Lansing 5:01 Hosts Their 2nd Event with
LANSING - With a drink in hand and conversations flowing, the second Lansing 5:01 event was held June 29th.
This initiative encourages networking among industry professionals, beginning interns and young entrepreneurs.
For this gathering, Lansing 5:01 teamed up with Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Spartan Innovations to hold their monthly The Hatching event at Lansing Brewing Company.
LEAP Project Coordinator and Lansing 5:01 Communication and Event Planning Gabriela Allum said she was really intrigued by Lansing 5:01 because of how much it involves the Lansing city.
“Without the program people don’t really see as much of what’s going on in Lansing,” Allum said. “They are really secluded to East Lansing, so we really want to show them what the city has to offer and the different employers in the area for potential jobs after college.”
Lansing 5:01 is coining the phrase graduate to Lansing, as they want to make students and interns aware of the different organizations in the area.
In lieu of attracting people to Lansing, The Hatching gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to take part in a “mini shark tank” business pitch competition on the last Wednesday of every month.
Director of Student and Community Engagement of Spartan Innovations Paul Jaques is one of the original founders of The Hatching.
“We are the state of Michigan so it would be nice to stick around. Detroit is hot, Ann Arbor is hot, Grand Rapid is hot and Lansing is really growing,” he said. “So selfishly I would love for people to stay here in the Lansing, East Lansing area. But at least stay in Michigan and let us help you.”
Jaques said working with Lansing 5:01 is what networking and The Hatching is all about.
“Those younger Lansing 5:01 interns, those are the ones we want to see take over what we’ve done and started,” he said. “And stay in the areas. We want to hear from them, hear what’s going on. The idea is for all of these teams to really talk together, work together and grow.”
The pitch competition gives innovators a chance to put their ideas out there and a chance to win $1,000 and additional services to jump-start their businesses.
Director of LEAP’s New Economy Division Tony Willis said this is probably one of the state’s longest, consecutively running pitch competition– beginning three years ago.
“It let’s people know that their ideas can be a reality. It doesn't just have to be an idea or vision, you can actually make something happen in a reality,” Willis said. “And this is a great form to put your idea out there, to get feedback, get resources and connections to local support systems. It’s really important to show that we are welcoming to new ideas and embrace new ideas in our community.”
Applicants can submit their business ideas online at thehatching.org and each month the top five vote-getters get a chance to perform a five-minute pitch in front of five judges.
A winner is then chose after the judges deliberate. The most recent The Hatching winner was Anna Song founder of Friends Host.
This business is a website that combines the idea of Airbnb and online networking sites such as Facebook. So if someone is traveling somewhere you can ask someone you know to host, making it more secure and cheap than staying with a stranger.
“I love traveling and sometimes I use Airbnb and sometimes I got really good ones and sometimes I got really bad ones. So I just wanted to solve this problem. And that’s how I came up with this idea,” Song said. “I would spend a lot of time on my Facebook, thinking why should I waste so much time on Facebook for nothing. Maybe I already have a friend in Berlin and I could just ask her to give me a host.”
Song said this business is still in the idea stage, and will use this money to build the website, design a logo and make an app.
The winners are invited to come back in December for a chance to win $10,000.
“Collaborating with Lansing 5:01 was a natural fit,” Willis said. “Making sure interns really enjoy Lansing, actually come down to Lansing beyond their 8 to 5 job and really enjoy what our community has to offer. And, we are one of those programs really deeply rooted in Lansing. So, we love to partner with them and have this young talent really, fully understand what goes on in Lansing.”
The last Lansing 5:01 event of their three-series will be on July 26th at Troppo for Grand River Connection Anniversary Mixer beginning at 5:01pm.