Continued from homepage...such as assistance with business and marketing plan development, common scientific and business equipment, and proximity to Western Michigan University resources.   The Innovation Center is located in the Western Michigan University Business Technology Research Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a state-designated SmartZone.

Our Mission
Our mission is to provide a comprehensive range of support and assistance to nurture the formation, survival, and growth of innovative, entrepreneurial-driven life science firms in a state of the art wet laboratory building supported by knowledgeable professionals.

Our Story

The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is a private, nonprofit business incubator/accelerator which provides a comprehensive range of support and assistance to nurture the formation, survival, and growth of innovative, entrepreneurial, life science businesses.  The Innovation Center opened its doors in 2003 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The region continues to participate in life science on a global level, true to its 125-year legacy which includes the Upjohn Company and the vibrancy of the Stryker Corporation.  The life science expertise of the region is the foundation for the success of the 25 client companies who have graduated or are currently housed in the Innovation Center.  The Innovation Center is located in the beautifully designed Western Michigan University Business Technology Research Park, a state designated SmartZone, with easy access to US-131 and I-94. Read More

SMIC Handbook

Want to learn more about SMIC's procedures and guidelines? Get an in-depth look at our policies, procedures, and more for our client companies. Read our Handbook PDF.


Robert H. DeWit, Ph. D.  Email Rob:
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. DeWit joined the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center with over 25 years of experience in life science research and development. For the past twenty years, he served in various leadership roles at Upjohn/Pharmacia/Pfizer, the most recent being as Executive Director of Drug Safety Research & Development and Pfizer Global Research & Development Site Lead at Pfizer, Inc. His international experience includes assignments in both Japan and the United Kingdom. Previously, he worked at Parke-Davis and Warner Lambert. Dr. DeWit holds a Doctor of Philosophy (toxicology) degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

Madelyn Pinder. Email Madelyn:
Business Services Manager
Madelyn has been with the Innovation Center since 2004.  As Business Services Manager for the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, Madelyn Pinder serves as the first point of contact for the client company employees. Madelyn manages the day-to-day business activities of the incubator such as lease and license creation and renewal, common scientific and business equipment maintenance, laboratory and office furnishing management and small business counseling and WMU resource referrals. . As requested, she receives visitors and solicitors for client companies.  She is also the face of the Innovation Center for visitors who come to the facility for tours, networking events and meetings, working to ensure that the Innovation Center is a positive experience for all. Madelyn has a keen knowledge of the Innovation Center, having worked for Southwest Michigan First during the planning and ultimate build-out of the Innovation Center. At Southwest Michigan First, Madelyn served as the Community and Investor Relations Specialist, cultivating and stewarding the relationships that fund Southwest Michigan First and the Innovation Center. Prior to joining the Innovation Center, Madelyn gained development experience at Kalamazoo College and by serving as Program Manager for a private foundation.


Managing Director Committee

Mr. Donald Parfet
Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors
Managing Partner, Apjohn Group, LLC
Southwest Michigan First Board Member 

Managing Directors

Ms. Jill Bland  
Executive Vice President
Southwest Michigan First

Dr. Janice Brown 
Executive Director 
The Kalamazoo Promise  

Mr. Phillip Carra   
General Partner, Apjohn Group, LLC   

Mr. Kenneth Collard 
Former Kalamazoo City Manager  

Dr. Jack Hopkins 
Jack Hopkins Consulting Services, LLC
Former President and CEO 
Kalamazoo Community Foundation  

Catherine A. Knupp, D.V.M., MS
Executive Vice President & President
Veterinary Medicine Research & Development

Dr. Jack Luderer                                               
BRCC Governing Board Member
Founding Partner, Apjohn Group, LLC
Former Associate Dean for Research
WMU School of Medicine
Former Executive Director
Biosciences Research & Commercialization Center, Western Michigan University

Kevin McLeod 
Vice President
Southwest Michigan First

Douglas R. Morton, PhD 
PharmMor Consulting, LLC 
Founder and Managing Director

Dr. Kay Palan
Haworth College of Business
Western Michigan University

Mr. Jim Ritsema
Kalamazoo City Manager
City Hall