Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Lansing, MI

Lansing, MI

As the hub of the Mid-Michigan region, Lansing is an important city for the Michigan’s government, economy, and culture.

Lansing, MI is the state’s capital and fifth-largest city. As the hub of the Mid-Michigan region, it’s an important city for the state’s government, economy, and culture. Between the existing business resources available and the proximity to the highly-ranked Michigan State University entrepreneurship program in nearby East Lansing, the city has come to be known as a land of opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Back in 2017, Livability had the city ranked 23rd on its list of the best cities for entrepreneurs. More recently, both Lansing and East Lansing finished on WalletHub’s 2019 list of the best small cities to start a business: East Lansing at 648th and Lansing at 943rd. Finally, a 2020 study investigating the best college towns to start a business had East Lansing at third overall.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Lansing’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

An organization that hosts weekly events designed to educate and support programmers and tech workers in the Lansing area.

An opportunity for makers in the region to meet with each other, network with each other and share ideas.

On the second Tuesday of every month, innovators can present their tech products and projects to the attendees of Lansing Tech Demo Night.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

In addition to networking events and business workshops, the Chamber of Commerce hosts annual signature events including an annual dinner and awards ceremony.

Hosted at Michigan State University, Making It In Michigan is an annual conference and trade show for food-based businesses.

This organization hosts regular networking events, workshops, presentations and other events designed to support entrepreneurship.

Techstars hosts regular Startup Weekends, two-day conferences centered around entrepreneurship on at least an annual basis.

 

Startup Competitions:

Students at Michigan State University can compete in the school’s Burgess New Venture Challenge for the chance to win some of the $42,000 prize pool.

The Hatching is a quarterly pitch competition for entrepreneurs in the area, with a total of $3,000 in prizes being offered to the top two winners of each competition.

A competition for students in grades 4-12 with business plans that offers cash prizes totaling more than $10,000.

 

Co-working Spaces:

The Hive provides modern office space and conference rooms for rent in a space that shares a building with restaurants and a coffee shop.

Regus, a group that organizes office space for rent in cities around the country, has a handful of available locations in and around Lansing.

A co-working space that offers several flexible membership plans and invites its members to bring their dogs to work.

The Artist’s Gym is an organization that provides co-working space and hosts events and classes, all aimed at supporting artists and creative entrepreneurs.

 

Makerspaces:

The East Lansing Public Library offers a Maker Studio, a small makerspace that includes a 3D printer, sound studio, tool library and more.

Students, faculty and staff at Michigan State University have access to the school’s Hollander MakeCentral Makerspace.

Members of the network have 24/7 access to the large makerspace and its array of fabrication tools and equipment.

 

Incubators:

The Innovation Center provides tech startups with workspace, business support services and other resources to help them grow.

The Allen Neighborhood Center runs a pair of kitchen incubator programs to support food-based entrepreneurs.

Lansing is home to one of the number of locations of the Michigan Small Business Development Center, which provides business support resources.

Entrepreneurial students at Michigan State University can participate in Hatch, the school’s incubator programs, to help launch their startups.

 

Accelerators:

Founded and run in part by Michigan State University, the Conquer Accelerator provides $20,000 and 10 weeks of mentorship to promising startups.

The Fledge is an organization that provides a variety of resources to support the commercialization of local entrepreneurs’ startups.

A program of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the PROTO Accelerator works to found and support innovative products and services

 

Colleges/Universities:

The college offers a number of resources designed to support entrepreneurship in the college and surrounding community.

Michigan State University’s Innovation Center provides a wide array of resources both inside and outside the classroom to support entrepreneurial students.

Down the road in Spring Arbor, students at Spring Arbor University can enroll in a number of classes based on entrepreneurship.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

The Capital Community Angel Investors group invests in early-stage startups located throughout the state.

The goal of the Michigan Angel Fund, which is based down the road in Ann Arbor, is to invest in early-stage companies in the state and attract new entrepreneurs to the area.

Red Cedar Ventures is a venture capital program that invests in technology startups with ties to Michigan State University.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Greater Lansing Business Monthly offers its subscribers the opportunity to join a mailing list with the biggest news in the area.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation offers a daily email newsletter covering economic news from around the state.

MiBiz, which covers business news throughout the state of Michigan, offers a variety of newsletters focusing on different aspects of the state’s economy and its development.

The Michigan Business Network, which helps connect business owners and entrepreneurs with support resources, offers a newsletter.

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Lansing not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI


Rebecca Cox

Rebecca is a seasoned international traveler and Digital Marketing Specialist who assists in marketing strategies and creative development for FundingSage. She is currently studying her postgraduate degree in Advanced International Business Management from UC Leuven-Limburg.