission Checklist

Michigan SmartZone Fact Sheet

Contact Info & Questions

Kevin McCurren
Executive Director, Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation




Page last modified January 26, 2015