29 Sep Latest Winner of LEAP’s Hatching Event Spawns New Twist on Old Favorite
Impeccables Joins Ranks As Hatching Winner
LANSING, Mich. – The latest winner of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) business pitch competition, The Hatching, offers a new twist on an old favorite. Impeccables, a concept pitched by local entrepreneur Naomi Gauldin, proposes a restaurant and bar model similar to Hooters, except featuring male waitstaff in tight shirts and pants, targeted at women interested in a fun girls night out.
The Hatching is part of a community-wide effort to support local entrepreneurs and make the Lansing region a great place to start a business. Each month, participants submit business and product ideas through The Hatching’s online portal, where the public subsequently votes forward up to five top ideas. The owners of the top five ideas then have a chance to pitch in front of a live audience and panel of judges. The winner takes home $1,000 in prize money, free legal formation/operating agreement, two months of incubation space, website design and hosting, one-on-one CPA assistance, and marketing research assistance, for an overall prize package of roughly $5,500.
Naomi oringinally submitted her idea in July. As a dedicated entrepreneur, Naomi pushed and persisted to keep improving her business model/idea, and this month it paid off.
“I was thrilled to find out I was a finalist for this month’s event and even more to be the winner!” said Gauldin. “It was a great feeling to know that not only judges, but the crowd, liked my idea. Working with LEAP and the SBDC has been great for helping hone in on my business model and pitch, they are excellent resources.”
Tony Willis, LEAP’s Director of New Economy worked with Naomi throughout the past few months to provide ideation and pitch guidance, one of LEAP’s many services to entrprenuers. “Naomi did an amazing job presenting her idea. Her execution was flawless and tackled all the major points that should be covered in a pitch competition: problem, solution, market, sales channel, cost structure/financials, and why it’s good for the region.” Watch Naomi’s pitch and see for yourself.
Wednesday night’s event held at the Lansing Brewing Company, was sponsored by the Grand Ledge Fledge, a unique local business accelerator and incubator run by local business mentor and LEAP’s Business Accelerator Grant Manager, Jerry Norris. Norris is also a regular judge for The Hatching, and notes the event offers a short barrier to entry which opens up the entrepreneurial landscape to a wider array of entrepreneurs.
“September’s Hatching was one of the most competitive we have ever had. The ideas were good, feasible, and well thought-out,” said Norris. “While as a sponsor of The Hatching I think it’s important for us to raise awareness of the Fledge, it is more important for us to assure the continued success of the event. The Hatching is so important to the region because it helps those who may not have a chance to otherwise start their business. This specifically really embraces the values of the Fledge and of our region. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be happy.”
Since inception in 2013, The Hatching has surfaced 413 new ideas, spawned 62 new businesses, created more than 70 new jobs, and cultivated more million dollars in follow on investment in the Lansing region. The next Hatching event takes place on October 25 from 6-8 p.m. at the Lansing Brewing Company. Later this year on November 29, Hatching winners from throughout 2017 will compete at The Hatched for a grand prize of $10,000.
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.