Ann Arbor SPARK Takes Top Honors at Michigan Economic Developers Association, International Economic Development Council Awards

Oct 06, 2010, 14:46 ET from Ann Arbor SPARK

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Ann Arbor SPARK, the region's driving force of innovation and economic growth, was recently awarded top honors for its website and printed materials by the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA).  Ann Arbor SPARK also received an honorable mention award in the category of technology-based economic development for its Business Accelerator from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for Excellence in Economic Development.

"Ann Arbor SPARK achieves its mission by helping to advance the local economy and our local businesses," said Michael A. Finney, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO.  "Our marketing materials deliver a wealth of information for businesses seeking to relocate or expand here, and are great attraction tools."  

Specifically, MEDA awarded Ann Arbor SPARK for its annual report and printed marketing materials, including information sheets on its various programs.  The organization was also recognized for its website, which was completely redesigned and launched in May 2010.

Ann Arbor SPARK's Business Accelerator was honored for its Regional Incubator Network, including SPARK East, SPARK Central and the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center.  Entrepreneur Boot Camp, the SPARK Expert Resource Board and the online business planning program, Cantillon, also helped Ann Arbor SPARK stand out from competing economic development organizations across the world.  

For the MEDA award, Ann Arbor SPARK competed against other economic development organizations in the state serving the population of 100,001 to 500,000.   For IEDC, Ann Arbor SPARK competed in the populations of 25,000 – 200,000 category against economic development organizations globally.

The Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA), founded in 1960, exists to advance economic development throughout Michigan, and increase the individual member's effectiveness in the economic development profession. The association's goal is to provide a variety of services and programs that will enhance ability and skills in economic development.  Through education, legislative updates, public relations and networking, MEDA makes it possible for economic development professionals statewide to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

IEDC is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.


Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from startups to large organizations.  Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in the Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Works!/ETCS, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, the Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit