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Venture Creation


Through Conquer Accelerator, Entrepreneur-In-Residence, and Mentor-In-Residence programs, Spartan Innovations provides fundamental resources entrepreneurs need to grow their venture. Beyond programming, Spartan Innovations supports startups with market assessment, commercial development, business plan development, gap funds, and grant funding. Companies created through Spartan Innovation's process will pitch to our venture funds, Red Cedar Ventures or Michigan Rise for early-stage funding.

In 2021 the Grand Rapids Smartzone and LDFA approved an agreement with Spartan Innovations & Start Garden to collaborate and manage its SmartZone Incubator, BAF/Gateway, and related hi-tech business support services. To learn more about Spartan Innovations Grand Rapids services, contact Kyle McGregor at

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The Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) program was created in order to give new companies, coming out of MSU, guidance from business professionals, expertise in developing the plan, and funding needed to launch a successful startup. EIR’s are outside of the university and do not have the constraints or conflicts of being within the university system.

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The Mentor-In-Residence (MIR) program brings industry-experienced professionals as consultants for startups. MIRs and EIRs assist MSU faculty who have technologies that are still too early for a startup opportunity. 

Applications are not open during this time. 

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Built with a strong bench of more than forty entrepreneur and business leader mentors, the Conquer Accelerator provides selected teams with ten weeks of intensive programming, focusing on completing tailored, goal-driven benchmarks. Teams work with instructors and mentors on topics like fundraising, technology, and longevity.

Learn More About Conquer Accelerator
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