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Assisted Funding Programs

Business Accelerator Fund

This program provides access to the Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) and provides capital to established business accelerators in Michigan. The business accelerator program provides specialized services to early stage companies commercializing advanced technology that falls within one or more of the 21st century Jobs Fund competitive edge technology sectors. 

BAF funds are used to provide companies with high value services to 1) accelerate growth 2) achieve a greater market position 3) assist secondary business operations. Typical high value services include marketing, web development (for non-web companies), and consulting. 


For more information on BAF funding and what it may be used for, please read over the BAF Checklist and BAF FAQ.

To be eligible for BAF funds, the business must demonstrate a legitimate need for high value services. Please contact your local accelerator manager to discuss eligibility. 

If you are in need of entrepreneurial services but do not qualify as a 21st Century Jobs Fund Technology company, LEAP is still here to help. Please contact Tony Willis,

Mentorship in Residence Program

The Mentorship in Residence Program is a funding source that LEAP uses to pay a service provider and/or mentor to help a new business reach a milestone. This funding source is typically used for smaller engagements ranging from $1,000-$4,000.

Counseling with industry expert
Marketing, consumer education and website development
Prototype testing and design

Executive Summary (not to exceed five pages)
Clearly defined outcome

Must fall within the 21st Century Jobs category (strongly aligns with STEM)
New companies (less than 3 years old)

First Customer Program

The First Customer Program is designed to help a start-up solidify their business by tailoring their marketing and sales objectives to potential first customers. The FCP is offered through the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy and is funded by the 21st Century Jobs Fund within the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The FCP assists with market/consumer analysis, action plan development, project implementation, and executive coaching.

FCP is focused on start-up tech companies that need both preparation for and introduction to first customers. Companies must demonstrate that their business 

Applications to the FCP are done on a referral basis, please contact for more information on referrals. 

Matching Funds

Pre-Seed Microloan and Investment Fund – InvestMichigan

Invest Michigan is the manager of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0. It is a Michigan nonprofit corporation based in Detroit and governed by its board of directors. As fund manager, Invest Michigan has a contract with the Michigan Strategic Fund to direct and manage a $6.8 million investment fund. 

The Microloan is a $50,000 or less loan and is designated for “earlier” stage companies.
The Pre-Seed Investment is up to $150,000 and depends on the stage of the company and the total investment round of financing.  
The overall goal of the Michigan Pre_seed Microloan and Investment Fund is to provide financing, strategic guidance and introductions to help promising Michigan early stage tech-based companies.

Company must be non-public, for-profit entity and should have revenue of less than $2.5 million excluding grants and federal contracts. The company must also commit, in writing, to a Michigan “presence”. Use of funds must be consistent with Pre-Seed guidelines and the company must secure a commitment of cash investment to match the financing request on a 1:1 basis.

The company must be an early stage technology company in operation fewer than five years, legally established and registered with the State of Michigan.

Emerging Technologies Fund

The Michigan ETF matches Federally Funded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects. A company interesting in applying to the ETF program must submit an electronic application via prior to submitting a SBIR/STTR proposal. The ETF operates in four technology sectors; Life Sciences, Homeland Security and Defense, Advance Automotive Manufacturing and Materials, and Alternative Energy.

Loan Programs

MSUFCU Startup Loan

The startUP Loan* is for entrepreneurs looking to start their business in the tri-county area: Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton County. Whether you're looking for financing to purchase equipment or space for your business, the startUP loan can help you jump-start your new idea.

Low-rate with credit limits up to $15,000
Terms as long as 36 months

Plans to locate in Ingham, Eaton, or Clinton County
Completion of loan application and business plan

The startUP loan is only available to new businesses established in the previous two years in the tri-county area: Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton County.

Jump Start Loan

Available through the Entrepreneur Institute, the Jump Start loan is a micro-loan program designed to help business with short term loans. They currently offer two levels; Level 1 provides the borrower with up to $1000 in funding and Level 2 provides a maximum of $2500. 

Funds are to be used for inventory, equipment, licenses, and general business purposes.

The borrower’s application must show a concrete plan for repayment.

The Jump Start loan is only available to Lansing residents or businesses. 

Competitive Funding

The Hatching

“Post. Pitch. Win.” The Hatching is an exciting idea competition brought to you by LEAP and Spartan Innovations. It helps entrepreneurs bring ideas from concept to reality with an overall goal to make the Lansing region the premier area for startup activity. It all starts with one idea and continues to the monthly event at Beggars Banquet where the two finalists (determined online) compete to win a $1000 prize. 

You must be located in the Lansing Region (Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton County), or be willing to locate in one of the three Counties
You must still be in idea phase, no previously formed companies are allowed to present.
You must be legally able to reside and work in the United States.

Green-Light Business Competition 

The Greenlight Business Model Competition is a yearly event designed to bring together young businesses (1 year or less) with new student run start-ups. Awards for this event total $50,000, including a $25,000 grand prize. Overall, there are 10 prizes available to compete for including (3) undergraduate specific prizes. 

The Greenlight competition offers a competitive environment to pitch your idea to a panel of judges. The 2014 application deadline was 3/14/14 and the actual competition took place on 3/26/14.

You must fill out an application online via

You must be State of Michigan residents or students that have a company or idea that has been in existence for less than one year to compete!

Did you know:

(517) 702-3387

1000 S. Washington Ave Suite 201 Lansing, MI 48910


Additional Links

  • Copyright Lansing Economic Area Partnership