Grand Rapids

701 members



Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting more than 4,500,000 entrepreneurs in over 700 chapters. We nurture startup ecosystems in 125+ countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations like Amazon Web Services, Silicon Valley Bank, American Express for Startups, and more.

The cornerstone of our global community are monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share lessons learned on the road to building great companies. 

Founded in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs build their businesses, connect with strategic partners, and secure funding.


To educate, inspire & connect area entrepreneurs.


Help others before we help ourselves, give before we take, make friends not contacts.


Founded in December 2019, the West Michigan / Grand Rapids chapter of Startup Grind acts as the connective tissue between all the great resources in our community. 

As such, we are here for those who are trying to navigate the landscape of great resources available. 

We also serve to contribute to the conversation as we all work to grow our entrepreneur and startup ecosystem.



πŸš€ Overachiever Award at the Global Director's Summit 2021 πŸ¦Ύ
πŸš€ The Most Fun to Work With Award at the Global Director's Summit 2021 πŸŽ‰
πŸš€ The Bull Award at the Global Director's Summit 2021 πŸ‚
πŸš€ Chapter Director of the Year at the Global Director's Summit 2021 πŸŽ‰πŸ”₯πŸš€πŸ•Ί

πŸš€ Overachiever Award at the Global Director's Summit 2022 🦾
πŸš€ The Bull Award at the Global Director's Summit 2022 πŸ‚

πŸš€ The Lion Award at the Global Director's Summit 2024 πŸ¦


There are some incredible people, public and private organizations, and nonprofits working very hard to ensure the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in the Great Lakes is well supported.

Whether you're in the ideation stage, fundraising, looking for talent, or whatever stage of your endeavor, there's some incredible support available.

Need help navigating? Reach out!


The Great Lakes region is no longer the best-kept-secret in tech. 

Encompassing great talent and capital hubs around the Great Lakes, we've got powerful tech cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Waterloo, Toronto, among others.

According to the 2021 Michigan Venture Capital Association Report:

  • 15 percent of Michigan venture-backed startups were led by a CEO who is a person of color, compared to 7.4 percent of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies nationally.
  • Every dollar invested by a Michigan startup by a Michigan venture capital firm attracts $9.70 of investment from outside of Michigan.
  • There are 26 venture capital firms headquartered or with an office in Michigan.
  • There are 165 venture-backed startups in Michigan, an increase of 17 percent over the last five years.
  • Total venture capital under management in Michigan is $3.7 billion, a decrease of 31 percent over the last five years.
  • 542 venture firms from outside of Michigan have invested in Michigan-based startups.
  • In Michigan, 102 startups raised over $49.5 million from angel investors in 2020. 


We highlight local CEOs, Founders, ecosystem builders, thought leaders for Fireside Chats. We also host workshops from expert practitioners around branding, scaling, leadership, pitching, mindset... and also on to develop skills you can use IN the business.

Here's a list of some of our greatest events featuring those from our Michigan ecosystem:


We need:

  • Speakers
  • Workshop leaders
  • Volunteers
  • Sponsors
  • In-kind partnerships (like refreshments!!)

Reach out to the Chapter Director, Corey Hart at or the Co-Director Renee De Haan at

Contact Us


Upcoming Events


Global Sponsors

Past Events

Upcoming events

22 jul 2024

Virtual Event (Free)

Free New Tools For Small Businesses- Elevate by Principal

Intro to Principal Small Business and Elevate by Principal

26 jul 2024

In-Person Event

Happy Hour... and Swing Dance if you Dare!

Happy Hour from 5:30- 7:30. Swing dancing lesson for those who dare at 7:30. Dancing until 11. Come to network, stay to dance!!!

7 ago 2024

In-Person Event

August AI Meetup: Everyday uses of AI w/ Randy Otterbridge

Join us for this virtual edition of our monthly AI meetup to engage in laid-back discussions on all things Artificial Intelligence! πŸ€–

20 ago 2024

In-Person Event (Free)

Workshop: Patents, Trademarks, and AI w/ Stu Atwater of Atwater Law & IP

On Tuesday, August 20th, Stuart Atwater, partner at Atwater Law & IP, will give Startup Grind a live and simulcast presentation covering the basics of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, how the AI hurricane impacts everything, and how to get the most bang for your buck in intellectual property.


Corey Hart, Startup Grind

Chapter Director Startup Grind

Renee De Haan

Chapter Co-director Principal Financial Group

Vanessa Mahoney

Chapter Co-Director

Margaret Periard

Startup & Venture Capital Intern

Whitney Allred

Social Media Manager WhitMarie Media

Sophie Gu

"Hello My Name Is..." Producer

Contact us

About Startup Grind

This is Startup Grind. We are the world’s largest startup community.

Our Mission

To give startups everywhere the education and opportunities they need to build, grow, and scale their companies.

Our Values

We believe in making friends, not contacts. We believe in giving first, not taking. We believe in helping others before helping yourself.

Tools & Discounts for Startups

Take advantage of resources and offers provided by organizations we know and love, designed to help you navigate the startup journey.

Global Conference

Our annual flagship event in Silicon Valley brings together thousands of startup teams, investors and organizations from all over the world.

Join the Startup Membership

This membership gives you free access to networking, events, mentorship, office hours, and other exclusive opportunities curated by Startup Grind HQ.

Past events

Virtual Event (Free)

Ask the Expert - Startup Intellectual Properties

In-Person Conference

Global Conference 2024

Virtual Event (Free)

Conquering Communications & PR for Your Startup w/ Otto Pohl of Core Communications

Past Event

Snowflake Startup Demo Day

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Global Sponsors