Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was in attendance for the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone Business Accelerator Building in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Friday.
Snyder (pictured) cut the ribbon with Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kristen Claus, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) President Tony McLain and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Mayor Tony Bosbous.
“For me, this is very special,” Snyder said, as he was one of the earliest advocates of creating SmartZones in Michigan.
The new SmartZone building, located on Meridian Street, is a facility designed to combine the efforts of LSSU, industry, research organizations, government and other community organizations such as the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, with a view to creating businesses and jobs in the technology sector by assisting individuals and groups with innovative technology-based ideas take their visions from the drawing board to the marketplace.
There are now 15 SmartZones in Michigan.
Addressing a large audience assembled outside the SmartZone, Snyder said: “To be an entrepreneur is really hard. There’s nothing harder than starting a business, so you need that support and this is what this facility can do.”
Speaking to reporters, Snyder said: “Now we have one stop shopping as a focal point for start up companies (in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and surrounding areas).”
Snyder said earlier this week he visited a SmartZone in Houghton, Michigan, where several companies have graduated from that technology-based facility and created approximately 300 jobs in that area over the past 10 years.
Speaking to SooToday.com, Snyder said: “small and medium sized businesses are where you get your job growth.”
Snyder said the SmartZone could work in collaboration with Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario’s Innovation Centre (an information technology sector job incubator) and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.
“I’m very pro-Canadian. I believe we should be doing as many things as we can.”
SooToday.com will have more details and photos tomorrow.