Posted in News on April 20, 2022

The SURGE Center, located in Downtown Holland, is open and active

04/20/2022 // HOLLAND, MICH – Lakeshore Advantage’s SURGE program has opened a pilot business incubator, The SURGE Center, in downtown Holland. The SURGE program provides high-potential product and technology entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to launch and commercialize successful companies.


“This SURGE Center is more than a business incubator,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President.  “This is a place where our vibrant startup community can gather, make great connections, and get that powerful boost forward into further growth and opportunities.”
Lakeshore Advantage is located in the Colonial Clock Building in Zeeland. The SURGE Center is located in Downtown Holland and its goal is to build the density of the startup community, shining a light on all the innovation happening in our region. The hope is that this visibility will attract other startups, talent, and investments to Holland. Already the SURGE Center has 20 member companies, which is double the anticipated membership since its opening.

“What the membership numbers indicate to me is that there is such a desire for a space like this,” said Amanda Chocko, Lakeshore Advantage’s Director of Entrepreneurship for SURGE.  “In tandem with the SmartZone, we support high tech and product startups from concept through commercialization. In addition to member engagement and social activities, we provide programming and resources for each stage of development.”
Lakeshore Advantage is contracted by the Holland SmartZone to administer SURGE.  The SmartZone provides funding through tax increment financing to pay for programming and infrastructure designed to support product and technology startups with the potential to create jobs and economic vitality for the region.  Currently, the SURGE Center is being supported by the Holland SmartZone, Lakeshore Advantage, and membership dues. Memberships range from $95 to $350 monthly. 
“Emerging companies need more than just financial capital in order to thrive and grow, they require social and intellectual capital.  By bringing those elements together with startups into a single space, the SURGE Center can help foster interactions between startups, support resources and more,” said Brian Burch, managing partner of Burch Partners and chairman of the Holland SmartZone LDFA.  “As the community matures, more people are bouncing more ideas off each other, creating new businesses and further developing Holland’s startup ecosystem.”
SURGE Center tenants are limited to high-tech, high-growth startup companies, and the organizations that support them.  

“The SURGE Center provides a low-cost professional office setting for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs.  The amenities and location are perfect for our stage of development,” said Dana Lowell, Lilypad Labs CEO and SURGE Center Member.  “The SURGE Center ecosystem allows for like-minded innovators and risk-takers to exchange ideas, experiences and support related to scaling their dreams.”

SURGE Center Handout