31 Jan Entrepreneurs Gain Support Through LEAP Funding
Seven Regional Entrepreneurial Support Organizations Receive $15,000 to Enhance Entrepreneurialism
LANSING, Mich. – The three county Lansing area is a great place for entrepreneurs to grow their ideas, due to strong ecosystem support. As one of many efforts to build, grow, and sustain a culture of entrepreneurship, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) awarded $15,000 in Regional Innovation Network Group (RING) grants Wednesday morning to incubators and agencies that help grow our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. Joined in LEAP’s REO Town office with Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows, LEAP presented seven entrepreneurial support organizations from across the region with grants that will enhance the range of services available to regional entrepreneurs including space, mentoring, training, funding, equipment, and more.
“A wide array and large number of incubators and other start up groups signifies the presence of a healthy and robust entrepreneurial culture,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “Entrepreneurs will continue to be a driving force in our regional economy. They are purveyors of competition, innovation, invention, and thus, prosperity. In support of the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, LEAP’s RING grants is money well spent.”
The International Business Innovation Association reports that 3% of incubators are self-sufficient, while 97% rely on fundraising or subsidy from a parent corporation, government, or university. LEAP’s RING funds are a crucial resource that helps lift the financial burden for organizations in our local ecosystem, so they can continue to help entrepreneurs take ideas into the marketplace. Over three years, LEAP’s RING grants have infused an additional $45,000 into the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This year’s RING grant awardees focus on a variety of industries and offer a wide-range of support:
- Grand Ledge Fledge is a zero-barrier to entry, hyper-inclusive maker space, incubator, and accelerator that focuses on a wide range of industries including art, tech, music, and eco-friendly. The Fledge received a $1,000 RING grant to establish a micro-grants/loans program, to support high-tech youth focused entrepreneurship programs, and to provided enhance support for music related entrepreneurship.
- Lansing Makers Network serves individuals and small businesses by providing tools and resources that support the maker community. LMN received a $1,000 grant to support the expansion of their community fabrication and development resources.
- Startup Grind Lansing, operating out of East Lansing, is a local chapter of the national non-profit Startup Grind, working to encourage the development of the entrepreneurial community through a monthly event designed to inspire, educate, and connect local entrepreneurs. Startup Grind received a $2,000 grant to support the continuation of their efforts.
- Technology Innovation Center (TIC) has been operating since 2008 when it became the first business incubator in the region. The TIC provides office space, business development support, educational programming, and focused events to entrepreneurs. The TIC received a $3,000 grant to support facility improvements and ongoing operational costs.
- Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) is a non-profit organization operating numerous synergistic food programs including an incubator kitchen and exchange food hub, and many additional programs that support both the entrepreneurial community and the community at large. ANC received a $4,000 grant to upgrade facility security and access, marketing, and to sustain and grow a business development workshop series.
- SoupGrant Lansing is a monthly fundraising event that jump starts community-improvement projects in Lansing, over soup! SoupGrant received a $2,000 grant to expand and promote the programs.
- Lansing Codes supports and connects technology professionals in Lansing through events and networking. Lansing Codes received a $2,000 grant to expand and promote programs.
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.