EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Lansing Economic Area Partnership is hosting “The Hatching,” on Thursday, a business pitch competition that encourages local entrepreneurs to share their ideas for the future.

The Hatching will take place at 6 p.m. and be held at the Albert EL Fresco Pedestrian Space, located at the Intersection of Grove Street and Albert Street.

This is the first time since the pandemic the event will be held in person.

There will be six competitors facing off for their chance to win the grand prize of $2,000. The runner-up will take home $1,000.

Officials say this competition is open to entrepreneurs in Clinton, Eaton, and Shiawassee counties.

Competitors must either be looking to pitch their potential business idea, or have an established business under three years old with two or fewer employees.

Participants will display a five-minute pitch for their business idea as well as showcase how they would accomplish it.

Each participant will be judged on how unique, innovative, and creative their idea is.

If the entrepreneur doesn’t win, they’ll be connected to a network of local resource providers who are devoted to helping them be successful.

“The more that you expose your idea and connect with people who are interested in supporting entrepreneurs, supporting small business success, the more you’re able to connect with someone who maybe really feels like your business idea resonates with them. So while you may not win The Hatching, maybe there is someone that wants to tap in and give you an investment.”

Katlyn Cardoso, Director of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development 

Organizers say over the years they have seen a large increase in college students taking advantage of the opportunity.

“One of the goals as we return to an in-person version for these events is to kind of re-engage the student community. That’s one of the reasons why we are really excited to host this event in downtown East Lansing around the time when students will be trickling back in. It definitely seems like now the event is coming back, there seems to be some more renewed interest with our student entrepreneurs.”

Katlyn Cardoso, Director of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development