WestSouthwest: Innovation Center marks 10 years in Kalamazoo

Jul 9, 2013

File photo
Credit WMUK


It's been ten years since the Southwest Michigan First Innovation Center was launched in Kalamazoo. 

The business incubator was originally started to help retain talented people who had worked for the pharmaceutical company Pharmacia. Many had earlier worked for the Upjohn Company. 

Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens and Kalexsyn CEO David Zimmerman talked about the Innovation Center's first decade with WMUK's Gordon Evans and MLive Kalamazoo reporter Al Jones

Kitchens says the center has fostered a culture of entrepreneurship in Kalamazoo. He says that has spread beyond the life sciences industry. 

Kalexsyn launched in the Innovation Center in 2003. Zimmerman along with his co-worker Bob Gadwood decided to launch their own company after Pfizer's purchase of Pharmacia. Kalexsyn has since moved to its own facility. But remains in Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park near the Innovation Center.