Lansing Region Returns to In-Person Programming with The Hatching Event, May 5 at Allen Neighborhood Center

Pitch Competition Returns After Necessary Move to Virtual amid COVID-19 Pandemic 

LANSING, Mich. (April, 14, 2022) — The Hatching is back and better than ever with a return to in-person programming in partnership with the Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing’s Eastside Neighborhood. The Hatching is a business pitch competition produced by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) in collaboration with local businesses, providing entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a first-place prize of $2,000 or runner-up prize of $1,000. In addition to cash support for the winners at each event, participants gain valuable business and networking services. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the business landscape significantly, forcing LEAP to pivot the event to a new and innovative virtual structure. In 2022, LEAP is thrilled to welcome the return of The Hatching to in-person events. 


 “After two years of holding pitch competitions virtually, LEAP is excited to re-introduce the Hatching as an in-person event at the Allen Neighborhood Center— home to one of the country’s most successful Incubator Kitchen Programs—and be part of the statewide launch of the MEDC’s Startup Space platform to support entrepreneurs,” said Bob Trezisepresident and CEO of LEAP.  


The Hatching event May 5 will not only be LEAP’s first live event since 2019 but will coincide with the statewide launch of Startup Space, an interactive platform to connect local entrepreneurs with resources, events, information and each other.  


“While LEAP is perhaps best known for landing big projects with big jobs and investment, our nationally recognized entrepreneurial and DEI programming produces high levels of new business owners in our region. Thank you to our generous sponsors MEDC, Lake Trust Credit Union, CASE Credit Union, MSU Burgess, AF Group and Cinnaire, for helping us once again offer the additional layer of connection that only in-person events can provide,” Trezise added. 


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has partnered with small-business support providers and regional economic development organizations like LEAP statewide to implement a network of sub-hubs as part of its renewed and deepened commitment to supporting Michigan small businesses and entrepreneurs. 


 “At MEDC, we are committed to working with local and regional partners like LEAP to ensure that entrepreneurs and small businesses have access to critical resources and can make strong connections within their community,” said MEDC Community Development Small Business Services Manager Suzanne Perreault. “Business pitch competitions like the Hatching are an innovative way to support our entrepreneurs and create new opportunities in our communities, and we’re pleased to partner with LEAP in bringing programs like Startup Space to fruition.” 


LEAP is thrilled to partner with the MEDC as a Venture sponsor, as well as returning Angel sponsor Lake Trust Credit Union and returning Seed sponsors CASE Credit Union and the Michigan State University (MSU) Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and pleased to welcome two new Seed sponsors, AF Group and Cinnaire. 


 Businesses looking to invest in greater Lansing’s early-stage entrepreneurs by sponsoring The Hatching can learn more about the event and view a list of sponsor levels and amenities on LEAP’s website. 


 “The Hatching is an essential part of our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to help early-stage entrepreneurs perfect their pitch, gain visibility within the community, connect with resources and earn early-stage capital,” said Katlyn Cardoso, director of entrepreneurial ecosystem development at LEAP. “Local success stories like Saddleback BBQ prove a business doesn’t even have to win the competition to reap the benefits this type of programming provides.” 


People interested in participating and pitching at LEAP’s Hatching competition can submit their ideas to www.purelansing.com/thehatching until Friday, April 15. 


About LEAPThe 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 to the Lansing, Michigan, region.


About The Hatching 

The Hatching is a regularly occurring business pitch competition founded by LEAP, established as part of a community wide effort to support local entrepreneurs. Regularly held throughout the year, LEAP’s Hatching offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch new ideas to professional judges in front of a live audience.