Lansing, MI –
A 22-year-old Michigan State University student has won first place in a regional competition for budding entrepreneurs.
In December, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership began soliciting proposals from entrepreneurs under the label of Lansing's "Next Bright Idea." Some 40 proposals were considered. Last night (Thursday) a panel of judges selected "Spartanicity," a web-based grocery delivery company.
Co-founder Adam Root admits their upcoming graduations prompted him and his business partners to question their company's future.
"You know, it's coming that time; is this a viable idea, is this something we can continue on with, or do we have to get real person jobs?" Root says. "And having this vote of confidence and an influx of capital and these other resources is really kind of a booster shot."
Root will receive $5,000 and a host of support services. In a surprise move, LEAP also awarded a $2,000 prize to the founder of a wildlife awareness program. Entrepreneur Chip Kosloski came within one point of Root...and he was surprised to be awarded.
"(It)Caught me a little off guard when I was up there," Kosloski admits. "But just to know that LEAP is really into this event and this program, and for them to take that extra step for me, I'm just so grateful for that. And I hope that I can use the resources that they give to me to let this idea grow."
Organizers say they hope to expand the next contest to include as many as 200 competitors.