Start Garden, Design West Michigan forge connection


The Design West Michigan collective is made up of more than 700 members who advocate for design as an economic building block for the region. Image via

The venture seed fund and the economic building-block nonprofit are partnering for a night of friendly interaction.

John Berry, executive director of Design West Michigan, said in a memo to members that as West Michigan creativity grows, so do the opportunities for good ideas to become a reality.

“We believe that design is an economic building block and that Design West Michigan should help provide design professionals with opportunities for growing ideas into implemented business,” he wrote. “The purpose is to provide 200 DWM members the opportunity to learn more about Start Garden, hear from Rick DeVos, founder of Start Garden, and David Rosen, new president of Kendall College of Art and Design, and become familiar with how Start Garden might work for you.”

The event will last from 5:30-7 p.m., Dec. 4, at Start Garden’s headquarters, 50 Louis St., downtown Grand Rapids. Refreshments will be provided and comments start at 6 p.m.

“The Design West Michigan event we're hosting is connected to something we've recognized since the inception of Start Garden, that our region has an incredibly deep talent pool of designers,” said Paul Moore, Start Garden’s marketing director. “We want Start Garden to be the go-to resource when a designer has a potential business idea he or she would like to experiment with for a few months. In fact, Hip Shot Dot and Children's Wallet Cards are Start Garden funded projects by designers in West Michigan. We'd love to see more projects coming from that community.”

Space is limited to the first 200 registrants. To register online, visit

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