SURGE Resources

A powerful boost, an electric push forward to help entrepreneurs in achieving their next milestone


High technology based startups can apply for funding through this statewide resource to help them reach new milestones through the completion of a project with a 3rd party service provider. 
Examples of projects that can be covered by the fund for qualifying startups are: 
  • Marketing 
  • Prototype advancements (cannot build a prototype from scratch) 
  • Legal costs for patent paperwork 
  • Product testing / validation 
  • Technology consulting 


West Michigan startups gain access to the high-quality services they need from local business service providers. Over 30 business service providers offer discounted or in-kind services to entrepreneurs on a project basis. Services include: 
  • Graphic design 
  • Finance and accounting 
  • Legal / I.P. 
  • Public Relations / Marketing 
  • Web development
  • Human resources
  • Photography
  • Product development


Accessing capital is one of the most challenging aspects of launching a business. The SURGE investor Readiness Program on our UNION platform educates and grooms entrepreneurs for successful fundraising campaigns.


Entrepreneurs can validate and improve their technologies through direct market feedback through the time-based, high accountability the SURGE Proof-of-Concept Pilot Program. Lakeshore Advantage matches eligible startups who are developing relevant solutions to potential customers who are willing to test their products and share valuable insights. This feedback helps the entrepreneur to further improve their offerings and gives the potential customer access to cutting edge innovations. Matches are made between SURGE companies and clients who are within the Lakeshore Advantage target market. 


SURGE Boostcamp is a proof-of-concept program that takes technology and product-based startups through a customer development framework to validate their business ideas. Using the virtual LeanStack platform, you have access to educational content and tools to guide you through the customer validation process. You will speak directly to your target market to gather insights that will validate that you are creating a scalable business. Regular coaching sessions will help keep you on track and provide valuable feedback, introductions and resources.


SURGE CEO Roundtables are 90-minute bi-weekly sessions with peers who are at the same stage as you with their startups. These group sessions include:
  • Facilitated meetings with 4 to 5 entrepreneurs in similar stages of development;
  • A focus on critical issues that entrepreneurs face both personally and professionally;
  • Founders share similar experiences and offer support and accountability;


UNION is a virtual incubator space that gives the entire SURGE startup ecosystem access to online tools, resources, and gives them the ability to connect and communicate with each other. SURGE uses the platform to communicate important news, events and to deliver virtual programming and workshops. Entrepreneurs can post questions to the discussion board and schedule a time to meet one-on-one with a mentors during their office hours. When you become a member of SURGE, you will receive an email invitation to UNION where you can fill out your company info, bio and begin to build relationships with the rest of the community.


SURGE has partnered with the West Coast Chamber to offer startups an opportunity to join this Chamber at a heavily discounted rate. Together, SURGE and the WCC will be subsidizing the cost of the Entrepreneurship Membership (typically $315) for 3 years. 

Your contribution for the first year will be only $50! 

The benefits of joining the West Coast Chamber include: 
  • The opportunity to grow your personal and professional network 
  • Access to potential customers and mentors 
  • The ability to promote your business and grow brand recognition locally
  • Discounted member rates to all Chamber events and programming


SURGE programming includes virtual and in-person workshops where SURGE community members can tap into a multitude of learning opportunities to further their startup knowledge. We collaborate with fellow entrepreneurial support organizations to hold events where SURGE startups can meet other entrepreneurs in the West Michigan ecosystem and engage in new opportunities.


SURGE mentors are an engaged network of individuals with experienced backgrounds in a variety of industries. SURGE startups can meet one-on-one with mentors to seek advice on marketing, public relations, software and application development, design and engineering, raising capital, mergers & acquisitions, business strategy and legal strategy.
If you’re interested in learning more about these resources please contact Director of Entrepreneurship, Amanda Chocko, at