Explore the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center

The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is interested in the growth of your life science business or idea. Through a range of assistance targeted to emerging businesses, the Innovation Center provides what your startup venture needs to succeed.  We offer access to business and marketing plan development assistance, financial analysis and accounting assistance, referrals for funding and presentation assistance, training and networking events and procurement and purchasing expertise.  License to use radioactive materials at the Innovation Center, access to low-cost vivarium space and literature is available through Western Michigan University.  In addition to shared equipment and subsidized laboratory and executive office space wired for high speed internet and phone access, the Innovation Center offers conference rooms that accommodate 8 to 75 people, access to a scientific supply storeroom, electronic security system with controlled access to individual laboratories and video surveillance, front office reception, event planning services, package receipt, and ample, free parking. Read More

A Rich History of Life Science in the Region

From the founding of the Upjohn Company in 1886 and Stryker Corporation in 1941, to the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center's successful client companies, the West Michigan region has a rich 125 year history of life science entrepreneurialism. Today, life science companies of every size call West Michigan home.  Well known Fortune 500 life science companies are headquartered in West Michigan: Stryker Corporation, Kellogg Company, Perrigo Company, and Pfizer Inc.’s Animal Health Worldwide Research and Development. West Michigan has a network of large and small contract research organizations that work together, expediting and cutting the cost of discovery and development for companies around the world.  Lastly, there are the newest startup companies, piloted by scientists with an idea.  Companies are busy discovering and developing solutions to human, animal, and environmental health challenges by means of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nutritional supplements and enhancements, agricultural interventions, and genetic engineering technologies, to name a few.  Supporting these companies are those that specialize in preclinical and clinical research, project management, data management and statistical services, regulatory compliance, and medical writing.  Venture capital funds, angel investor networks, and private investors add value to the region’s startup companies, inspired to retain and foster regional talent by their own entrepreneurial legacies.  

Regional Facts:
Source: Southwest Michigan First

  • Home to over 200 regional life science companies
  • 33 successful life science start-ups since 2003
  • $50 million Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund, an early stage venture capital fund for life science opportunities in the Kalamazoo Region
  • One of the nation’s strongest and most respected concentrations of contract research organizations
  • Over 24,800 employed in the life sciences
  • Over 3,400 life science jobs created in 2008
  • Six Fortune 500 companies are headquartered or physically present, including Stryker, Kellogg, Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic and Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • #1 Top 5 Medium MSA with the highest concentration of employment for Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (Business Facilities, August 2009)
  • #2 Top 5 Medium MSA with the highest concentration of employment for Medical Device and Equipment (Business Facilities, August 2009)
  • Ranks in Top 100 metro areas for device patents according to a report by the Taimerica Management Company (2007)
  • Top life science employers include Alticor, Kellogg, MPI Research, Perrigo, Pfizer and Stryker
  • One of the nation's most educated demographics: 1.82% of the population hold doctoral degrees (.96% is national average); 8.5% hold a masters' degree (5.92 % is national average); and 19.30% hold a bachelor's degree (15.76% is national average)
  • Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, a 69,000-square-foot life science accelerator
  • Over 45,000 college students

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Summary of Success: Jul 2014

Client Company Employees: 161
Total Annual Payrolls: $7,530,658
Client Companies at SMIC: 18
Companies Served Since: 106
Graduate Startup Companies: 5

Newsroom (view all)

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Featured Client Company

Sunapten Therapeutics

Sunapten Therapeutics is an early stage pharmaceutical company developing a vaccine to treat prostate cancer patients by a simple injection, much like any traditional vaccine for tetanus or influenza ... Learn More »

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