Posted in News on June 20, 2017

6/20/2017 // Zeeland, Michigan - Lakeshore Advantage has launched a new identity, SURGE, a powerful boost of energy to assist entrepreneurs in reaching their next milestones.  SURGE connects startups to resources available locally and regionally, including the Holland SmartZone, and is powered by Lakeshore Advantage, the region’s non-profit economic development organization.
“With the momentum and the community’s growing enthusiasm to support entrepreneurs, evident through the Holland SmartZone initiative, it was clear we needed to offer an entry point for assistance for all area startups,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “SURGE is that one-stop resource that connects entrepreneurs to resources, networks and each other to foster their growth.”
SURGE was created to give entrepreneurs a powerful push forward to move their startup to the next level, supporting the growth of future primary employers while continuing to create a community culture that attracts others to start their businesses and careers here.

Matt Gira and co-founders of underwater drone maker Fathom began working with Lakeshore Advantage a year ago after developing their product. With support of what is now offered through SURGE, Fathom was able to obtain a Business Accelerator Fund grant to help them make their product commercial-ready.
"I'm excited to see the impact that SURGE will make in the ecosystem." Noted Matt Gira. "I can't wait to see where the ecosystem goes in the next five years, especially as this is a pivotal time in its development"
A boost was also offered by Lakeshore Advantage’s SURGE team to Zeeland-based MaxOne. This company’s product is a software program that helps coaches better communicate with athletes. Through the assist, MaxOne expanded their network and connected with other businesses to advance within the ecosystem.
"It’s incredible to see the network of resources continue to expand here to help companies like us reach the next milestone," said Jason Mejeur, founder of MaxOne. "SURGE will not only assist in helping entrepreneurs develop their businesses, but will also allow for entrepreneurs to give back into the community and create an atmosphere where businesses and young entrepreneurs thrive.”
The need for an identity quantifying entrepreneurial services available locally and a single point of entry into these services was cemented through a December 2016 focus group of area entrepreneurs and visionaries, including Holland SmartZone stakeholders. SURGE is designed to streamline the business assistance process for entrepreneurs, to help them feel connected and reach their growth milestones.
“The Holland SmartZone is one of many tools available regionally for entrepreneurs,” said Craig Hall, chairman of the Holland SmartZone Local Development Financing Authority board.

“Offering wrap around services in addition to the SmartZone rounds out our offerings, powering the region's entrepreneurs and making the region more attractive to new business growth.”
The Holland SmartZone is a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) program that allows for tax capture within geographical boundaries in the City of Holland and Holland Charter Township to support high-tech, high-growth companies.
“SmartZones are meant to stimulate the growth of high-tech, high growth companies in a region," said Fredrick Molnar, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation with the MEDC. "We are excited that the Holland SmartZone has been a catalyst for SURGE and the West Michigan ecosystem as a whole.”
About SURGE powered by Lakeshore Advantage
SURGE is a resource for entrepreneurs that offers a powerful push forward, a boost of energy that can help startups achieve their next growth milestones. SURGE offers navigation, programming, events, meetups and resources that entrepreneurs can plug into at exactly the moment they need to SURGE forward at each stage of early growth. More at
About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. Lakeshore Advantage works to maintain a robust primary business base at all stages of development, from startups to large world-class corporations.
Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth. In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 26 growth projects resulting in over $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 new jobs. More information is available at