Governor Rick Snyder was in Houghton Monday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MTEC SmartZone.
Ten years ago, the MTEC SmartZone began taking innovative entrepreneurs and giving them the support they needed to turn their idea into a viable business.
After a decade of new business startups and attracting Fortune 500 companies into the area, the MTEC Smartzone has helped create more than 350 new jobs.
Several lawmakers joined in on the anniversary celebrations, perhaps none more proud than one of the initial supporters of SmartZones: Governor Rick Snyder.
“That’s why, personally, it’s really exciting to be here today; to see an idea that I can say I had some part of helping create—to see it be a living thing. And not just a living thing, that it’s got ten years of life that’s made a tremendous difference in Michiganders’ lives,” Synder said. “Because the real thing is, is I’m not trying to get credit for coming up with the idea. The credit really belongs with the people that executed the idea, that made it come to life.”
The MTEC SmartZone operates four business incubators and has graduated 13 companies. They have leveraged more than $68 million in public and private investment.
But Snyder encouraged the SmartZone not to keep looking back on what they have accomplished, but what is to come.
“And I believe you have an even more exciting future ahead of you. And the reason I say that is too often people view innovation and entrepreneurship in large urban areas—Silicon Valley, New York City, places like that. But technology is actually a tool that is only going to make it better and easier to do the wonderful work in a higher quality of life place like Houghton and Hancock,” said Snyder.