The Ticker has learned that Traverse City is getting its first technology "incubator."
Local non-profit organization TCNewTech, previously known for hosting fast-paced monthly presentations by entrepreneurs, has leased the “Old City Hall” building at the corner of East State and Cass Streets, where it plans to rent incubator space to high-tech startups and host training sessions.
Russ Schindler, board president, says at least part of the 6,800 square-foot (and as yet unnamed) center will open as early as mid-June. Startups will be able to rent space and also attend seminars on general business practices, human resources, accounting principles and legal considerations for new companies.
“We’ll also have mentors from SCORE [the Society of Retired Executives], and we expect the Northern Michigan Angels [investor group] to participate,” Schindler says. “We’re also developing a database of experts on various topics. So if an incubator company needs help, say, with an electrical engineering problem, they can find people in that field.”
“We want to facilitate job growth. Tech jobs generally pay well. And that benefits the whole community.”
A broader, community-wide purpose of the center, Schindler says, is to instill in high school students and adults a knowledge and passion about current and emerging technologies; that could include offering space to various tech clubs.
“When you start introducing that sort of stuff, people will start coming with ideas of their own,” Schindler says. “We want to create that culture. That won’t happen overnight.”
The group plans to work closely with Northwestern Michigan College, local high schools and potentially with Michigan State University’s local extension office. MSU officials and TCNewTech board members will meet Monday.
The building is owned by Old City Hall LLC, a group consisting of Dudley Smith and Kelly and Cherie Robinson.