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U of M opens new business incubator in old Pfizer facility

U of M's new venture accelerator will connect startups with talent and funding
Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan
U of M's new venture accelerator will connect startups with talent and funding

A new type of incubator is open for business at the University of Michigan. It’s called a “venture accelerator,” and it’s located in the  sprawling research complex Pfizer built before it left Michigan a few years ago.

Ken Nisbet heads up the new venture accelerator. He says unlike traditional incubators, which do little more than rent out office space to fledgling startups, U of M’s venture accelerator will connect startups with talent and funding:  

"We expect to accelerate the maturity of these companies and to help connect them with more quality talent and more quality resources. So we’re hoping to make companies more sustainable, to be able to attract better funding and better talent and to create more jobs into the future."

In a story for the public radio program Marketplace, we reported how the University of Michigan is also inviting venture capitalists, business development experts and for-profit companies to set up shop in the new research complex right alongside the researchers.

Darryl Weinert heads up the facility's business engagement center, and he says "the idea is to make this a springboard for even more interactions with companies.

Ken Nesbit says the startup companies will likely run the gamut from medical devices to information technology.

U of M bought the former Pfizer research campus for $108 million.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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