Center for Innovation Research




eCities is an annual research study that examines community-level factors that influence entrepreneurship, economic development, and job growth. Local communities who participate in the project receive benchmarking reports showing their performance at creating inviting business environments and encouraging entrepreneurial growth. The focus of the project is to learn and share community success stories to attract entrepreneurial development and create business growth. Understanding these success stories, or best practices, and utilizing these concepts across Michigan will have a positive impact on the state’s economic future.  


In 2017, the eCities team collected data on 277 communities across Michigan. More specifically, eleven publicly available data points related to growth and investment metrics that impact the business community were examined. In addition, 37 communities submitted applications detailing more specific ways in which their communities are focusing on development. A panel of reviewers with various backgrounds related to entrepreneurship, development, and government have examined these submissions and selected four communities to be recognized as top communities in Michigan. 

Findings from this study were shared at the Celebration Event on November 14th, 2017. The event also hosted a forward-thinking panel conversation regarding ways talent, businesses, policy, and access to capital have impacted community growth in Michigan and what that means for Michigan's business communites for the next decade. For more details on this event, please visit our Celebration Event page. 

Congratulations to our 2017 4-Star and 5-Star rated communities!


Would you like to learn more about eCities?

Let the communities who have participated tell you about the project!



If you are a city, township, or village that wishes to share in the best practices of communities to promote entrepreneurial growth and economic development, please contact us at or by phone at (313) 593-4209 to participate in eCities. 


The following organizations have graciously provided assistance to the 2017 eCities project:

2017 Sponsors:                    

​Award Sponsor, Comcast                             


​Partner Sponsor, Oakland County                    


Promotional Partner Organizations:






If you are an organization or business interested in learning more about eCities sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tim Davis at 313.593.4060 or