Winter Storm Watch issued for West Michigan for Sunday

$200,000 awarded to aspiring entrepreneurs in inaugural initiative

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– Ten aspiring entrepreneurs received a $20,000 boost on Tuesday.

Start Garden held its inaugural 100 Ideas Demo Day at 20 Monroe Live, which was the culmination of its 100 Ideas initiative to help local entrepreneurs get off the ground and connect with the community.

The contest began back in January, when Start Garden began accepting ideas in the form of 100 second clip videos. More than 600 entries were submitted, then whittled down to 100 in April, when contestants were each given $1,000 to continue with their proposals. On Tuesday, the following 10 winners were announced out of the remaining 100:

  • The Only Bean/Kristine Yang
  • Adoraa Company/ Ariana Waller
  • Public Thread/Janay Brower
  • Squish & Scrub/Bobby Johnson
  • SLP-TEK Cot/Justin Gauvin
  • Soldadera Coffee/Gabriela Rodriguez
  • Kings Brewery Company/Terry Rostic
  • Muse GR/Stephen Smith
  • Hoodini/ Liz Hilton
  •  Payload CMS/ James Mikrut

A People’s Choice Award was given to Amanda Morton, who’s behind “Cuddle Buddys.”

“Whether you’re one of those 10 or one of those 90, either one of those can be a path to success it’s all a matter of what you put into it,” said local entrepreneur and 100 Ideas Judge Ryan Vaughn.

Organizers plan to make this a yearly event and say people who participated this time around can enter again.

“We’ve got the hustling spirit in Grand Rapids, but more than that, we’ve got each other. This is community right here,” said Start Garden director Darel Ross II. “We believe entrepreneurship is the biggest way to change communities”


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