Startup Lansing’s Startup Spotlights 2015 Part 2

2015 has been a great year for startups in Lansing. Don’t believe us? All you need to do is take a look back at the Startup Spotlights we have featured every week. Last week’s list didn’t even begin to cover it. This week, we have the rest. And, as 2015 wraps up, we are looking…


2015 has been a great year for startups in Lansing. Don’t believe us? All you need to do is take a look back at the Startup Spotlights we have featured every week. Last week’s list didn’t even begin to cover it. This week, we have the rest.

And, as 2015 wraps up, we are looking forward to an, even more, exciting 2016. In the meantime, let’s take a look back at (even more of!) the amazing startups that we’ve covered in the last year.


ConnecterStudents want to be social. They want to do the things they love and connect with others who love doing the same things. But when you’re attending a school like MSU, with so many other students, connecting with people that share similar interests can seem overwhelming. It may seem easy to find students that want to connect while eating, studying, or working out, but it’s hard to know where to start.

Necter, (now, Conecter) connects student. A user simply creates an event, and other users get rewards by attending those events. 

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Cutting the Cable

CuttingtheCableCFounded by three friends with a love for the sport of Fencing, Cutting the Cable provides an affordable solution to a previously very expensive, but unavoidable problem.

Professional and amateur fencers alike use scoring equipment. Current scoring equipment is expensive. To make it more accessible to a wider range of people, Cutting the Cable has created a new solution.

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AriseCWe could all use an extra boost in the morning to help us get going and meet the day. Rather than turning to coffee or energy drinks, Yoga is a natural way to fuel the body with natural, spiritual energy. Arise is a mobile app alarm clock that helps you start the day with mindfulness and yoga. It can help those that struggle to get up each morning, wake up and maintain their energy.

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State Transition

StateTranCState Transition is a custom software development company with a focus on data management and analysis. Basically, they can answer all the questions about your data that make you go, “Huh?”

Software tasks that take too long? They can automate them. Using old and outdated spreadsheets? They’ll make the data make sense. Two types of software that aren’t playing nicely together? They’ll make them get along.

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Strength in Numbers

SINCStrength In Numbers (S.i.N.) Game Studios wants to bring the video game industry to Michigan.

By creating a cross-genre, multiple-platform game with unique and relatable characters, they are hoping to attract players to the characters as much as the game itself. “We want people to identify with them like they do in books,” says founder, Scott Reschke. Tuebor, the sci-fi, dystopian game featuring mutants, crusaders, and robots is the tool Scott is using to build an industry right here.

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SaddlebackCWhen Matt Gillet, one of the co-founders of Saddleback Barbecue in REO Town, first bought a smoker he was just trying to supplement a little income. But, the long drive to pick up his purchase spurred a long conversation about what could be accomplished, and how a business could grow. When they got back, they tried a few gigs and just had fun with it. Travis Stoliker was at Launched and loved the idea. This match led to Saddleback BBQ.

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Legacy Shave

LegacyCLegacy Shave won July’s Hatching by introducing a product that appealed to the entire audience.

Brothers Dave and Mike Gutow understand the struggles both men and women face when completing the necessary yet bothersome task of shaving. Their product aims to remove the bother and make shaving fun again.

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Ayyo Weekends

AyyoCWhat happens when two entrepreneurs with a shared passion for adventure meet while working for Pure Michigan? Naturally, a travel site is born.

With so many places to visit in Michigan, that are easily reachable for weekend trips, both Derek Debiak and Ryan Wenk were surprised at how many people don’t take advantage of the travel-ability of the state. When they looked a little closer at why, Ayyo Weekends was born.

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Con Codex

ConCoCAs Comic Conventions, fondly known as ComiCons or simply Cons, grow and begin to pop up all over the country, including cities like Lansing, it’s getting harder to find information on all the events.

The fan-founded business, Con Codex wants to change that. As the founders attended various Cons, they decided there should be one central location where fans can find everything they need to pursue their pop culture passions.

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Insane Inseam

InsaneInseamCMany women know the struggle of finding that perfect pair of jeans. Imagine this same struggle, but add the stress of every pair being too short. Or, imagine a man’s shirt that just won’t reach past the forearm, no matter which size you try on.

For the men and women of the tall community, this is their daily struggle. Insane Inseam, an online, consignment store for buying and selling tall finds, wants to help.

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Jim Nugent Instrument Works

JimNugentCIn many of our local music institutions,  from local schools to university drum corps, large quantities of expensive percussion instruments and supplies are available. But, unknown to those using them, many of these instruments have been manufactured internationally with global and often strained resources. The consumer’s of these products are unaware of the processes of production necessary for the equipment’s construction and the resulting socio-environmental impacts.

Alex Smith, founder of Jim Nugent Instrument Works, wants to change that.

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Bloom Coffee Roasters

BloomCBloom Coffee Roasters in Lansing strives to source and roast the highest quality coffees to provide a fresh, focused and exceptional coffee experience. As of now, you can find them across Lansing, providing their coffee at events and markets throughout the community. Soon though, they hope to also provide their quality blends in a cafe experience.

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Cuts and Convos

CutsConvosCWhile Jonathan Arias has a few endeavors, including Modern Cut Apparel, he gets the most fulfillment from Cuts and Convos, a non-profit that provides beauty services to low-income residents in Michigan.

They not only provide the services that will help their customers seek employment and feel better about themselves, but they also use that time to speak to them, reach out to them and have empowering conversations with them.

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AddMeCMeeting people is no longer as simple as exchanging a phone number or email. Truly making the most out of a connection can often mean searching for them across multiple social networks, sometimes with little success.

September’s Hatching winner, AddMe, noticed there are multiple ways to connect with someone online, but right now there is only one way to do it. Go into each account, individually, and search for that person. AddMe wants to change that. The app would make it possible to add one person, across multiple social networks, at one time.

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We Connect Talent

WeConnectCWe Connect Talent is a human resources (HR) team for businesses that can’t hire an HR team.

Small to medium sized businesses don’t always have the resources to hire an entire team to do their recruiting and hiring, but they still need to hire great people. We Connect Talent does the work for them.

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Shooting Moons Media

ShootingMoonsCWhat happens when a rapper and an engineer team up? They start a recording studio.

Shooting Moons Media is striving to cater to bands and artists who aren’t able to afford the recording studios with all the frills and perks, but still need quality recordings. They have the equipment and experience to offer that, yet remain affordable.

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The Fledge

FledgeCThe Fledge in Grand Ledge is an incubator on steroids.

Not just an incubator, it also doubles (triples and quadruples even) as a recording studio, an art studio, a skate park, a co-working space, a conference center and more.

Using an innovative approach of combining the skills of their tenants (or Fledglings), the Fledge not only helps entrepreneurs start businesses but also encourages collaboration, community, and creativity.

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Sweet Encounter

SweetEncounterCWhen Nikki Thompson Frazier discovered that between her two daughters they had seven food allergies, she began looking for alternative food options. When she couldn’t find satisfying options, she began cooking.

Fueled by a lifelong love of baking and cooking, Nikki took her already established skills and applied them to a new form of cooking- gluten-free. Not only are her products safe for those with a wide variety of food allergies, they also taste great. These products have also won her first prize at the Hatching, the InnovateHer Competition and Hatched.

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NebzyCWhen you’re in a new social situation, your brain can swim with thoughts that might stop you from approaching someone to say hello. This fear may prevent you from meeting people and making real connections. For international students, this can mean never really connecting with someone during their school experience. For frequent travelers, this can mean always feeling out of a place in a new location.

Nebzy wants to dissipate these fears and break down the barriers that keep us from making new connections.

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EscortMeCEscortMe wants to offer a simple solution to a common problem. Does walking alone at night make you nervous? Do you feel unsafe if you get caught out after dark? Then don’t walk alone, just pick up the ExcortMe app.

Use the app to request a guardian to escort you safely to your destination.

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PokerFaceCLet’s Play is daring college students and adults to try to play their newest game without cracking a smile. PokerFace is a game for mature audiences, a sort of Cards Against Humanity meets Apples to Apples, that asks players to combine outrageous phrases without laughing. Break the rule? Face the consequences.

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BrightDigitCTo some, the onslaught of mobile devices can seem like a never-ending, dark tunnel they are feeling their way through. Especially for businesses struggling to keep up and reach their customers on new and developing platforms. BrightDigit wants to be a glowing guide through that tunnel, leading the way with a flashlight and breadcrumbs.

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Door2DoorCFounded by a group of local entrepreneurs, Door2Door was born from a real life struggle experienced when one of the founders was running for a local office.

An app that wants to help those running for office find an efficient route to meet constituents door to door, it’s an idea that co-founder Tom has been considering since his own campaign experience. Door2Door was hatched (and won) at Lansing’s Startup Weekend and presented at November’s Hatching event.

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GathrdCFinding people to talk to during a conference or convention is easy. You’re all in one room, you’re there with the same goals and intentions and meeting new people is one of the main reasons to attend. But, what about after? Do you go down to the hotel bar and hope to run into someone to have a drink or dinner with? Or do you go back your room and order room service? Alone.

Gathrd proposes another option. They urge conference and convention goers to use their app to connect with other attendees before, during and after the main event.

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