MichAGAIN.org says it perfectly, “Land of Opportunity. Live it firsthand.” That is exactly what the Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) incubator graduate Institutional Liquidities (ILQ) is doing.
ILQ is one of only 12 companies in the United States with an investment banking license to trade commodities and foreign exchange, and they have officially chosen to continue their operations right here in Michigan.
In 2009, the founder of ILQ connected with the CMURC, located in the Mt. Pleasant SmartZone, to begin pulling the pieces together to launch a financial brokerage in Mt. Pleasant. In 2010, the startup had 6 employees, and today they have created over 40 high-growth jobs with half of which are CMU alumni or enrolled students.
The Mt. Pleasant SmartZone and the CMURC’s business incubator was an attractive asset when ILQ was looking to locate due to the industry’s extremely high barriers to entry. “ILQ is a prime example of what a business incubator can do for an entrepreneur,” explained President and CEO of the CMURC Erin O’Brien. “We are able to support the company with human capital, all while keeping costs of a company low while they build the foundations to their businesses. Had ILQ located in a large city, there would have ten times the monthly burn rate before they had been able to gain their licensure.”
To continue as the “Comeback State”, Michigan must continue to encourage these types of successful, high-tech, high-growth startup companies to form, grow, and remain in the great state.
Institutional Liquidity (ILQ) (VIDEO) is a retail foreign exchange dealer. They are a regulated Forex Dealer Member which is in the financial market for the trading of currencies. From 2010 to July 2013, ILQ utilized facilities and services of the CMURC.