Popular Lansing networking event launches in GR
Entrepreneurial gathering is spreading to locations here and in Detroit.
A popular Lansing networking event that celebrates the work of entrepreneurs and those who support them is coming to Grand Rapids this week.
Now in its seventh year, Launched is expanding with events in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
Launched co-founders Jason Meyers, also the founder of Live Concepts Media, and Nicholas Chilenko, also the founder of Nicholas Creative, said both cities were chosen due to flourishing entrepreneurial communities.
The first Launched event will be held in Grand Rapids from 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Downtown Market.
Business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the region are invited to attend the event, which will “celebrate entrepreneurial innovation.”
Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids mayor-elect and 2nd Ward city commissioner, will serve as Launched Grand Rapids’ keynote speaker.
“She is going to share her version of entrepreneurialism in the city and talk about what she thinks can be done in a city like Grand Rapids to support entrepreneurial innovation,” Meyers said.
Launched has become a popular event in Lansing, Meyers said, with attendance increasing each year.
The Lansing event has grown to include an Innovator of the Year Award presentation, with the winner selected by a committee of business leaders from the community.
“We hope to establish that same award in Grand Rapids,” Meyers said. “But we need to expand the network to do that.”
Meyers said Launched has the potential to lead to new ventures and, in fact, already has done so on at least one occasion.
“At the last (Lansing) Launched event, two people who were attending — one was actually the caterer — and he connected with one of the attendees, and they ended up opening a restaurant in downtown Lansing: Saddleback BBQ,” he said.
Tickets for Launched Grand Rapids 2015 are available at LaunchedGR.com for $10. Meyers said Business Journal readers are invited to use the code “comlink” to receive a free ticket when registering for the event.
All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children and teens that supports families in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Flint.