Three years ago, East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, or TIC, was started to create a more vibrant year-round downtown community.
Wednesday night, ten business were recognized at the first TIC graduation at its main office center at 325 E. Grand River Ave.
With the graduation of the first batch of technology businesses, East Lansing is one step closer to achieving its goal, Chair of East Lansing Downtown Development Authority William Mansfield said when he addressed attendees at the event.
TIC was developed in October 2008 to assist technology business start-ups and encourage entrepreneurship in the community.
Among the businesses that graduated was Nicholas Creative, a company that works with small- to medium-sized businesses to optimize for search engines, deploy email marketing communications and design websites. The CEO of Nicholas Creative, Nicholas Chilenko, graduated from MSU in 2009.
“I moved into the innovation center when I was still a student at MSU,” Chilenko said. “I think the biggest thing TIC has provided is networking opportunities.”
Chilenko said after graduating from TIC, four of the businesses are planning to stay in East Lansing and work in the business space above The State News, 435 E. Grand River Ave.
TIC allowed newer businesses to make progress quickly, Chilenko said.
East Lansing Mayor Vic Loomis, who also spoke at the event, believes TIC is beneficial to the community because it brings more business to the city and provides newer technology businesses with the location and opportunities to grow, he said.
“There is no question that TIC has been a success,” Loomis said.
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