Start Garden brings back $300K in grants to support entrepreneurs

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Starting Monday, entrepreneurs can submit pitches to Start Garden’s 100 competition, which will distribute $300,000 among 100 start-ups.

Pitches from anyone, anywhere can be submitted in 100-second videos to 100.startgarden.com.

Start Garden, a West Michigan-based organization that backs new business ideas, will choose 100 of the applicants to get $1,000. The 100 finalists will be announced Aug. 3.

They will be invited to a demo day Oct 2, where they’ll compete to be among 10 start-ups given $20,000.

“One of the things we are focusing on is tech ideas, specifically in the minority and female arena,” Start Garden Director Jorge Gonzalez told News 8 Monday “We see that it’s very heavily male-dominated industry and we think that the future is definitely high tech, high growth.”

Last year, the organization gave grants to 68 Kent County entrepreneurs whose businesses were threatened by coronavirus closures. It was called “The 100 Comeback,” a revamped version of the annual Start Garden 100 competition.

“This year, ironically, because of one year being in isolation or losing your job, people started thinking, ‘Hey, I can start my own business. Hey, I can really make it.’ So this year is going to be stronger when it comes to the Start Garden 100 and we hope many people submit just to show that entrepreneurial spirit here in West Michigan,” Gonzalez said.

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