St. Clair County, Michigan - Economic Development Alliance in collaboration with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and The Underground Incubator and Business Service Center has established a $20,000 entrepreneurial pre-seed fund, the Emerge Fund for 2018.    

The fund will grant entrepreneurial start up financing for those establishing a business in St. Clair County.  The Emerge Fund will provide early capital that entrepreneurs can use for creating a business plan, developing a website, filing a patent or other needs that can help launch and grow new businesses.  Companies located in St. Clair County are eligible for funding.

Emerge fund recipients are required to participate in The Underground incubation program for a minimum of twelve months, develop a work plan and entrepreneurial milestones.  Each emerge recipient will be assigned a business mentor or industry expert that will help accelerate their growth.  Funds will be granted in a maximum amount of $5,000 per applicant.  A portion ($5,000) of the total fund is being reserved for smaller requests (not to exceed $2,500) to help expand assistance to additional entrepreneurs.

Application guidelines:

  •  $5,000 Maximum Funding Request Per Applicant

  • Must be a for-profit entrepreneurial business venture in St. Clair County.
    Technology businesses highly desired (app development, E-commerce, SMART Technology, Automated Intelligence (AI) or automation systems, tech enabled censors or equipment and/or any business venture that relies heavily on technology and/or internet for sales.  

  • Traditional brick & mortar storefronts are ineligible, but some exceptions may apply for unique uses determined to have a potentially very strong impact on a downtown community. 

  • Funding decision occurs within 30 days of application   

“Participation in The Underground’s business incubation program as well as financial support from the Emerge Fund has proven to be effective at helping people launch their businesses.  One of our companies, Cogent Hex, was just recognized as one of Michigan’s Best Small Businesses.  Another, Gro-Hoop, was just featured on Channel 4 (Live in the D) and Channel 2 for their revolutionary gardening product,” said Quentin Bishop, Director of Entrepreneurial Services at The Underground.

Contact Information: 

Quentin Bishop, Director of Entrepreneurial Services, The Underground
Director of Business Attraction, EDA of St. Clair County
Mobile : (810) 294-3051
Office:  (810) 982-9511

To apply for Emerge Funding or learn more about The Underground’s business incubation programs, co-working and private offices for lease, visit .  The Underground is an equal opportunity institution.