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2021 Mount Pleasant SmartZone Small Business of the Year Announced

2021 Mount Pleasant SmartZone Small Business of the Year Announced Maternal 911 to be honored for success in women’s maternal health

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., Jan. 20, 2022 – Maternal 911 has been recognized as the 2021 CMURC Mount Pleasant SmartZone Small Business of the Year, honoring founders Michelle Becher and Shelly Betancourt for their lifesaving maternal education system.

With more than 50 years of combined experience in obstetrics, Becher and Betancourt saw a need for consistent, standardized continued education on high acuity, low occurrence conditions that affect the pregnant population. Thus Maternal 911, an online multi-module course designed to provide updated education to health care providers, was born. The software aims to transform the maternal care industry and safety protocols of women during delivery.

“In all our years of practice, we’ve been renewing the neonatal resuscitation program when required, but never questioned why a maternal version didn’t exist,” said Shelly Betancourt, co-founder of Maternal 911. “So, we created Maternal 911 to address this need and continue education with the ultimate goal of lowering maternal mortality.”

In 2021, Maternal 911 worked with 23 various health care systems and have had more than 300 participants in their program. The team has recently secured a partnership with Detroit-Windsor MedHealth Innovation Cluster and is currently pursuing national accreditation for their program.

“Health care and its associated industries fuel significant economic growth in our community, region, and state while also supporting the well-being of our citizens,” said Bob Davies, president of Central Michigan University and chairperson of the CMURC Board of Directors. “Michelle and Shelly have set the leadership standard for innovative care by infusing their business with their passion for patient care, developing a new technology that will positively impact women’s health.”

With strategic plans, resiliency, drive, and passion to bring impactful education to the health care industry, Becher and Betancourt are true catalysts in creating an entrepreneurial and innovative culture in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Maternal 911 was established in 2016 when they started accelerating their business at CMURC Mount Pleasant.

“Our annual selection of the SmartZone Small Business of the Year award honors key entrepreneurs for their sacrifice and commitments,” said CMURC President and CEO Erin Strang. “2021 was a challenging year for small businesses and despite the circumstances, Michelle and Shelly demonstrated tenacity throughout the pandemic by making significant strides in their business.”

Becher and Betancourt join the impressive group of past recipients of the Entrepreneurs of the Year and SmartZone Small Business of the Year award. They will be presented with their award alongside other business leaders at the 2021 Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala in May.

For more information regarding Maternal 911’s programs, please visit their website at To learn more about coworking and entrepreneurial programs, please visit


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