A Study of Technology Business Incubation as the Visible Hand for Entrepreneurial Development and Economic Growth in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Hammond, Andrea M.
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This study aims to take a microscopic look into the relationship between the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center (SMIC) and the community of Kalamazoo, Michigan to highlight the mutual impact each has on one another. Through a review of the literature and a survey of current tenant companies, this study provides research data and empirical evidence to support the claim that the SMIC acts as a visible hand for entrepreneurial development and economic growth in Kalamazoo. The study revealed that one-half of surveyed companies would not have started business if the SMIC had never existed, and every surveyed chief officer plans to establish business in Kalamazoo after graduation. According to survey participants, the services that would most benefit their company's future consist of marketing assistance, linkages to strategic partners, networking assistance, and intellectual property assistance. This study discusses the benefits of the SMIC, in addition to the concerns, including the potential social inequities caused by incubation.