Michigan Economic Developers Association - Your Partner in Growing Your Community

IEDC's Technology-Led Economic Development

This course will be held on Thursday, April 2 - Friday, April 3, 2020, in the Hyatt Place in Lansing.


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


Day 1

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?

10:15 - 11:15 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.

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Case Study (Incubator/Research Park Focus)
This session will highlight a few tested incubation models for innovation, education, and economic development that have been applied around the world. 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.

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. From Idea to Marketplace - Knowledge Management Processes
Technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property is one of the most difficult things for universities to 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. The session will discuss how the various components can create a synergy leading to technology cluster development in which entrepreneurial companies grow and thrive.

3:15 - 4:30 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.

Day 2

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Tech-led Strategies for Rural Economies
Rural-based economic developers can assist tech-based businesses by fostering strong networks of business service providers, improving telecommunications infrastructure and by helping local firms access the most recent innovations in technology to help grow their businesses. This session will cover practical strategies that rural EDOs can implement to create a robust technology-based economic development plan.

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 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 practitioner's understanding of what lenders and angel investors are typically looking for in a start-up venture.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. The Knowledge Workforce
We know that one of the hugely 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.

3:15 - 4:15 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 the assessment of education and workforce assets and requirements. It also will describe how to analyze the existing industry base and define present and targeted clusters for market strategy.

4:15 - 4:35 p.m. Putting it All Together
Now that you have heard about the pieces, how do you put it all together? This session will summarize the information covered in the course, provide a few mini case studies, and engage participants in discussing how they would apply what they have learned in their regions.

4:35 - 4:45 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.

Registration Fees

You must pay before the course in order to attend.

  • MEDA will email invoices approximately 2 months before the course to anyone that has not paid by then via check or credit card.
  • If you need an invoice before that, you can request one by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If you register within the 2-month timeframe, you will receive an invoice in about 1 week via email.
IEDC/MEDA Members Non-Members Date Ranges
 $490  $640  By C.O.B. February 20
 $630  $780  February 21 - March 19
 $650  $800  After March 19

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted in writing at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the course. An email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is acceptable. Participants registered for the course that do not cancel and who do not attend will be charged the full price for the course.

Hotel Reservations

For a group rate of $125++/night at Hyatt Place, make your reservation by March 6, 2020. To reserve online, visit www.hyatt.com and enter code G-MEDA. You may also call 888-492-8847.

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.



Corporate Sponsors

consumers-energy DTE Logo Small
michigan-economic-development-corp MAEDC Logo

Contact Us

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

Join Our Mailing List

Powered by Robly