GVSU’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences is located on the Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via wikimedia.org
A pair of networking groups for inventors are producing Spin, Pitch & Sell competitions for virtual currency and a chance to complete at a statewide championship.
The Michigan Inventors Coalition said last week that two West Michigan chapters are hosting “Shark Tank”-type events for inventors and entrepreneurs to compete for up to $2,500 in ITEX Trade Exchange dollars and an opportunity to advance to the statewide Spin, Pitch & Sell competition this fall.
The Muskegon Inventors Network, or MIN, and the Grand Rapids Inventors Network, or GRIN — nonprofits that provide networking and educational opportunities to inventors — are each hosting local Spin, Pitch & Sell competitions.
The MIN Spin, Pitch & Sell competition has an application deadline of April 24. MIN will host its event on May 19 during its monthly meeting in Muskegon at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, at 200 Viridian Dr.
The GRIN event has an application deadline of May 12. GRIN will host its event on June 9 in Grand Rapids at the GVSU Cook-DeVos Center, at 301 Michigan St. NE.
Both competitions are open to applications from within the inventor networks and the public.
About five to 10 entrepreneurs from each chapter will have a chance to pitch their idea, product or service to a panel of experts to receive feedback and an opportunity to win up to $2,500 in virtual currency, or ITEX dollars.
Joe Finkler, president of the statewide MIC, said the organiztion is “increasing the stakes with trade dollars and networking opportunities invaluable to entrepreneurs."
The ITEX Trade Exchange is a “virtual currency community” or marketplace for business-to-business cashless transactions throughout North America.
The corporation and its local franchise, West Michigan Barter Company, are sponsoring the two local inventor competitions and will award the winners between $1,000 and $2,500 in virtual currency to use toward products or services to support their new businesses.
Dave Turner, owner of the West Michigan ITEX Trade Exchange franchise, said based on the feasibility and viability of a presenter’s idea selling within the ITEX marketplace, the entrepreneur could receive an ITEX membership, in addition to ITEX dollars and a line of credit.
“ITEX provides a great way to buy needed business startup services without cash and can bring immediate customers to the inventor,” Turner said.
A inventor can purchase a range of services through the trade marketplace: advertising, printing, mobile application development, attorney services, business consultation and web design.
The statewide Spin, Pitch & Sell competition will take place on Sept. 10 in East Lansing during the annual MIC expo at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on MSU’s campus, at 219 S. Harrison Rd.
Four finalists will be selected from across the state to compete in the competition, which gives inventors an opportunity to pitch their products to potential buyers.