Joshua Hulst, 33
Michigan Software Labs
Joshua Hulst met his friend and future business partner Mark Johnson in 2010, and the two started working on an app to donate to a nonprofit together. They soon realized how well their skills and personalities complemented each other.
“As the company grew, our friendship and partnership grew even faster to the point where our partnership has been a defining factor of the success of Michigan Labs and has had a significant impact on me, both professionally and personally,” Hulst said.
Ten years later, Hulst and Johnson grew Michigan Labs to a team of 30 people serving clients across the world from its office in Ada.
The company also has a large client in Mexico that Hulst visits on a regular basis to help the team to create entrepreneurship opportunities for Mexican nationals.
“At Michigan Software Labs, we passionately invest our time and resources into helping expose underrepresented groups to software development,” Hulst said. “One of the main ways we’ve done that is through sponsorship and hosting of BitCamp GR. BitCamp GR strives to help local middle school girls learn how to program.”
In addition to corporate volunteering, Hulst also teaches coding classes at Grand Rapids Public Schools, is a regular speaker at events for the GVSU Computer Science department and hosts students onsite for mentorship and career guidance.
Michigan Software Labs recently made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2020 and also was awarded the “Inc. Best Workplace” in both 2019 and 2020.