Southfield City Council approves $750,000 American Rescue Plan allocation for Centrepolis Accelerator

September 8, 2022

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The Southfield City Council approved a resolution authorizing the use of $750,000 from the City of Southfield’s American Rescue Plan allocation of $9,819,555 for the Centrepolis Accelerator to support the evolution of underserved Southfield entrepreneurs into a robust community through education, resources and mentorship.

Southfield, along with the other largest cities in Michigan, is still addressing the negative effects of largely empty office buildings as workers work remotely — with no predictable end date for the COVID pandemic. The effects of the pandemic have been far-reaching in all industries, but it seems clear that Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way business is conducted. Many workers have left their traditional offices to seek to build their own businesses.

“Southfield Business Development identified a need to provide greater support to emerging small businesses owners and created a pilot program, Southfield Evolution Lab,” commented Business & Economic Development Director Shelly Freeman. “The Evolution Lab leverages our success with Centrepolis Accelerator @ Lawrence Technological University. Tapping into the Experts in Residents to provide clear and direct support to guide the evolution of the underserved Southfield entrepreneurs into a robust community through education, resources and mentorship.”

Southfield City Council approved the initial commitment of $150,000 at the November 8, 2021, Regular City Council Meeting. These dollars served as a match New Economy Initiative’s Inclusive Small Business Network Fund creating a dynamic initiative that truly supports small micro maker businesses, 1-50 employees, located in Southfield and Wayne County that classify as undeserved businesses (managed by people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities) or located in distressed communities.

The Micro Makers Evolution Lab provides impactful business and technical assistance to small businesses (1-4 employees), specifically makers of physical products and small manufacturers of goods located in the City of Southfield and Wayne County. Seasoned veteran experts offer product development services to help launch new products; manufacturing operational efficiency and scaling for existing products’ as well as marketing, sales support, intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights), forgivable grants & loans and fund-raising assistance to help companies grow their top line revenues.

Centrepolis staff has developed a comprehensive funding program is able to leverage the investment to match with other loan and equity funding partners to bring additional capital to our clients. Centrepolis will provide up to $10,000 zero equity, noninterest loans to support business and technical milestones of select underserved micro maker businesses. Micro Makers Evolution Lab is open to qualified startups, established small businesses, inventors, and product developers. To apply, click on the following link

Micro Makers Evolution Lab & Centrepolis Accelerator Measurements of Success

In just the past 10 months, the Micro Makers Evolution Lab has already received over 100 inquires, held over 250 client meetings, served 32 Southfield clients with 11 receiving funding. Since its inception, the Centrepolis Accelerator has worked with over 375 companies, created over 360 new jobs, over 150 products commercialized which has resulted in $80 million in revenue/new investment.

About the Centrepolis Accelerator

The Centrepolis Accelerator, housed in Lawrence Technological University’s Enterprise Center in Southfield, is 6,300 square feet of state-of-the-art business assistance for physical product developers and manufacturing companies, a unique niche among accelerators in the Detroit area. Clients include manufacturing startups and existing companies looking to move up to the next level in product innovation. Services include access to office space, co-working space, workshops, mentors, business planning services, and laboratories and equipment for digital product design and prototyping, as well as virtual reality and mixed reality labs.

For more general information, contact Southfield Business Development at (248) 796-4120 or visit