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Business incubator in Muskegon celebrating success story

Amanda Pitts
Grand Valley State University
SVL engineer Matt Pinter (left) speaking with MAREC director Arn Boezaart (middle) and MAREC manager Doug Huesdash (right).

An entrepreneur in Muskegon has outgrown the business incubator where his company began.

Smart Vision Lights reopened at its new location this week after more than three years at the incubator. The company develops LED lighting systems for manufacturing companies who want to take quality control photos.

Arn Boezaart directs the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC), the business incubator the company outgrew.

“(Smart Vision) came in as a struggling one-man company trying to find a foothold and they left here last Friday, three years and a few months later with a very strong bottom line and eight employees on their payroll.”

Last year the company’s sales were $1.7 million. They expect sales to get to $10-$20 million in the next three to five years. Smart Vision Lights expects its workforce to grow to 25 workers in that time.

MAREC is one of 15 “SmartZones” in Michigan. The state’s economic development corporation created the SmartZones in 2000. The incubators are for entrepreneurs focused on energy and technology.

“Hopefully in the next year or two we’ll have another spin-off and another success story,” Boezaart said.

In the meantime MAREC is recruiting new possible tenants for the space Smart Vision left behind. MAREC has 5 other tenants.

Smart Vision Lights follows Earthtronics, the first company to spin off MAREC about a year ago.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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