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'Hatching' Finalists To Compete At Launched

EAST LANSING (WWJ) -- Six entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to compete for a $10,000 prize while standing amongst priceless works of art at this year's The Hatching finals, which will take place as part of the "Launched: Celebration of Entrepreneurship" event this Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

The Hatching is a partnership between the LEAP, NEO Center, and Spartan Innovations, which allows entrepreneurs to pitch new ideas to judges and an audience of innovators in a spirited atmosphere. The winners have each received $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.

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.

The Launched event is now in its fifth year and marks the first collaboration between the event and The Hatching pitch competition. The event will feature a keynote speaker, Jerry Clark, director of cloud services for network, voice and cloud services provider for Comlink, as well as the presentation of an Innovator of the Year award to a local entrepreneur.

"These six entrepreneurs have been practicing and perfecting their pitches since they were named the winners of The Hatching," said Jeff Smith, director of the new economy division of LEAP. "The bar has been raised and there is no doubt that each of the ideas have been vetted and each would be completely viable."

Added Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP: "As a sponsor of the Launched event, LEAP is excited to bring The Hatching to this beautiful venue and see these ideas which have grown tremendously since their debut. Each of these entrepreneurs will be introduced to a new audience and will have the opportunity to network and connect with the community to support their new ventures."

People interested in participating and pitching in the upcoming Hatching events are asked to submit their ideas to The next Hatching event will take place on Jan. 29, 2014 at Beggar's Banquet in East Lansing. They are scheduled for the last Wednesday of every month except December at 6 p.m.

To find out more about Launched, visit

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