It’s been less than a year since the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) opened in East Lansing and its already full—bursting at the seams, as some would say—and local entrepreneur Bunmi Akinyemiju is ready to add incubators number two and three to the region.
At the beginning of the month, Akinyemiju and Jeff Smith with the City of East Lansing announced the opening of The Hatch, an incubator for enterprising Michigan State University (MSU) students.
Now, Akinyemiju says he’s ready to open Skunkworks, a prototype lab incubator, in East Lansing.
“We’re hopeful that very soon we’ll see one in the City of East Lansing,” he says.
Skunkworks will be similar to the Hatch and may initially operate inside of the The Hatch. Skunkworks will be a prototype lab where entrepreneurs can test their ideas. Like the Hatch, it will also connect entrepreneurs to physical and intellectual resources necessary to get their ideas into the marketplace.
“We’re connecting the ideas to the lab,” he says. “This gives them a space to vet their ideas and then help sell investors on products that can be distributed.”
Ultimately, Akinyemiju would like to have several Skunkworks throughout the Capital region. He suggests each Skunkworks may have a “theme.” For example, one may exclusively focus on biotechnology.
“I think Skunkworks will really help people move their ideas toward commercialization,” he says.
Akinyemiju says the City of Lansing has also expressed interest in Skunkworks.
Ivy Hughes is the managing editor of Capital Gains and can be reached here.