News Archive

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - The Macomb-OU INCubator takes their defense focus to a new level with an international landing zone
STERLING HEIGHTS, MI - The Michigan Defense Center’s International Landing Zone is officially open for business at the Velocity Collaboration Center, home to the Macomb-OU INCubator (Mac-OU INC), adding yet another offering to the multitude of defense-assistance opportunities Mac-OU INC provides to startup companies.

This landing zone, a collaborative effort of Macomb County with partners Mac-OU INC and the Michigan Defense Center, is strategically located in Michigan’s defense corridor. It provides a place for international companies, with proven and tested technologies in the defense and homeland security industries, to land and explore the feasibility of opening and/or expanding their operations in the United States.

Benefits and services to these international companies include up to six months of complimentary rent and business service; initial assessments and goal development; access to on-site Executives-in-Residence and Business Advisory Mentors; capital-raise assistance; introductions to Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security potential customers, major buying commands, major defense contractors, and international expertise and customized programs to assist companies entering a new foreign market; business attraction services at the state, county and local level; and business development trainings and workshops.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the landing zone was in conjunction with “Michigan Defense Industry Matters” at the Velocity Center, an event that showcased CBS Detroit’s Carol Cain moderating a panel of top defense-industry professionals, including Major General Gwen Bingham, commander of TACOM Life Cycle Management Command at the Detroit Arsenal, Scott Badenoch, Sr., founder and CEO of Badenoch, LLC, Sonya Sepahban, senior vice president of Engineering, Development and Technology at General Dynamics Land Systems, and Sean Carlson, director of the Michigan Defense Center. Additional featured speakers included Julie Gustafson, executive director of Mac-OU INC, highlighting the incubator’s defense focus.

Other defense-assistance opportunities with Mac-OU INC include the Michigan Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Matching Funds Program (MD.MFP), the Executive-in-Residence program, and the diligent cultivation of various community partnerships.

MD.MFP, one of the first initiatives of its kind in the nation, is administered by Mac-OU INC through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The primary objective is to assist early-stage technologies along a path of commercialization while increasing the amount of federally-sponsored (DARPA) research and development funding that comes to Michigan.

Mac-OU INC’s Executives-in-Residence (EIR) program supports clients with free services and consultation from industry experts located directly on-site at the incubator. Clients benefit collaboratively from 16 hoursof free consultation from each EIR, as well as additional discounts if further engagements are required. Current EIR’s include Jim Ruma, a defense consultant with an extensive background working with local primes and next tier suppliers, including 42 years with General Dynamics Land Systems.

The Michigan Defense Center is strategically located on-site at the Macomb-OU INCubator, providing resources and guidance to Michigan-based businesses to secure defense contracting opportunities to create jobs and increase Michigan’s share of defense business. Specialties include registering to become a government contractor, identification of potential opportunities, bid and proposal writing, and post-win assistance to ensure each business is prepared to meet contract needs. In addition, Ma-OU INC’s strong partnership with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center in Macomb County is an essential element for small businesses working towards defense contracts.

Macomb County, the third most populous county in Michigan, is home to 63 percent of the defense business in Michigan. There are nearly 600 companies performing defense contracting business with over 300,000 workers engaged in engineering, research and development. Companies transacted over $26 billion in defense business from 2000 to 2010. It is home to TARDEC, TACOM, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, GDLS, BAE, Oshkosh and Burtek, among others.

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The Macomb-Oakland University INCubator supports economic development in Southeast Michigan by accelerating high-tech businesses, cultivating academic innovation and encouraging research & development. To help small businesses grow, the incubator creates customized success strategies for startup and emerging companies in the niche industries of defense, homeland security, advanced manufacturing and technology. For more information, visit the incubator website at

This project is supported by Grant CASE-33867 of the 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund received through the Michigan Strategic Fund from the State of Michigan. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, talent and jobs, tourism, film, and digital media incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth. The MEDC offers a number of business assistance services and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration, entrepreneurship, strategic partnerships, talent enhancement, and urban and community development. For more information, visit