The Muskegon Innovation Hub is on a quest to find the most groundbreaking work in the Lakeshore—and they want your help

The Muskegon Innovation Hub

The Muskegon Innovation Hub is again set to recognize and celebrate the people and places who are driving our region forward.

For the second year in a row, Grand Valley State University’s Innovation Hub is accepting nominations for the “Lakeshore Innovator of the Year” award. The award will be given to any individual or group of people from a business, nonprofit, organization, or association in the Lakeshore area who have “innovated to improve their business or organization to better achieve their mission,” according to a press statement.

“The Muskegon Innovation Hub is a place that helps businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their goals, so we want to highlight efforts to innovate across all kinds of businesses and organizations,” Muskegon Innovation Hub Director Kevin Ricco said in the same statement.

Nominations must be submitted by 5pm on Jan. 31. To submit a nomination, please click here. Self-nominations are not accepted. Innovations that are eligible for consideration can include creative new devices, ideas, inventions, product improvements, processes, or solutions to problems.

This year’s winner will be chosen from finalists honored at a reception on March 12 at 5pm at the Innovation Hub, located at 200 Viridian Dr. in downtown Muskegon.

Last year, the Lakeshore Innovator of the Year award was presented to Camp Shout Out, a Holton-based camp dedicated to improving the lives and speaking skills of children and teenagers who have fluency disorders. The Hub selected the camp for its innovative approach to speech-language pathology and its combined benefit of helping children ages 8-18 who stutter while also providing hands-on training for language pathologists and graduate students.

Now in its second year, the awards program was born at a time when Muskegon is increasingly drawing startups and entrepreneurs to the area. In addition to affordable office space, Muskegon’s growing support for entrepreneurs is routinely cited as a draw for those who want to set up shop in the region.

Organizations throughout Muskegon are doing everything from offering mentoring and co-working space to providing funding for business owners facing barriers to accessing traditional bank loans. Creativity is being born in places like the Muskegon Innovation Hub, the Muskegon Inventors Network, and Muskegon Community College’s Lakeshore Fab Lab, among others.

At the Muskegon Innovation Hub alone, the region’s entrepreneurs have found business incubation (essentially working with owners to transform their business from the idea stage to a successful company), coworking spacefunding assistance, and business programming.

To find out more about the Lakeshore Innovator of the Year award, visit the Hub’s website here.

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