USDA has signed a grant agreement to provide the Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator (GLATBI) with $55,000 to enhance their marketing, outreach, and training efforts. The GLATBI, located in Ottawa County, Michigan, serves entrepreneurs, farmers, and existing businesses who have an ag-technology idea or invention they would like to develop, either into a business or to license to other entities. Ottawa County ranks third in the state in total farm receipts, according to GLATBI.
The USDA funding, which comes from the Rural Business Development Grant program, will help the GLATBI promote their services and better connect with entities seeking assistance, GLATBI said.
GLATBI provides hands-on, customized business services to help clients address specific challenges as they launch their ag-technology into the marketplace. The GLATBI’s eight sponsor organizations also use their expertise to assist staff in addressing each client’s unique business hurdles.
Once an entity meets with the GLATBI about their ag-technology, staff uses their industry resources to assess the viability of the entity’s concept or invention before signing an agreement to provide services to the entity. There is no upfront fee for clients to receive services. When the client begins generating revenue, then a portion of that revenue, called a business services fee, is paid to the GLATBI. The amount of the business services fee depends upon whether the client builds a business, licenses their product, or if the client is an existing business.