Today marks the official kickoff of that program designed to foster high-tech business in the Lansing area. It sets aside four areas where companies should congregate, to share resources that make a start-up and success.
There are now 11 Smartzones statewide. All are linked to universities. The Lansing Regional version includes four areas, one in downtown Lansing, one in downtown East Lansing, one each of MSU, and a fourth out by Collins Road.
The MBI building there is the center of it all. There are dozens of labs set up for research and development. Those scientists now have access to the Smartzone's resources. The typical business plan: A professor with a good idea gets cheap space and help with marketing to make that idea a business.
Smartzone's in Michigan have grown 315 businesses and more than 4,000 jobs since this program started in 2002.