EAST LANSING (WWJ) — Rounding out this year’s Hatching winners and finalists to pitch at Launched: Celebration of Entrepreneurship pitch competition, a business idea called What’s Mapnin’ won the judges’ vote last week at the Hatching round 6.

What’s Mapnin’ is a creative concept that combines a caricature drawing of businesses in the region as advertisers combined with a map for a visual community representation.

Created by a sophomore at Michigan State University, What’s Mapnin’ already has support from Fox 47 and has been successful this year. The next steps for What’s Mapnin’ is to transition into an online application called What’s Appnin’. Visit http://www.whatsmapnin.com for more information.

Since its inception in June 2013, The Hatching has awarded six winners this year ranging from a chair-table hybrid to an online marketplace for art to a custom dog bowl for long-eared dogs. Each of these six winners will have the opportunity to pitch against one another at the Launched: Celebration of Entrepreneurship event on December 12 at the Broad Museum.

The Hatching is a partnership of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, the Lansing area’s economic development agency; the New Economic Opportunity Center, a Lansing business incubator; and Spartan Innovations, a limited-profit corporation founded by Michigan State University to support commercialization of MSU-developed technology.

Held the last week of the month, The Hatching allows entrepreneurs to pitch new ideas to judges and an audience of innovators in a spirited atmosphere. The winner receives $1,000 for startup costs as well as legal services to create the new business entity provided by Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting P.C. This month’s prize sponsorship came from Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

“We have been blown away by the success of this pitch competition,” said Jeff Smith, director of the New Economy Division at LEAP. “When we began talking about putting this event together, we never could have imagined the level of innovation that we have seen from the pitches so far.”

Added Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP: “The Hatching has allowed us to watch 30 brand new ideas for startup businesses come to fruition in the last six months. We now have the ability to work directly with these entrepreneurs and offer them the kind of assistance they need to be successful and grow into the next large employer in our region.”

People interested in participating and pitching in the upcoming events are asked to submit their ideas to http://www.thehatching.org. The next Hatching event will take place Jan. 29 at Beggar’s Banquet in East Lansing and will continue every last Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.


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