Sign In


    What are SmartZones?
    SmartZones are specially created "technology parks" designed to spur the growth of technology-related or research-oriented businesses and employment opportunities. Technology firms, biomedical businesses, universities or private research institutes form efficient, organized and easily-identified "smart clusters," which in turn attract other businesses and highly-skilled professionals to the SmartZone.
    Click here and browse the Entrepreneurs and Innovators page
    The Grand Rapids SmartZone
    Grand Rapids is home to one of eleven SmartZones throughout Michigan. The SmartZone is anchored by the Van Andel Research Institute, an independent research organization focused on molecular cancer investigation; and by wet lab incubator space at Grand Valley State University's Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences.
    Van Andel Research Institute

    Start Garden manages the Grand Rapids SmartZone incubator program.  Learn more about the incubator activities and clients on the Start Garden website.
    Click the following links to access the approved 2016 Amended SmartZone Development Plan and Tax Increment Financing Plan, as well as the approved SmartZone Certified Technology Park map.
    Grand Rapids SmartZone LDFA Board
    Kara Wood, Executive Director
    Jerry Kooiman, Chair
    Lisa Freiburger, Treasurer
    Mayor Rosalynn Bliss
    Keith Brophy
    Gerald Callahan
    Dr. Wendy Falb
    John Helmholdt
    Mark Holzbach
    Mary Swanson
    Therese Thill
    Dante Villarreal
    Michelle Hikade (GRCC Student)
    Fredrick Molnar (ex-officio)
    How SmartZones Benefit Business

    A SmartZone is a place where new high tech ventures, including biotech, information technology and advanced manufacturing can access a host of services to grow a business. A Business Accelerator Center serves as a one-stop shop to help transfer technology to product development. It offers:

    • Access to Venture Capital      
    • Business Plan Development
    • Incubator Space
    • Management Recruitment
    • Market Research
    • National Technology Review
    • Professional Legal Services
    • Student Interns

    Michigan Street Wayfinding Signs (PDF)

    Michigan Hill Urban Design and Streetscape Concepts (PDF)

    Michigan Street Corridor and Monroe/Coldbrook/Ottawa Intersection Report (PDF)


     SmartZone Map