Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Start Garden reveals 100 Ideas finalists

April 25, 2018
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Start Garden 100 Ideas initiative announcement
A crowd listens to the announcement of the 100 Ideas initiative. Courtesy Start Garden

Start Garden has named the 100 finalists in its 100 Ideas competition.

The Grand Rapids-based nonprofit startup ecosystem said today that 812 people signed up for the 100-day competition that began in January, and 612 ideas were submitted via video to the Start Garden website.

Each of the top 100 ideas will receive $1,000.

“We were overwhelmed with the response from the community,” said Jorge Gonzalez, the director of the competition. “We knew people felt excluded from participating in entrepreneurship because of barriers to resources. Looking at the demographic data, the problem was bigger than we thought, especially for women, minorities and lower-income families.”

Fifty-two percent of people who participated in the competition are male, 59 percent are Caucasian and 58 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44.

The 100 individuals who generated the top 100 ideas will now be able to participate in Demo Day.

They will compete to be among the top 10 to win $20,000 each to invest in their ideas.

Demo Day will take place on July 10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids, at 11 Ottawa Ave. NW.

100 Ideas finalists


Destiny Adams
Nicole Albert
Damien Allen
Jessica Austin


Anna Baeten
Angel Barreto-Cruz
Cierra Barrera
Kabrina Bobo
Ignacio Bonet
Janay Brower
Rick Brown
Zoe Bruyn
Dave Bulkowski


Dillon Carney
Eli Cecil
Maxwell Chambers
Luis Chen
Dave Clahassey
David Clark
James Cooley
Ebony Cummings


Gilma De la Cruz
Michael Despres
David DeWinter
Brian Dokter
Stephanie Dolly


Carlos Esquivel

Justin Gauvin

Hew Hamilton
Trimell Hawkins
Omar Helferich
Luciano Hernandez
Liz Hilton
Glenn Hobbins
Cecelia Hughes
Michael Hyacinthe

Bobby Johnson
Samuel Jones

Destinee Keener
Brandon Kimble

Alysha Lach
Catlindt Landrum
Spencer Lebel
Kavy Lenon
Mark Love

Aaron Maatman
Clarissa Mata
Brandy McCallum
Beloved McCastle
Brannon McCarty
Eric McClain
Anthony McClora
Maggie McGuinness
Ash Middleton
James Mikrut
Kianna Morgan
Amanda Morton
Theresa Mosley

Michael Noble

Anthony Olivero
Andrea Owens

Sadoc Paredes
Kelsey Perdue
Calvin Pimpleton
Sarah Pitt
Sophia Prince
Kevin Pritchard

Angel Rafael
Christina Robinson
Ebony Robinson
Gabriela Rodriguez
Terry Rostic
Olivia Ruiz-Knott
Anna Ryan

Carl Sain
James Sanborn
Brent Saulic
Mike Sheehan
Brandy Sims
Zach Skogheim
Stephen Smith
Bridget Stenger

Alex Taylor
Randall Janine Thomas
LaKiya Thompson
Gabrielle Tremblay
John Trocke
Reed Turchetti

Jiatnna Valoy
Christina VanDam
Aaron VanderGalien
Becky Vandenbroek

Ariana Waller
Chris Walter
Lizzie Williams
Chris Winczewski
Charlie Woollborg

Kristine Yang
Tyler Yonker
Annie Young

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