“The Hatching” Celebrates Third Anniversary

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Spartan Innovations hosted its third anniversary edition of The Hatching on June 29, 2016 at its new location, Lansing Brewing Company at 518 E. Shiawassee St. in Downtown Lansing. Local entrepreneurs, business leaders and community supporters came out to celebrate The Hatching’s contribution to greater Lansing’s growing business climate.

“Moving the event to the City of Lansing and a new establishment, Lansing Brewing Company, will allow us to expand the market to new audiences and participants,” said

Photography by: Kristine Richmond

Photography by: Kristine Richmond

Tony Willis, director of New Economy at LEAP. “Students are always welcome and encouraged to participate and have continued to support the Hatching in the new location. We see the program continuing to have support from community stakeholders and entrepreneurs in its upcoming fourth year.”

This time, the Hatching invited Lansing 5:01, an internship initiative for young professionals and interns that live and work in greater Lansing, to be a part of the celebration while hosting their own networking event prior to the business pitch competition.

“Lansing 5:01 connects a new audience to the Hatching competition. This month, two of the presenters, both interns, heard about The Hatching through the Lansing 5:01 program. The partnership was a natural next step to expanding the Hatching to a new audience and participant group,” said Willis.

Over the past three years, The Hatching has seen:

  • 285 ideas were submitted
  • 16,500 votes
  • 2,479 attendees
  • 39 companies created
  • 67 jobs
  • $67,000 in prizes
  • Close to $500,000 in follow-on funding

Five hopeful entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges, comprised of successful business leaders from the Lansing area, for a chance to win $1,000 in seed Hatching winner_Friends Hostfunding. June’s winning idea was Friends Host, presented by Anna Song, Michigan State University (MSU) alumnus and research assistant. Song’s idea, Friends Host, is a website that aligns with online social networks to offer a cheaper, safer and friendlier lodging experience when traveling worldwide.


The Hatching takes place on the last Wednesday of the month at Lansing Brewing Company. For more information about The Hatching or how entrepreneurs can submit ideas to be considered for the live pitch competition at one of the monthly Hatching events, visit thehatching.org.


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