Economic Development and Small Business & Startups

5x5 Night re-emerges

June 22, 2015
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5x5 Night re-emerges
5x5 Night is a pitch competition that features five entrepreneurs who present their ideas to a panel of judges for $5,000. Photo via

The 5x5 Night monthly pitch competition for entrepreneurs is back.

The re-booted 5X5 Night is produced by emerge West Michigan. Start Garden, which will support the contest, will host the first night of the new event tomorrow, beginning at 5 p.m. 

Five entrepreneurs will present for a chance to win $5,000 in grant funding to move their innovative idea, product or service forward.

Each entrepreneur will have five minutes to present their idea in front of a panel of five judges to take the next step in creating, testing or launching their idea.

The original 5x5 Night was launched in Februrary 2011 by Rick DeVos, founder and CEO of Start Garden. The last of the original 5x5 Nights was in March 2012, just before Start Garden, the early stage venture capital fund, launched in April 2012.

June event

The entrepreneurs presenting tomorrow night have been selected: Matt Witte, Wheel Around; Sarah Sughnen Yongo, Watch-Pet from a Mile; Justin Herd, OneBowl; Maxwell Clark, Universal Socks; and Hugh Ingalls, Ultimate College Success Program.

This month’s judging panel includes representatives from a number of industries: Rick DeVos; Christian Gaines, executive director of ArtPrize; Jamaal Ewing, microloan program manager at GROW; J.D. Loeks, president of Celebration! Cinema; and Attah Obande, president at AGO Design Group and mentor at Spring GR.

5x5 process

5x5 Night will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Presentations can take place at locations throughout West Michigan.

5x5 Night is designed to support and engage the entrepreneurial community and includes a reception after the competition for people to network and discuss ideas.

There are no restrictions on the types of ideas a presenter can submit to participate in the competition.

The online 5x5 Night community votes on the ideas that can present at the event.

Applications and votes on the submissions are due the week before 5x5 Night.  

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