TechTown helps 647 growing businesses, create 1,085 jobs since 2007

A new report shows that TechTown, the small business accelerator, has helped grow 647 small businesses and create 1,085 new jobs between 2007 and 2011.

"We know that over the course of these 3.5 years we have developed some systems that work very well for incubating companies," says Leslie Smith, president & CEO of TechTown.

TechTown principal feature is 100,000-square-foot small business incubator in New Center. It has a number of other business-building programs that help existing business grow and aspiring entrepreneurs make their business ideas a reality. TechTown currently provides services and office space to about 225 companies.

The new "impact report" was conducted in-house by TechTown. It shows that participating companies and entrepreneurs (about 2,200 people) in its programs have expanded their combined revenues from $41 million in 2010 to $52 million in 2011. TechtTown has also invested $790,000 directly into its client companies through its TechTown Loan Fund.

"Now that some of these companies are two, three, four years old, you will see some significant hob growth," Smith says.

She adds that TechTown would like to narrow its focus a little emphasizing more tech firms. Currently about 20 percent of TechTown's participating companies are tech firms. Smith hopes to expand that number to 35 percent within the next few years. She also hopes to expand the business accelerator's reach further out to the city's neighborhoods by partnering with the local neighborhood economic development organizations.

A key component in making all of this happen are the widely expanded seed capital options in the city. Microloan funds, angel investors and venture capital firms have provided a variety of funding options that helping bring more small businesses online faster.

"There is more entrepreneurial capital in play today than there was even three years ago," Smith says.

Source: Leslie Smith, president & CEO of TechTown
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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