Michigan Economic Developers Association - Your Partner in Growing Your Community

***On 3/13/20, this course was moved to an online format. See below for details.***

IEDC's Technology-Led Economic Development

This course will be held on Thursday, April 2 - Friday, April 3, 2020, online.

Format Change

Statement from IEDC Regarding Change:

As a follow-up to IEDC's organizational statement made on March 9 on the evolving situation with the Coronavirus/COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of registrants and instructors, IEDC has made the decision to shift the Technology-Led Economic Development Training course happening April 2-3, from an in-person course format into an online course format. The Technology-Led Economic Development course originally scheduled to occur in Lansing, MI, April 2-3, will no longer be held face-to-face. Instead, you can attend from the comfort and safety of your own home or office on the same dates (April 2-3). We apologize for the inconveniences you will experience as result of this change. Current registrants were sent an email with more details and we hope that you are satisfied with our solution. If you registered before the switch was made, but didn’t receive an email, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Course Dates - Dates of the online Technology-Led Economic Development course remains April 2-3, 2020, 10:30 am – 5:00 pm ET each day (subject to change). This course will offer an interactive experience for both instructors and attendees that allows everyone to engage with one another similarly to how they would in a classroom setting. A revised agenda will be forthcoming, however, for your information, we will be sure to keep the scheduled breaks throughout the day (in between sessions and for lunch).

For those already registered for the course through MEDA:

  • Flights – IEDC cannot provide refunds for airline tickets or other travel costs already incurred; however, we encourage you to contact the airlines, request a refund, and when you do we strongly urge you to invoke the “Impossibility” or “Act of God” exception that most airlines include in their policies provided to you when you purchased the ticket. If the airline will not give you a refund, we suggest that you request that the airline give you credit toward future travel.
  • Your hotel reservation –Please go ahead with the cancellation of your hotel guest room reservations at the course site hotel, or other hotels. The course site hotel has been notified of the cancellation of the in-person training course to bring it online.

Your choices

  • Happy with this change?If you are content with IEDC’s decision to shift this course into an online format, and would like to attend the upcoming online Technology-Led Economic Development training course (Apr 2-3), please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm receipt of this message! We will be in touch soon with more information and we look forward to having you join us!
  • Not interested in attending the online course? Be sure to notify IEDC’s Partner, Michigan Economic Developers Association (contact: Cassandra Jorae, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), within 10 days of the course with your request for a refund.


This technical course focuses on the competitive advantage of regions and the role of economic developers and community stakeholders in building an innovation ecosystem. It is important to understand the process of technological commercialization. In this course, participants will be introduced to the legal and financial framework for bringing innovation to market, including technology protection and product licensing. Learn how to partner with government, industry, higher education, and the private sector to create a highly integrated network of technology and innovation. Multiple case studies will be presented to explain the role of business incubators, accelerators, venture capital, angel networks, gap financing, and more.

This course is an elective in the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) program from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). You need two electives to sit for the certification exam.

You do not have to be in pursuit of your CEcD in order to attend, however. Anyone with interest or a need for the training is welcome.

Course Highlights

  • Forming strategic alliances and technology clusters
  • Building partnerships with higher education and technology councils
  • Understanding technology transfer and commercialization
  • Reviewing patent, copyright, trademark, and licensing terms
  • Developing incubators, accelerators, and research parks
  • Developing multiple financing mechanisms for technology businesses
  • Debt vs. equity financing options for entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Rural technology-led economic development strategies


April 2

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Introduction to Technology-Led Economic Development
This session sets the context for the rest of the agenda topics.  It will begin with definitions that describe the dynamics of the Global Knowledge Economy and why what we face for the future is not the same as the recent past.  Questions to be discussed will include:  What is technology?  What is a technology company?  What are the significant changes in economic dynamics that we need to take into account in economic development?  What major changes does all of this imply for economic developers and for regional economic strategies?

10:00 - 10:15 a.m. Short Break

10:15 - 11:30 a.m. How Incubators/Accelerators can evolve into the place for all things entrepreneurial, and how the development of a regional innovation system supports the growth of technology and entrepreneurship
For several years, economic developers and universities have focused on technology transfer.  We now know that the process of creating successful technology entrepreneurship and clusters is more complex.  It depends upon a whole “system” of resources—all working together.  Many of the pieces include connecting research institutions with communities to foster critical entrepreneurial business skills, networking and financing opportunities. There will be discussion of how the pieces work together to create the right environment in which technology companies grow and thrive.

11:30 - 12:15 p.m. Case Study: Entrepreneurial Support: Ann Arbor SPARK
This session will highlight the Ann Arbor SPARK programs that support entrepreneurship for innovation, education, and economic development. Specifically, course participants will learn about innovation-centered economic and business development models and how EDOs can work with local and regional research facilities to facilitate job creation. It will be followed by a facilitated discussion with the participants.

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Engaged Research Institutions—at the Heart of TLED Strategies
In this session, the participants will explore in greater depth all the ways in which community colleges, universities, medical and other research institutions are playing (or should play) critical roles in any regional TLED strategy. This session will also address the issue of what to do in the absence of these types of institutions.

2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Case Study: Engaged Research Institutions – Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK will share its experiences and lessons learned from collaborations with the University of Michigan.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m. Short Break

3:15 - 4:15 p.m. The Knowledge Workforce
We know that one of the important factors to tech companies, when they decide where to be, is the availability of a suitably skilled local workforce.  Indeed, focus on workforce strategies has become an important part of the economic developer’s job.  In this session, we will address how to strategize for bringing together local/regional resources (K-12, WDBs, Colleges, etc.) to be sure that your region can market its high-skilled workforce for tech companies.

April 3

9:00 - 10:30 a.m. From Idea to Marketplace—Knowledge Management Processes
Technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property is one of the most difficult things for universities do well. Some universities have “cracked the code,” and others still flounder.  What differentiates the successful from the others?  Those that have “cracked the code,” in most instances have created a regional system of resources, working in concert towards a common goal.  Session will discuss how the various components can create a synergy leading to technology cluster development in which entrepreneurial companies grow and thrive.

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Short Break

10:45 - 12:15 p.m. Defining Local/Regional Capacities and Industry Clusters, to Create a Tech-Led Market Strategy
Once participants and a process are defined, the next step is to assess local/regional capacities and the assets on which to base a TLED strategy.  This session will review basic SWOT analysis, including economic assessment.  It will address assessment of education and workforce assets and requirements.  It also will describe how to analyze existing industry base and define present and targeted clusters for market strategy.

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Financing and Equity Options for Tech-based Businesses
There are many viable options for tech-based businesses to acquire small business development funding such as commercial banks, angel investors and SBTDC programs. This session will help practitioners better understand the diverse set of funding sources available. Also, this session will improve the practitioners understanding of what lenders and angel investors are typically looking for in a start-up venture.

3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Using Online and Mobile Tools to Support Tech-Led Ecosystems
The use of online tools to develop and support tech-led economic development is growing rapidly.  However, the proliferation of platforms and lack of established techniques makes it difficult to know which tools will work best in your community.  In this session we will explore both website-centric strategies and social networks to help you identify the strategies that will be the most effective in your community.

3:45 - 4:15 p.m. Wrap-up and Certificates

* Agenda subject to change

Attendance Policy

In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.


Visit this page to learn about the course instructors.

Recertification Credits

For currently Certified Economic Developers (CEcD's), this program qualifies for (3) Level 1 Recertification Points from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

This event has been approved for (2) continuing education credits for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.


Visit the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) website at https://www.iedconline.org/events/2020/04/02/training-course/technology-led-economic-development/ to register moving forward.

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Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011

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