2018 was a big year for Grand Rapids entrepreneurs. We had high hopes for the launch of the Start Garden 100 and certainly were not disappointed. With over 800 sign-ups, over 600 ideas shared, and a diverse set of entrants—from gender to ethnicity, income, and industry—in 2018, we’re even more amped for what the next 100 will bring in 2019. Before we dive into our goals for The 100’s second year, let us recap the 2018 event.
The most valuable part of participating in the Start Garden 100 was being able to meet someone in the industry and gain a mentor and advocate for what I was trying to do. I wouldn’t have met half of the connections I have now if it wasn’t for Start Garden.
–Terry Rostic, Demo Day 2018 Winner
Who makes up the “Start Garden 100” 2018?
812 people signed up; 621 video ideas were uploaded.
Here are the demographics…
What is the “Start Garden 100” initiative?
The 100 is the first new initiative incubated from within this systemswide collaboration, with more to come. Each year Start Garden seeds 100 aspiring entrepreneurs with $1,000 to compete in our July Demo Day to be among 10 to receive $20,000 to get their new venture off the ground. Demo Day is an annual convocation for our entrepreneurial community, the launch day for new businesses bringing future wealth into our city.
What did we accomplish with Demo Day 2018?
Following the Demo Day event, staff worked to ensure a comprehensive follow-up with participants to help improve the event and gauge the true value of the process. The results show that although the original $1,000 provided a jumpstart to these ideas, the initiative itself became a catalyst and network with far more value than the original financial investment. Here you will find those results in addition to general attendance and viewership for the Demo Day event.
It was so life-giving to look around the Demo Day room and see the diversity of entrepreneurs, their businesses and the energy to build
the world we all want.
–Janay Brown, Demo Day 2018 Winner
Event Day Statistics
as of 8/13/18
Not including vendors/participants
DEMO DAY PRESS MENTIONS
as of 8/13/18
Applicants after being informed that they were a part of Start Garden’s 100 2018 Cohort and leading up to the July 10 Demo Day, were asked how many new connections were they able to make with the following: Customers, vendors, mentors, collaborators, etc.
Applicants were also asked how many new connections were made at the Demo Day event, they reported: