As the entrepreneurial community in Grand Rapids continues to grow, several organizations have stepped up to match ambitions with the facilities and opportunities to achieve them. Whether you need tooling to develop your product, are ready for retail space or are simply looking for an affordable office to work out of, Grand Rapids has plenty to offer.
Ben Logan was the winner of 5×5 Night in September 2015
It is no secret that the fate of the honey bee is tied closely with our own. One third of all the world’s food is dependent on pollination by the the honey bee.
“Honey bees are the pillars of our food system,”said Anna Marie Fauvel, a representative of the Michigan Beekeepers Association and faculty adviser for the GVSU Beekeeping Student Organization.
The honey bee population is currently in crisis, with hive populations declining at an average annual rate of 33% since 2006.
Liz Bartlett was the winner of 5×5 Night in July 2015
“I believe that when I get to the next level and am vertically integrated and manufacturing,” says Liz Bartlett. “I can bring a lot of jobs, not just to Michigan, not just to Grand Rapids, but to downtown.”
Bartlett has big plans for her company, KNITit, which specializes in 3D weft knit product and was awarded $5,000 in investment capital at 5×5 Night in July.
This month’s 5×5 Night took place on October 27 and featured proposals from entrepreneurs developing a wide range of products and services, from apps designed to connect local businesses with complementary needs, a beer education program for aspiring cicerones and a streamlined local delivery program.
September’s 5×5 Night featured a wide range proposals, from entrepreneurs working on socially innovative products that would contribute to solving the global food crisis, to apps that aim to connect college students beyond their dorms.
World class clarinetist and VP and Managing Director of advertising at award winning ad agency R/GA, Michael Lowestern shares his unique perspective on being an artist, an entrepreneur, and a performer.
What it is:
Graphic recording (also referred to as graphic facilitation or visual note taking) is the rendering of conversation, key points and ideation into images. The end result can be used across multiple mediums to visually communicate what was discussed in an effective way. Why is this beneficial?
“There were times in my life where I would open the fridge and there would be nothing,” Jonathan Kumar said. “You never really forget what that’s like.”
Kumar is the founder of Food Circles, an app that connects citizens, businesses, nonprofits and those in need to address hunger in the community through a “Buy One, Feed One” model. Through the Food Circles website or app, diners can purchase food vouchers for local restaurants and 100% of their purchase is donated to feed the hungry, or is put towards the nonprofit of their choice.
The Makerspace in Action
by Grayson Deyoung
GR MAKERS’ function is quite telling by its title; it is a makerspace located downtown Grand Rapids that offers a place for individuals to get their hands dirty and build something.The space thrives from its 70 plus members and community centered integration. “GR Makers has always been about a sense of community and helping each other,” said cofounder Casey DuBois.