TRAVERSE CITY – TCNewTech continues to make inroads in establishing Traverse City as a northern Michigan technology hub. Board members of the tech entrepreneur and enthusiast meet-up community recently solidified plans to launch an incubator at Traverse City’s Old City Hall. The group anticipates a launch date in early summer of 2017.
The Traverse City technology incubator will serve as a co-working space and community tech center for those in and around the Grand Traverse area. Through the incubator, TCNewTech seeks to offer independent, freelance and virtual workers a physical location to convene at to promote collaboration among tech entrepreneurs and start-ups in the region. The incubator will offer office, conference and meeting room space with low overhead costs and a variety of amenities, including business mentoring and networking and funding opportunities. The facility will also likely serve as a technology community center and meeting space for groups such as TCNewTech, coding clubs, 3-D printing clubs, etc., as well as a space for hosting events for the broader technology community.
The endeavor comes at a time when conversations about the need for greater economic diversity in the traditionally tourism-centric region are heating up. The growth of a local tech sector could have a significant impact on job opportunities in the local market. More technology businesses in and around Traverse City could offer new year-round employment opportunities and help close the wage gap oft cited as a contributing factor in the local housing crisis.
Northern Michigan Angels co-founder Deanna Cannon sees the incubator as an opportunity for area investors to get a feel for promising local tech talent.
“The launch of this incubator here in Traverse City is the culmination of efforts by several individuals who are invested in seeing start-up business entrepreneurs receive the resources and mentoring needed to advance their companies. We at Northern Michigan Angels applaud these efforts and believe the incubator will be a key component in the growing start-up business ecosystem here creating high-income jobs in and attracting new enterprises to Traverse City and Northern Michigan for years to come,” Cannon said.
Timothy Nelson, President of Traverse City-based Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), sees the incubator as an opportunity for students to push the front lines of tech industry cultivation in their own town.
“One of NMC’s goals is to position our students with the skills to develop innovative products and services. In recent years, we’ve seen numerous students move their ideas from the college’s hacker and maker spaces to the market. This incubator will be a great addition to our community and complement the resources available at NMC. We look forward to the next steps,” Nelson said.
Parties interested in securing workspace at the incubator, sponsoring the project, or learning more about the initiative are encouraged to contact TCNewTech founder and Chairman Russell Schindler at firstname.lastname@example.org.