Posted in News on May 19, 2017

5/18/2017 // Holland, Michigan –Lakeshore Advantage, in partnership with Grand Rapids Start Garden, is bringing 5x5 Night, a pitch competition for early stage ideas, to Holland this month. The community is invited to vote for their favorite ideas at 5x5night.com and attend the 5x5 Night business idea pitch competition event to be held at the JW Center at Haworth on Wednesday, May 31st at 5:00pm.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the community to support and celebrate entrepreneurship, right in the headquarters of one of the leading innovative companies in our region -  Haworth,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Holland was recently named the Best Small City to Start a Business two years in a row by WalletHub. Come to 5x5 Night to see this energy in action.”

Public voting for ideas is open now through May 22nd. Each voter can select up to five business ideas they’d like to see presented at the 5x5 Night event. The entrepreneurs with the overall top five ideas will each have five minutes to pitch their ideas to attendees and five judges, with the winner taking home $5,000.

Among the 23 business ideas currently up for vote is a self-feeding automatic football throwing machine called the KLYP, submitted by entrepreneurial Hope College students Will VanDommelen, Jake Kozlowski and Stephen Glover. The idea came from Kozlowski’s lack of partners to throw him 100 game speed balls each day to help keep his hand-eye coordination sharp, a requirement for this tight end football player at Hope College. The KLYP has recently gained the attention of Minnesota Viking’s Fullback Zach Line. The two partners are hoping to be one of the five contestants chosen to pitch in the 5x5 Night competition. 

“5x5 Night brings attention to our product and will hopefully spark interest in football fans in our community who could be potential investors,” said Will VanDommelen co-founder and product research and development manager of KLYP. “If we were to win, it would allow us to get our design ideas out of the computer and into physical prototype form.” 

5x5 Night has two corporate sponsors that make this event possible. Varnum is the Title Sponsor of the event and will provide additional in-kind services to the winner of 5x5 Night as part of their ongoing entrepreneurial support efforts including MiSpringBoard. Worksighted, an IT solutions company founded by Hope College alumni that cultivates an internal culture rewarding entrepreneurial thinking, is the Seed Sponsor of the event.

“The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep at Worksighted, so sponsoring the 5x5 event is a natural fit for us,” said Mat Nguyen, Worksighted president. “We’re proud to see the incredible ideas from right out of our community.”