New Economy Initiative awards grant to LTU for growth of small manufacturers, hardware startups

SOUTHFIELD – The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has awarded a one-year grant of $40,000 to the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) Collaboratory for the support of its accelerator program that will enable the growth for small manufacturers and emerging hardware startups in Southeast Michigan.

“As a leading resource to small and start-up companies developing innovative, engineered products, the LTU Collaboratory can now provide additional key resources for these companies to grow and scale up their operations, thanks to this NEI grant,” said Mark Brucki, executive director of community and corporate partnerships at LTU. “We are looking forward to getting more students involved in manufacturing as well.”

The grant allows the LTU Collaboratory to expand its business and technology-based mentorship services, workshops and events for small manufactures and hardware innovators, as well as engage more high school, college and young adults in product and manufacturing-related innovation challenges. This represents the first grant that the NEI has provided to LTU.

“Southeast Michigan is a world-wide leader in product innovation as evidenced by our abundance of engineering talent, manufacturing expertise, patent research initiatives, and export activity” said Maria LaLonde, senior program officer at NEI. “We are very excited to be partnering with LTU to offer small manufacturers and hardware entrepreneurs critical resources to keep them on the leading edge of innovation and growth. As a university-based accelerator program, LTU is also a key partner to engage and develop the next generation of design, engineering and manufacturing talent in Michigan.”

The LTU Collaboratory is part of the Southfield Centrepolis SmartZone, with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s 21st Century Jobs Fund, and operates based on a partnership between the City of Southfield and LTU with plans to open a 6,300-square-foot accelerator space on campus by spring 2019.  Learn more at and

About LTU

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists LTU among the nation’s top 5 percent universities for the salaries of its graduates, and US News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice’ education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on LTU’s campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

About the New Economy Initiative

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) is a philanthropic collaboration working to grow an inclusive culture of entrepreneurship in southeast Michigan that benefits all residents and strengthens the regional economy. A special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, NEI acts as a strategic grant maker, convener, and storyteller in its efforts to build and sustain a network of support for diverse entrepreneurs who are creating a better future for their communities. Learn more at

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