Overcoming Adversity with Creativity & Grit w/ Erika Plunkett (Ama International)

Little Space Studio - 111 Division Ave. S Grand Rapids, 49503 - View Map Grand Rapids
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 6:00 PM (EDT)

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About this event

Startup Grind Grand Rapids is proud to host Erika Plunkett, Founding Executive Director of Ama International, as the speaker for our March event on Tuesday, March 10 2020.


Erika Plunkett is a humanitarian entrepreneur. Looking at the problems children face in developing countries, she creatively thinks of ways to help solve them, focusing on letting the communities themselves become the heroes.

In 2018 she founded Ama International Inc, along with her Mexican partners and now serves as executive director of the 501c3 registered nonprofit. 


Ama International focuses on educational advancement for children in extreme poverty in Mexico serving as a bridge for the underserved. 

They do this through the Connection Center community center built in 2018 in Grand Rapids' sister city Zapopan, Mexico and through humanitarian trips taken to the region where communities are served and empowered. 

Erika's educational background is language arts and early childhood development, which has served as a great foundation in the development of the educational programs for children. 

Through Ama's efforts in third world Mexico, the organization is changing lives for the better by bringing access to opportunity to children who otherwise wouldn't have access. 


Zapopan is the Silcon Valley of Mexico, and though it has areas of extreme poverty, it also has areas of great wealth and opportunity. The Harvard of Mexico is in Zapopan, meaning, Mexican children have the world at their fingertips. Because of this, it is the perfect place to be the bridge for children in poverty to receive this education. It’s our vision to shrink the chasm between those with and without opportunity through education, love, and support.

Learn more about the projects, the impact, and the needs on their website: https://amawithoutborders.org/projects/


Building an organization with so many moving parts naturally comes with mountains of obstacles.

Resiliency isn't enough. Grit isn't enough. Grace isn't enough. Luck isn't enough.

Founders are challenged to find creative ways to overcome adversity and obstacles. Obstacles that never stop presenting themselves, often which threaten the entire enterprise.

Erika will help us tap into the creativity that's required to succeed as entrepreneurs.


Where: Little Space Studio, 111 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

When: Tuesday, March 10, 6:00-8:30 PM

What Else: Eats & treats provided


Startup Grind is a global startup community across 125+ countries and over 600 chapters all working to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.

Our monthly fireside chat provides ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections, and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead.

The focus of the Grand Rapids chapter is to build community and help entrepreneurs navigate their journey and to access the tremendous resources available to them in Grand Rapids, West Michigan and throughout the state.


A huge thank you to Brewery Vivant for sponsoring our event. A Certified B-Corp., Brewery Vivant has met the verified high standards in social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Take a look at their website to learn about how exactly they do this, especially with their strong focus on sustainability.

And continued thanks to Tommy Allen and Rapid Growth Media. One of our first champions, Rapid Growth Media and Startup Grind Grand Rapids are working together on a series of articles that relate the content of the Fireside Chats with local leaders to what these leaders see we need in Grand Rapids and West Michigan to help the area evolve into a world-class ecosystem for entrepreneurs at all levels and in every neighborhood.


Little Space Studio was born from the dream of being able to work around people in the creative industry. A professional space to meet, co-work, collaborate, teach, design, experiment, and play. Built with humans at the center of the conversation. 


Want to sponsor this event or our chapter? Contact Corey Hart, Chapter Director at corey@startupgrind.com

Want to speak at a future event? Contact Corey Hart, Chapter Director at corey@startupgrind.com

Have a venue and want to host a future event? Contact Corey Hart, Chapter Director at corey@startupgrind.com



Tuesday, Mar 10
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (EDT)


Little Space Studio
111 Division Ave. S Grand Rapids49503

Brought to you by

  • Corey Hart

    Corey Hart

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director

Brought to you by

Local sponsor