On Wednesday, June 25th, The Hatching – one of Lansing’s most entertaining and fun-filled startup events – celebrated it’s one year anniversary. The night was exciting, as aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their ideas for the $1,000 prize. And, for the first time in Hatching history, there were two awards given.
Presenter: Matt Gillett
Saddleback Barbecue is a new twist on a boring problem. When schools and organizations hold fundraisers, people are often happy to give their money, but tend to end up with items or food that nobody really wants. Saddleback Barbecue wants to solve this problem by starting a fundraiser that offers a superior product; a product that many people spend money on anyway. Members of the organization will buy award-winning barbecue, prepared once the orders have been placed, to prevent unnecessary overhead. The fundraiser is based on something Matt already does once a year.
Presenters: Don and Nick Waskiewicz
Don and Nick want to save your shins from the dangers of flying grass and rocks during weed whipping. Shin Armor is a garment you wear around your shins that protects your shoes, socks and shins from grass, ticks, poison ivy and grass stains while taking care of the necessary task of weed whacking. The product will help users save money by keeping them from ruining their socks and shoes. There is currently no product like this out there and they want to sell in stores such as Home Depot – either as a standalone product or packaged with weedeaters.
Presenter: Blake Nyquist
Jurymind wants to make jury duty a much less painful process. The rate of no-shows for jury duty is a staggering 85 percent, a percentage that costs the courts up to $3 Million a year. Jurymind wants to lower this number by offering a free app to jurors that sends that messages and reminders regarding their upcoming duty. The courts are willing to pay and, by the simple act of eliminating no shows, the app pays for itself.
Presenter: Nathan Town
Nathan Town, was the youngest presenter of the evening at 13, and was supported by his younger brother. Handmade Chips realizes that everyone loves chips, but also that they are not the healthiest of snacks. They also know that people love to buy local. Handmade Chips addresses both of these needs by creating healthy chips that are baked (not fried) and made with ingredients from right here in Michigan (hence, “Hand-made.” Because Michigan looks like a hand.). They would like to sell the product at schools, farmer’s markets and online, using clear bags so the customer knows exactly the amount of product they are getting.
What’s Hapnin with What’s Mapnin
In honor of its anniversary, the Hatching audience also got to hear from one it’s past winners, and the winner of Launched grand prize, What’s Mapnin’. Charlotte Masters shared her successes; a completed and widely distributed map of Lansing and $90,000 in revenue over the past year. She also shared her plans for the future, maps of other cities including Grand Rapids, and an app that will be a much more interactive experience for fans of the maps.
Resources from Microsoft BizSpark
Potential startups also got to hear about special resources available to them from the Microsoft BizSpark program. The program takes some of the risk out of starting a business by offering free software to the businesses for up to three years. Qualified startups can get cloud services, support, website builders, app builders and more. At the end of the three years Microsoft hopes the business will invest in their products but there is no obligation.
The winner of the $1,000 and legal services from Loomis Law was Jurymind.
StartupLansing was especially excited for Brian Town’s pitch – we love entrepreneurship and were thrilled that two young persons came up with an idea and pitched it to such a large audience. By themselves. We, along with CommonWealth Enterprises and Loomis Law, support youth entrepreneurship. StartupLansing and Commonwealth Enterprises are providing Handmade chips a $500 prize to help start their company and Loomis Law is also going to help them get their legal entity set up.
Congratulations to the winners! We look forward to seeing you at next month’s Hatching!