Lansing, Michigan, May 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — During an evening of creative collaboration, seven local entrepreneurs competed in The Hatching, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) quarterly pitch competition. The event, which was open to contractors in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties, took place May 5 and marked LEAP’s first return to in-person events since 2019. May’s lineup included: a truck restaurant serving authentic indigenous cuisine, a social media platform designed to uplift influencers from marginalized communities, a personal assistant service, an eco-responsible cooperative composting initiative and a game design startup.
“This was one of our most competitive Hatchings to date, both in choosing our seven entrants and in selecting the two winners,” said LEAP’s Director of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, Katlyn Cardoso. “We were also thrilled to use this event as an opportunity to showcase and support other local entrepreneurs by providing refreshments from three of Allen Neighborhood Center’s incubator kitchen tenants, including Tantay, who won second prize at the September 2019 outbreak. And of course, thank you to our sponsors, without whom this spectacular return to face-to-face events would not be possible!”
First prize went to Bryan Lendzion, who won $2,000 for his idea Subleasify, a web-based platform designed to make subletting easier. Lendzion’s pitch won over the judges with its logical approach to a common need – not only is there high demand for subletting in a college town like East Lansing, but it also takes into account the resulting change in environment. of the conflict between an increase in remote working and traditional long-term leases.
“After throwing [at the Hatching], I’ve received a lot of constructive feedback from judges and audience members and seed money that will help elevate Subleasify,” Lendzion said. “We plan to launch our platform in June and use the funding to help us pay app developers to make adjustments as we begin beta testing with property management companies around Lansing. ”
The second prize of $1,000 went to Gloria Trevino, a graduate of the One and All 5 program, whose mobile yoga studio TheraPLAYoga helps bring radically inclusive and playful yoga to children, teens and adults. Trevino’s studio provides a safe space for people with physical and developmental disabilities, neurodiversity, sensory processing disorders, health conditions and trauma to safely and effectively manage stress and relieve chronic pain.
“In December 2021, I made a commitment that commercial pitching would be ‘my thing,’ so I had to apply to The Hatching,” said Gloria Trevino of TheraPLAYoga. “Pitching is an intensely rewarding way to live safely outside my comfort zone – I love what my pitching mentor, Jerry from The Fledge, says ‘You win or you learn.’ I was second, but still learned a lot. My intention is to use the money to pay for the art and print resources needed to create my own program.
With this fine lineup of entrepreneurs, the event brought together a jury of experts, including LeTasha Peebles from MEDC, Theresa Dubiel from Lake Trust Credit Union, Luan Nguyen from Cinnaire, Tony Willis from LEAP, Lori Fischer from MSU Burgess Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Brett Pacek from CASE Credit Luke Hackney, Union and LDFA Board President. The event featured new Poet Laureate Lansing Masaki Takahashi as emcee, who also performed his poetry for the audience during the judges’ deliberations..
“The participants came in force, demonstrating their passion, their creativity and their desire to promote their business.,said LEAP’s Chief Equity Development Officer, Tony Willis. “Their energy was equal to that of the crowd at the Allen Neighborhood Center – it was clear that entrepreneurship is alive and well in the Lansing area. The Hatching has done a phenomenal job of highlighting budding entrepreneurs from the many demographics and industries that represent the region, including students, seasoned professionals, food and technology-related businesses.
Hosted at the Allen Neighborhood Center and featuring refreshments from incubator kitchen tenants Tantay, Gogi2 and Michigan Made Treats, The Hatching provided an inspiring entrepreneurial environment for a more innovative region and connected attendees to a network of local resource providers and individuals dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.
Hatching was made possible through the generous support of Venture Sponsor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Angel Sponsor Lake Trust Credit Union and Seed Sponsors AF Group, CASE Credit Union, Cinnaire, MSU Desk Drawer Foundation and MSU Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
“The MEDC is proud to continue its support of the Hatching Business Pitch competition organized by LEAP. This event shows how we are breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs by exposing them to essential resources such as coaching and mentoring for capital opportunities,” said LeTasha Peebles, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Grants Manager at MEDC. “The return to in-person events only amplifies LEAP’s ongoing commitment to economic vitality and validates our support for this endeavor. We are thrilled to see the growth and momentum of this program and the return on investment it is bringing to the Lansing community and beyond.
The next Hatching event will take place on August 25. Those interested in participating, showcasing or supporting Lansing’s cutting-edge entrepreneurs can learn more at www.purelansing.com/thehatching
Hatching Group photo