Business incubator opens in Okemos

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By Isabella Shaya
Meridian Times staff writer

4675 Okemos Road in Okemos

4675 Okemos Road in Okemos

Meridian Township residents looking to start or improve a business now are welcome to the MARC, or the Meridian Asset Resource Center, at 4675 Okemos Road in Okemos. The center officially opened in early February.

The center provides emerging or developed businesses with cubical space, conference areas and private rooms to rent for meetings, seminars or workshops.

The center is located in an old bank building and includes a conference room for six people, leasable cubical and table space for 12 people and open workspace to accommodate 30 people, Operations Manager Craig Allen said.

About 20 people signed up to use the space as of mid Feburary, Allen said.

Tom Hamp, business coach for AdviCoach of mid-Michigan, said he uses the space for courses and one-on-one sessions with business owners.

When meeting with a client, Hamp said the center is better than a coffee shop because, he does not have to compete for a table or speak above the noise.

“(For) business, there’s nothing like it in the city of Lansing,” Hamp said. “(It gives) lots of flexibility to conduct business.”
Malinda Barr, marketing and sales director, said the center has had programs since 2007, but they were usually conducted at a library.

Since 2007, more than 50 businesses have used the MARC services and at least four have launched, Allen said.

Barr said the center is partnering with many local business start-up companies, including the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

“We are really affiliating a lot (with) downtown East Lansing — all of those incubator types of businesses,” Barr said. “They push them out to the community (and) we give them additional information.”

Allen said the center is a vital asset to the community.

“Especially in Meridian Township and East Lansing, there are quite a few people coming out of college with business ideas or they are professionals with business ideas and they need classes and consulting to help them with those businesses,” Allen said.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays for drop-ins, and other days and times can be arranged.

Daily, hourly or multi-month cubical rates are available for renting a space at the MARC.
Drop in use on Mondays costs $5 per person.

In terms of individual spaces for rent, a large meeting space is $50 for the first hour and $25 per hour after, conference rooms for $35 per hour, dedicated tables are $100 per month and cubicles are $300 per month.

Allen said there are plans to make the center open five days a week once there is sufficient staffing.

One thought on “Business incubator opens in Okemos

  1. I think it’s interesting that Okemos is getting a rec. center I found it strange coming from a big city ( miami) that in every neighborhood there is a rec. center sometimes I feel there is too much, but living in East Lansing where there isn’t a lot of rec centers it’s great to see that their neighboring city is getting one.