‘Mini Maker Space’ Wins Lansing’s Hatching Award

LANSING — The Lansing area’s Hatching business pitch competition packed the house at Beggar’s Banquet in East Lansing as usual — and the winner this month was “Mini Maker Space,” a retail maker space geared towards the region’s youth.

The winner, Melissa Rabideau Allen, comes from a family of innovators, and was part of the team that brought the Poochie Bowl to market in 2013.

Other ideas this month included a bracelet that holds Earth’s elements inside to make the wearer feel closer to the environment, and a grain thresher powered by a stationary bicycle to name a few.

Each month, Beggar’s Banquet in East Lansing provides the atmosphere for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to judges and a packed audience. Winners of The Hatching receive $1,000 from a monthly sponsor. This month’s sponsorship came from PNC Bank, as well as legal services provided by Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting P.C., a promotional pitch video produced by Michigan Creative, and six months free co-working space at the New Economic Opportunity Center, a Lansing business incubator.

Additionally, Mini Maker Space will compete again against other monthly winners in December for the chance at receiving $10,000 towards their business.

Each month, entrepreneurs are invited to submit their business startup idea to the website, www.thehatching.org. Through a popular vote, five ideas move to the final stage and those entrepreneurs are asked to pitch at The Hatching.

“PNC is committed to developing strong communities and creating financial opportunities for individuals, families and businesses,” said PNC Regional President Tim Salisbury. “That commitment includes supporting projects such as the Hatching, which encourages local entrepreneurs to develop business ideas that will help make the Lansing area a hotbed for startup companies.”

“The variety of new ideas and creative ways local entrepreneurs seek to create jobs and solve everyday challenges is remarkable,” said Paul Jaques, Director of Student and Community Engagement at Spartan Innovations. “Every month, both the presenters and the audience create a stronger community for supporting success and failure, making the Lansing area a great place to launch a startup.”

Additionally, the audience welcomed the ideas that were developed at last month’s Lansing Startup Weekend – Maker Edition, which took place at Lansing Community College West Campus. Five ideas were developed over of the course of the weekend and at the end of the 54 hours, the ideas were pitched to a panel of judges and mentors. At the Hatching event, three of these ideas were pitched once again, this time for a cash prize. Maizena, an advancement on 3D printing technology, walked away with the prize. Maizena has developed a way to use 3D printers to print in corn starch, a biodegradable substance, rather than through plastic polymers which take years to biodegrade.

“This month’s Hatching event was the best we have had thus far,” said Tony Willis manager of business acceleration at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. “We packed the room with individuals who truly care about seeing these companies succeed. We were also able to connect two different programs together in an experience beneficial to all who attended and participated. We are working hard to develop a strong resource network for our startups and entrepreneurs through the LEAP’s Regional Innovation Network and these events are just the beginning.”

The Hatching is open to public and takes place each month. The next Hatching event will take place Nov. 19. To find the location of November’s event or to submit an idea, visit www.thehatching.org.

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