Lansing Launches State’s First Product Startup Accelerator

LANSING — The Lansing area’s economic development agency has launched a new initiative to support product-based startups.

The program, called Lansing Proto, will provide equity funding of $15,000 to each of three product-based startup companies that will be selected to participate in an eight-month-long development program to begin in February.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership, or LEAP, says it developed the program to support physical product-based companies specifically, as they move from concept to market.

Companies that apply for the program will be screened and vetted on criteria such as feasibility and scalability. The three selected companies will have access to product development and design consulting, rapid prototyping, business plan development, marketing and branding, legal support, accounting support, continued mentoring and guidance, and access to capital.

Upon completion of the program, the participating companies will either be prepared to go to market, already in the market or positioned in the market to be licensed by an existing company.

Companies or entrepreneurs interested in applying or learning more about Lansing Proto should visit The application deadline for Lansing Proto is Jan. 28, 2016.

“Lansing is a region of makers,” said Tony Willis, Lansing Proto administrator and director of the New Economy Division of LEAP. “We are known for our manufacturing prowess, and this program will harness this innovation while providing a supportive environment for startups looking to bring their products to market.”

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