Share, Learn, Create Innovative Economic Development Ideas!
diverse and dynamic network developing innovative economic development
ideas, tools, models, policies, and practices for Michigan."
To learn about this year's Co-Learning Plans, click here.
The authors of these research initiatives are fellow REI Network
members. They are analyzing and identifying new strategies to support
economic growth in Michigan's regional ecosystems.
Not looking for funding, but have a great idea to jump-start Michigan's economy? You can always submit an innovative economic development idea on our website.
Student-Led Faculty-Guided Projects
Faculty-Guided projects utilize student engagement in communities
across Michigan. REI has supported over 50 SLFG projects from corridor
studies to market analysis to greenhouses constructed from abandoned
houses. Click here to read about the great work our future leaders are doing in Michigan.
Check out this year's SLFG projects and see how students around Michigan are gaining marketable skills and making an impact:
- BLVD Harambee Business Model, Madonna University
- Genesee County Material Recovery Facility Feasibility Study, Michigan State University
- The Southend District: Vision Plan and Economic Development Strategy, Michigan State University
Co-Implementation Project - Flint City Pop-Up
Flint City Pop-Up Co-Implementation Project has had a productive winter
and is gearing up for a very busy spring. Monthly meetings, pop up
events and networking opportunities for start-ups connect young
innovators with local resources. Our emerging entrepreneurs, spread out
on the spectrum from concept to operating businesses and continue to
make progress. Current participants provide a wide range of goods and
services, from contemporary fashion to food concepts to a record label.
- Tony Vu
took a few days off of running MaMang to compete on Guy's Grocery
Games. While he didn't win, he was clearly the crowd favorite!
- Good Boy Clothing
has moved into their own dedicated space downtown and continues to work
on production at Steamworks, adding unique features to their line.
Eric Thomas has been seen on the Dr. Nandi Show as a "Health Hero,"
Shark Tank, and recently got back into the recording studio with
Bangtown Productions and the DMAN Foundation in Detroit.
- Fli City My City released their new Built Flint Tough shirts:
budding entrepreneurs, some as young as elementary school, have put
together plans for making and selling a variety of decorative items,
including beaded jewelry, plaques, picture frames and coasters. They
will be constructing these at our April meeting, and selling them at the
Flint Farmers' Market later this Spring. Along the way they will learn
about product cost, market research, profit/loss, and customer
Flint City Pop-Up Calendar:
is working on a Flint City Pop-Up video to help learn about this
successful program and how your community might want to start your own
REI 2016 Innovate Michigan! Summit
Save the date! The 5th annual Innovate Michigan! Summit will be held on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.
Attendees will hear various speakers talk about innovative economic
development tools, models, policies, programs, and practices. Learn how
REI and its partners are achieving small wins with big impacts. Gain a
more complete view of the economic climate in Michigan and the driving
forces behind it, as well as the small wins making.
REI Impact: Successful REI-Funded Projects Throughout Michigan
Accelerating Capital: Growing the Greater Lansing Region and Investment through Rare Isotopes
Accelerating Capital Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Project was conducted
in an effort to assess conditions and recommend strategies surrounding
the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) particle accelerator facility
on Michigan State University's campus. The MSU faculty and student
team, with help from Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), aimed to
compare elements surrounding the FRIB to successful existing facilities
to strategize for a sustainable facility that will benefit the local
community and economy. They chose four facilities that were similar in
either size or scope upon which to conduct research. Those four are the
TRIUMF Facility in Vancouver, Canada, the Jefferson Lab in Newport,
Virginia, Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and the National
Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NCSL) on Michigan State's Campus.
addition to REI's initial funding of the practicum project, LEAP's
accelerator taskforce team received $70,000 in funding from Michigan
Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to further research implications
and facilitate the development of an "accelerator region" surrounding
the FRIB. After the initial project was completed, one student member of
the practicum team was hired by Kuntzsch Solutions to stay on as a
consultant and conduct further research based on "Accelerating Capital".
As a result of the MEDC funding, LEAP and Kuntzsch Solutions
collaborated on a seperate study titled "Accelerating Capital:
Harvesting a Rare Opportunity for the Lansing Region's Particle
Accelerator Industry". Some of the next steps for LEAP include
emphasizing the importance of industry specific workforce specialization
in the Lansing area, targeting advanced manufacturing, biomedical, and
information technology companies as possible investors, and completing a
branding and marketing plan for the FRIB.
Expanding Economic Literacy by Using the Money Smart for Small Business Curriculum
Economic Literacy by using the Money Smart for Small Business
Curriculum" was an REI-funded Co-Learning Plan authored by Amanda
Blondeau with Northern Initiatives. Initially founded as an academic
program at Northern Michigan University, Northern Initiatives uses
lending as its primary tool to revitalize the region's rural landscape.
They also provide technical assistance and individual business support
to improve financial literacy and the overall business strategy.
In total, 25 small businesses received training through this model.
This project also resulted in $147,000 in public and private investment.
Pop Up Business Model
MSU CCED supports the pop-up business model in Flint. In 2014, REI partnered with Co-Learning plan authors Michael Forsyth (REVOLVE Detroit) and Dr. Rita Fields (Madonna University)
to explain the impact and goal of Pop-Up businesses on Detroit and
Michigan's economy as a whole. This model is in the process of being
replicated in Flint, Michigan as a part of REI's Co-Implementation Project to help young entrepreneurs.