Start Garden gives $1,000 to 100 pitches

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One hundred people with big dreams are moving forward in a competition that could make those dreams a reality.

Start Garden’s 100 Days initiative announced its finalists Tuesday evening.

The 100 people will receive $1,000 each to advance the business plan, invention or idea they pitched to Start Garden. Then in July, 10 people from among the finalists will be selected to receive $20,000 each to launch their business idea.

More than 800 people signed up to participate in the competition and Start Garden got 621 videos pitching ideas. Anyone from anywhere (so long as they were older than 14) was invited to make their pitch in 100 seconds.

Director of Start Garden Paul Moore said the ideas ranged from tech companies to restaurants to inventions.

“This is really that belief that anybody can take a shot in creating the means to take a risk, take a shot without it being a catastrophic failure,” Moore said. “The demographics that have come in have been amazing as far as the shear range of diversity. I’ve never seen anything like it in Grand Rapids.”

The 100 Days initiative will return next January. Moore says he hopes it creates an atmosphere where people can try and if they fail, know that they can get another shot in just a few months.

The grants awarded to the winners were underwritten by a collaboration of West Michigan financial institutions.

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