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New venture, a dream for start-ups

One of the biggest roadblocks in launching a successful business start-up can be raising the appropriate amount of money to keep initiating and sustaining operations. You could have the best business formation and planning attorneys on your side, putting you on the right path, but at the end of the day, if you do not have the money to execute your plan, it is difficult to put your plan into action.

Luckily for new businesses in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area, that might not be a game-stopping problem thanks to a wealthy member of the community. The man recently launched a concept called Start Garden, which is essentially $15 million set aside to help fuel up to 100 business start-up ideas in the area every year.

Entrepreneurs will finally have access to the sometimes-lofty funds to make their ideas a reality. All those prospective business owners have to do is pitch their idea to the fund's owners via their website. If administrators at Start Garden think the idea sounds promising, they will invest an initial $5,000 in the project along with laying down stipulations for the business owner. That business owner is also responsible to update Start Garden officials on their status every 90 days.

Based on those updates and how the project is progressing, Start Garden might consider investing an addition $20,000 into the business. Investment money can eventually total to up to $500,000, which would no doubt aid any business start-up achieve its goals.

While the panel of officials at Start Garden will confer and hand-select an idea each week, the public is also able to vote for a deserving start-up each week as well. However, by Start Garden forking over the money, they are also entitled to equity shares within the company. The details over those arrangements are still being hashed out.

With this recent program, Grand Rapids continues to solidify its reputation as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Just remember, when forming a business, there are many forms and documents that must be filed to make that business legally viable. It is always wise to consult business formation experts to make sure your business is built on a solid foundation.

Source:, "Rick DeVos unveils Start Garden, details plan to fuel West Michigan startups, innovation with $15 million," Garret Ellison, April 26, 2012

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