Local Entrepreneur Wins $2,000 to Save Lives in Lansing

Local Entrepreneur Wins $2,000 to Save Lives in Lansing

MSU Student’s AssemBIO the Latest Company to be “Hatched” Through LEAP

LANSING, Mich. – Michael Behrendt, a Michigan State University (MSU) senior studying chemical engineering, is the winner of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) March Hatching event. Behrendt pitched AssemBIO, a bioreactor fabrication company that produces continuous systems to improve pharmaceutical production efficiency and increase access to life-saving medicine. He joins a cumulative 75 winners and 470 ideas submitted to the Hatching since 2014.

The Hatching, a quarterly pitch competition founded by LEAP, is part of a community-wide effort to support local entrepreneurs. Each quarter, participants submit business and product ideas through the Hatching’s online portal, where the public subsequently votes for up to five ideas to see pitched in front of a live audience and panel of judges. The Lansing Small Business Development Center (SBDC) plays a major role in preparing candidates for this competition.
“The Hatching was created to help entrepreneurs start and sustain successful businesses in the Lansing region,” said Siso Dhladhla, LEAP’s new economy development specialist. “In addition to money, winners receive formation services most burgeoning businesses struggle to afford. With this financial assistance, bundle of formation services and community support, winners are better equipped for success. ”

Behrendt earned $2,000 for his first place idea and Dustin Grimes of UpROOT, which connects small urban farmers to more lucrative markets and assists in scaling efforts, won the $1,000 second place prize. Behrendt, Grimes and glory winner Eric Preston, whose Drinkery mobile app helps users find cheaper drinks and other fun activities at bars and restaurants, also receive free legal formation, two months of incubation space, website design and hosting, one-on-one CPA assistance and marketing research assistance to help move their ideas from concept to reality.“I’m so thankful to Laurie from the SBDC and Siso from LEAP, whose direction and guidance were critical to refining my pitch. I wouldn’t have found the enthusiasm and confidence I needed to be successful at the Hatching without their help,” said Behrendt. “It felt great to pitch AssemBIO, which has the potential to save 12 lives per year in our region by making medicine more accessible throughout our communities.”


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.

Category: Entrepreneurship, Press Releases