MEDC announces LiveWorkLaunch!, connecting entrepreneurial college grads with the resources they need to build successful Michigan start-ups

Vicki Levengood

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pitch competition offers $10,000 prize to jump start a Detroit-based business

Lansing, MI—The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced a new effort to attract entrepreneurial college students from around the country and connect them with the resources they’ll need to create and sustain a successful Michigan business.  

LiveWorkLaunch!, based on MEDC’s successful LiveWorkDetroit! career networking program, will showcase opportunities available in Michigan for graduates looking to build a business, and connect them to the support and capital required to take an innovative business plan from concept to reality.   

“Michigan is open for business and looking for grads with great ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the drive to get a start-up off the ground,” said Michael Finney, President and CEO of MEDC.  “With LiveWorkLaunch!, we provide an opportunity to find the resources and people to help you reach your goals, create jobs, and grow Michigan’s economy.” 

The first LiveWorkLaunch! event will take place on Friday, February 22 from 12 pm to 8 pm at the Taubman Center, 460 W. Baltimore in downtown Detroit.   

Starting with the Detroit event, LiveWorkLaunch! will feature a pitch competition for innovation-based entrepreneurs looking for capital.  Selected competitors will have the opportunity to present their business ideas in front of a panel of angel investors and venture capitalists.  The team or individual with the winning pitch will receive $10,000 to help start their Detroit-based business.  MEDC will award a travel stipend to any out-of-state applicants selected for the pitch competition. 

Finalists will receive a variety of business-building resources and services such as free incubator space, mentoring from a successful entrepreneur, and consulting services.  To receive the $10,000 top prize, the winner(s) must already live in or agree to move to Detroit within the next year. 

All pitch competition finalists will be paired with a local mentor with expertise in venture capital or venture-backed startups.  All qualified applicants will receive a “Doing It in Detroit Resource Directory” featuring key opportunities and special promotions.  Examples of possible resources include discounted legal and consulting services, free business classes, and mentoring. 

In addition to the pitch competition, the February 22 LiveWorkLaunch! event will include a tour of a successful business incubator in Detroit’s iconic Madison Building.  The incubator is home to Detroit Venture Partners, a firm specializing in funding early-stage technology businesses, and Bizdom, a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based start-ups.  Participants will also take part in a food crawl featuring restaurants owned by local entrepreneurs.   

At all LiveWorkLaunch! events, MEDC will present information on resources available through the state of Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including access to mentoring and coaching, legal and accounting services, leads to office space and real estate, free entrepreneurial classes, and exposure to angel investors. 

To take part in the LiveWorkLaunch! pitch competition, applicants must complete a questionnaire and submit a 3 minute video outlining their business concepts no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 11, 2013. 

Registration is required for the LiveWorkLaunch! Detroit event.  The cost is $10 before February 11 or $15 after, and includes transportation to and from Detroit.  

Today’s Michigan enjoys an excellent business climate and the state economy is growing at a record pace.  Michigan offers: 

  • A growing economy: 
    • Economic activity index is at a 10-year high (Comerica) 
    • 6th highest economic growth rate in the nation (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) 
    • 3rd-best in nation for high tech job growth (Bay Area Council Economic Institute) 
  • A competitive tax structure: 
    • Businesses enjoy an 83% reduction in the state business tax (Forbes) 
    • 7th-best corporate tax rate in the nation (Tax Foundation)  
  • World-class talent: 
    • 4th-largest high-tech workforce with more than 87,000 engineers and 70,000 R&D professionals (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) 
  • Resources for businesses: 
    • $175 million toolkit for business attraction and economic gardening efforts (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.