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      MTEC SmartZone celebrates ten years

      Itâ??s a birthday celebration commemorating more than just the milestone of reaching double digits.

      MTEC SmartZoneâ??s tenth anniversary is a symbol of the successes of small business development in the Upper Peninsula.

      State government officials traveled to the offices in Houghton to honor the business that began as a small, budding company spawned from community collaboration through Michigan Tech, the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, and the cities of Houghton and Hancock.

      â??Starting a company and being successful in a company is one of the hardest things you can ever do in your life,â?? said Governor Rick Snyder. â??And then you have to have a culture thatâ??s about doing the unachievable.â??

      For the last decade, SmartZone has been helping businesses get on their feet by providing the technology and resources needed to provide quality products and services across the world, and, in turn, create more jobs in the community.

      â??Weâ??re talking about good-paying jobs and additional small businesses that have been developed, and it will grow the economy, and, frankly, strengthen and create opportunities for people to get into the middle class,â?? said Senator Debbie Stabenow.

      More than 350 jobs have been created through the SmartZone, many of those positions going to Michigan Tech graduates wishing to work locally.

      â??It starts to build a culture of entrepreneurship because people are hanging around people who are starting businesses,â?? said Michigan Tech president, Glenn Mroz. â??This is one of those ways where you start to build that culture within the community of, â??I can do it.â??â??

      SmartZone and government officials said the accomplishments achieved are an encouragement that the company will thrive for years to come.

      "I think it gives them the ability to see what has been created here in the last ten years and the success from startup businesses that, â??I can do this. I can stay. I can do a business, and I can be very successful,â??â?? said House Representative Scott Dianda.