SmartZone authority releases RFP from local tech businesses

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The SmartZone LDFA is inviting proposals from qualified respondents and collaborators with an established entrepreneurship support network, proven business development success and real estate asset management experience to be a partner in the operation of the business incubator. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The city of Grand Rapids’ SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority announced a request for proposals from entrepreneurial service providers to operate its business incubator.

The SmartZone LDFA is inviting proposals from qualified respondents and collaborators with an established entrepreneurship support network, proven business development success and real estate asset management experience to be a partner in the operation of the business incubator.

Funds for this RFP are supported by tax increment revenues generated by properties located within the SmartZone Certified Technology Park.

The RFP is seeking service providers and collaborators who are interested in partnering with the SmartZone LDFA to help achieve their strategic goals and support the ecosystem.

These goals include:

  • Implement targeted programs and initiatives that support entrepreneurship and innovation as a pathway to prosperity and wealth creation in historically marginalized communities and populations that are underrepresented in the high-technology industry.
  • Help diversify and enhance the city’s economy by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation for high-tech startups and small businesses that qualify under the requirements of Act 57 and that create high-quality jobs and wealth creation throughout the city.
  • Continue to cluster life science, advanced manufacturing and information technology sector companies, research and programming into a connected community.
  • Create and nurture high-tech small business enterprises from proof of concept to commercialization.
  • Attract and facilitate targeted investment in business ownership and employment opportunities within communities of interest, specifically in underrepresented communities with a focus on equitable economic development outcomes.

“The SmartZone incubator programming and facilities serve entrepreneurs from concept to market, supporting all stages of growth,” said Jeremiah Gracia, Grand Rapids economic development director.

SmartZone LDFA is now accepting submissions. To review the RFP, visit the city of Grand Rapids’ website.

The expected timeline for the process is:

  • March 1 – RFP released
  • March 15 – Deadline to submit written questions
  • March 19 – Responses to RFP questions released
  • March 19 to April 16 – Blackout period
  • April 16 – deadline to submit RFP (5 p.m.)
  • Week of April 26 – Finalist interviews
  • May 19 – Selection announced

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