Hear the Conversation 11:02 – 6.3 mb mp3
“We work with new and existing entrepreneurs, as well as existing businesses, that want to take a new product or service to market that has something to do with food, agriculture or bio-products,” Chris Peterson tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes.
The Michigan State University Product Center Food Ag Bio helps Michigan entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture, natural resources, and bioeconomy sectors.
In the Product Center’s 10 years it has had over 30,000 one-on-one client sessions, assisted roughly 2,800 clients in developing a first business concept, and 1,500 of the 2,800 went on to start their business, says Peterson.
“Over 350 of those 1,500 actually created economic activity,” Peterson adds. “They really launched the business in some significant way.”
The economic impact of these 350 ventures represents about $320 million of annual new sales in the state and 1,700 jobs created and maintained over the 10 years, adds Peterson.
Peterson is the Homer Nowlin Chair of consumer responsive agriculture and professor of agricultural food and resource economics at MSU.