Ideas & Innovation Matter

Entrepreneurs have always been a driving force for economic growth. More recently, they have played an increasingly important role in Michigan’s comeback as well as diversifying local economies statewide. 

In a recent report from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, there has been a 48 percent increase in funding to Michigan start-ups. 74 Michigan companies have received more than $282 million from Michigan venture capital firms. These are promising numbers for Michigan entrepreneurs. 

In the greater Lansing region, there are a number of organizations assisting entrepreneurs in reaching their goals: 

  • Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Michigan State University Foundation
  • Spartan Innovations 
  • Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) New Economy Division
  • Entrepreneur Institute of Mid-Michigan
  • The Hatching 
  • Small Business Development Center – Lansing Community College 
  • The NEO Center 
  • The Fledge – Grand Ledge 
  • Small Businesses of Mich. (SBAM)

An entrepreneur’s success doesn’t just end when his or her business is up and running. Entrepreneurs tend to be great idea people; however, they sometimes struggle at how to take that next step in the evolution of their business. The team at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) is laser focused on helping ensure that businesses continue to grow. From networking events to the Business Education Series, to advocating for a better regulatory business environment and most recently, the digital Lansing Marketplace, there are an array of opportunities for businesses to build their brand.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t always about creating a product for market. It truly is about bringing ideas, creativity and innovation to life. One area frequently discussed is attracting and retaining talent to the region. People with great ideas can take those ideas anywhere they desire. As a community, it is important to build a region that encourages innovators to stay and grow in greater Lansing. Below is a list of initiatives that are aimed to address this issue — each coming from groups of individuals starting with an idea.

Grand River Connection: Seeks to develop a stronger network to support Lansing and East Lansing’s young and vital workforce. 

grandriverconnection.com

Lansing 5:01: Strives to retain and attract young professionals in the Lansing region by connecting both college talent and young professionals to the community’s emerging quality of life opportunities. lansing501.com

Penny for Your Thoughts (Our Community Foundation): Community-wide contest for ideas to make Lansing vibrant.
pennycontest2017.ourcommunity.org

T3 – Teach, Talent, Thrive: A network of connected assets to support education and talent development. teachtalentthrive.org

As more and more entrepreneurs emerge, it is important to ensure the regulatory environment is ripe for success. As the Chamber’s government relation’s director, much of our department’s time is spent working with local, state and federal officials to make sure we have smart regulations for our businesses, not regulations that hinder economic investment and job creation. Entrepreneurship is vital to Michigan and our region’s continued growth. 

In greater Lansing, we welcome new ideas that will continue to move our region forward. Have an idea? Contact me at 517-853-6467 or sjpainga@lansingchamber.org. I’ll make sure to connect you with the right avenue for success! 

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