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Ann Arbor Spark

January 2, 2008

21st Century Jobs Fund News

An update on the next round of 21CJF competition

Our friend David Haviland went to the Michigan Strategic Fund Board meeting last month to find out what he could about the next competitive round of funding via the 21st Century Jobs Fund.  Follow the link below for his report.  It’s a good review of the big picture of the 21CJF program and the portion committed to the competition for early stage companies.

David says the SEIC will meet in January with a couple weighty issues: 1) how will the review process work and by whom; and 2) review the RFP and determine when to release it for competitor applicants.  David indicates the SEIC won’t meet again until March.  I went to the MEDC website to see when the SEIC Board is scheduled to meet and their 2008 schedule is not up yet.  They met monthly for a while in 2007 and I think they could meet in February if they felt there was a productive reason.  There is a sense of expediency with all parties.  Everyone in Lansing wants the next round to get going.  Maybe I’m just being too optimistic. Furthermore there is a strong desire by all concerned to make the award decisions quicker than last time around. So I think David’s assessment that it could be August before awards are made, my optimistic view is that it could be June or July if they can get their act together.  Of course, among the cynical in the crowd it could be September with checks not being cut until October or later.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know at this time is a suggestion from key MEDC staff.  Draft a good business plan.  The business plan format will probably the one they will use for competition submissions, rather than a grant type application.  Remember, the awards this time around will be going for companies ready to start commercializing their products and services, no research activity.

Skip Simms

David Haviland’s 21CJF Update
Dave’s update on the next round for 21CJF