Start Garden invests $40K more in curbside composting and art gallery


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Two startup ideas have each been awarded $20,000 more in funding at Start Garden’s latest Update Night.

Add Start Garden’s weekly $10,000 investment in two startup ideas to that number, and Rick DeVos’ $15 million venture seed fund put a total of $50,000 into four startups last week.

Con Artist Crew Gallery and Organicycle were the two ideas that reached the $20,000 level of funding at Start Garden's April Update Night, where initially funded ideas present their progress to the Start Garden team. 

Con Artist Crew Gallery is an idea for a local art gallery studio and space, designed to develop a creative community and offer outreach programs to educate the public.

“With the growing art scene in Grand Rapids, galleries have come and gone, with only a few established galleries … With all these competitors, they still don’t offer the array of work that has reached our gallery wall,” wrote idea creator Magdalene Law on her Start Garden page. “We see curating for local big business and offering art as therapy to large groups as taking the gallery and service to a new level.”

Organicycle is an idea for a new West Michigan curbside recycling system for food, paper, pet and yard waste, as well as other items suitable for composting.

“Organicycle is the only organic waste service provider to offer curbside composting to residents and businesses, and we will never take a profit from landfill service. Our revolutionary cart service replaces dumpsters and bins, provides better efficiencies and keeps your waste out of the landfill,” wrote idea creator Justin Swan on his Start Garden page.

“Organicycle has identified multiple revenue streams, including service fees, renewable energy production and agriculture feed, as well as retail sales of compost and fertilizer. Once fully developed, Organicycle will expand this revolutionary waste model into additional markets.”

Start Garden also continued its weekly $5,000 investment in two startup ideas.

The Start Garden team put $5,000 into IntegriSync, an idea for a file synchronization management service in the accounting industry. It leverages the security of file sharing platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft SkyDrive.

“You can synchronize any file, even database files from popular accounting software with complete confidence that you are working on the latest version of the data, that your data is secure, and taking the process of giving your CPA/accounting firm your data from days and weeks, down to mere minutes,” wrote idea creator Rick Irvine on his Start Garden page.

“We intend to collect user suggestions and add their feature requests to our already talked about road map. In the future we’ll be able to expand the technology into other areas where database files need to be synchronized between two parties.”

Start Garden public endorsement put $5,000 into Fancy Fray, an idea for a wedding rental hub, described as “Anthropologie for weddings.” The idea is to rent items such as antique chandeliers, windows frames, velvet couches, and vintage buffets for to serve weddings and, hopefully, more markets in the future.

“Delivery, however, presents a challenge. It’s difficult and expensive for brides. That’s the problem we’re trying to solve,” wrote idea creator Mindy Peterson on her Start Garden page. “We just partnered with a local venue where our full inventory is onsite … We want to make this work so we can do it again and again in other markets.”

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