LANSING (WWJ) — There’s a new mentoring program for entrepreneurs in the Lansing area.

The new program was launched by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, the economic development organization for the capital region, and Michigan State University’s Spartan Innovations spinout business accelerator.

The first event of the new group was held after the March 26 session of The Hatching, the groups’ monthly entrepreneur pitch contest. It featured informal networking and a matching session for entrepreneurs and startups in all business phases to connect with one another.

At the first event, more than 25 student and community entrepreneurs were in attendance, sharing their business ideas, the challenges they face and discovering together, the support that could be provided by mentors.

“We are eager to offer more programming along these lines, to expand greater Lansing’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Quin Stinchfield, manager of business incubation at LEAP. “We are working hard to provide meaningful support for startups, and this mentoring event meets an identified need.”

Added Jeff Smith, director of the New Economy Division at LEAP: “This mentor support program is designed as an entry point for entrepreneurs who are looking for startup resources. By following the Hatching event, this opportunity piggybacks off of an already existing networking event and allows entrepreneurs and experts to come together each month.”

According to the Startup Genome Project, startups are seven times more likely to raise investment money and three-and-a-half times more likely to grow user numbers for their products and services if they have helpful mentors.

“We’re working together to develop programs that can help new businesses get off the ground faster,” shared Paul Jaques, director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations. “This program also provides a way for some of our wisest, most experienced business leaders to help the community on a whole new level.”

For more information on this mentoring opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Lansing region, contact Stinchfield at LEAP at (517) 702-3387, ext. 206.

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