Local Entrepreneur Wins $1,000 To Advance Escapade VR Job Shadow App

Escapade VR the Newest Business to be “Hatched” Through LEAP

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is excited to announce the winner of the May Hatching event, Andrez Chuney with his idea Escapade VR. Escapade VR is an app that allows students to job shadow and experience different career paths in virtual reality to find their ideal careers. Chuney joins 54 winners and 388 ideas submitted throughout the history of The Hatching.

Celebrating its fourth anniversary this June, LEAP’s 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.

Hatching winners receive $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. The event process and prize package are strategically aligned to help move new local business ideas from concept to reality, and connect competitors with other opportunities in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The Hatching is great springboard that helps aspiring entrepreneurs connect to the entire ecosystem of services that exist to help launch new ideas.” said Tony Willis, LEAP’s New Economy Division Director.

Thursday night at the Lansing Brewing Company, Chuney claimed this month’s prize package edging out other ideas including: a portable, sound dampening floor to practice basketball dribbling; a fitness app like Tinder, but without the dating aspect; and a cultural event website.

“I participated in LEAP’s Youth Startup Challenge Expo in March and they said my idea had a lot of potential, so they encouraged me to try the Hatching. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I thought this would help get me one step closer,” said Chuney. “I plan to put the money from The Hatching into product development so we can start getting the business rolling.”

Entrepreneurs 18-years and older residing in Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties have until June 21 to submit ideas for the June Hatching event, scheduled to take place on June 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Lansing Brewing Company. Public voting for this special four-year anniversary Hatching will be open June 1-20.


About LEAP

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.