Center for Innovation Research

eCities 2009

2009 Best Practices Communities

The 2009 eCities project concluded with the annual luncheon to recognize the year’s top performing community’s and share best practices of the eCities project. At the 2009 eCities Luncheon, we recognized 9 different communities; Midland, Marquette, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, Wixom, Dundee, Auburn Hills, Southfield, and Troy for their efforts in promoting entrepreneurial growth and development.


City of Wixom- has been successful in finding an alternative use for a large parcel of industrial property previously used by a major employer. Through quiet diligence, the City worked with the owner and developers to bring significant investment to the community. This project is primed to bring jobs and dollars to the region, while boosting the state’s efforts to grow the alternative energy industry.

City of Midland- uses its largest employers as a resource to encourage entrepreneurial firms. Through a partnership between the City, Dow Chemical, and other business leaders, an incubator has been developed that fosters development of complementary services and supply chain firms. CEOs from the major firms in Midland work together, marketing the area and bring in new businesses and employees to the region. Cooperation between Midland Tomorrow, the City, and local schools has helped develop programs that will prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the future demands of industry.

City of Rochester Hills- invests in strategic planning efforts with full support of elected officials. The City has been successful in using its partnerships with Oakland University and existing firms to expand an incubator focused on life sciences and advanced technology sectors. Early stage entrepreneurs have available as resources, angel investment organizations and a small business technology development center.

City of Sterling Heights- has leveraged their concentration of defense industry firms to create a business environment to attract firms and further develop this sector of Michigan’s economy. Partnerships with the State, County and Oakland University have resulted in an incubator for defense and homeland security firms. The City is also involved in retraining efforts for displaced auto workers, as well as helping traditional automotive firms find opportunities to shift into the defense industry.

City of Marquette- i- has leveraged their location as an asset to attract and develop entrepreneurs. Creative people who are not tied to a place to perform their work are attracted to Marquette, which has been recognized by national publications as one of the top ten outstanding small towns to live in. Through a partnership with Northern Michigan University, WiMax is now available to the region, further enhancing Marquette’s attractiveness to those who are able to work remotely.


2009 Repeat Top Performing Communities

The Village of Dundee, City of Southfield, City of Auburn Hills, and City of Troy are once again recognized in 2009 as Top Performing Communities. These municipalities have continued to excel in promoting their communities and what they have to offer business that are looking for a new location. They all partner and network with multiple organizations to help both existing firms and entrepreneurs. While they don’t have the same strengths and resources, they match resources to culture by regularly assessing their current strengths and looking for opportunities to commit resources to leverage those strengths.