Start Garden invests in green-screen studio and eco-friendly play space


Grand Rapids-based BARK! Microstudios is green-screen studio designed to support the many forms of online videos businesses can produce. Photo via

Coming off a birthday cake sugar rush, Start Garden, which celebrated its one-year anniversary last week, has invested $10,000 in a green-screen studio and eco-friendly play spaces for children.

The Start Garden team put $5,000 into BARK! Microstudios, an idea for a green-screen studio, which aims to expand business video use.

“Professional video can be expensive, (up to $3,000-$5,000 per day, plus post-production). BARK! Microstudios solves this problem through a video subscription model. Basic membership gets you up to 12 green-screen studio hours semi-annually to use in completing up to eight videos. Introductory membership starts at $3,495, resulting in savings of 60-90 percent,” wrote idea creator Karl Koelling on his Start Garden page.

“We have a studio location lined up and already own 90 percent of the equipment necessary to execute this plan. The $5,000 would allow us to purchase the remaining equipment and begin creating real videos for real customers — letting us refine the product and process and provide proof of concept.”

Start Garden public endorsement put $5,000 into PLAY, an indoor playground space for children ages 7 and younger. The boutique-style play space is built to be eco-friendly, with a layout design that would allow children to develop their motor and cognitive skills, while parents can comfortably monitor them nearby.

“PLAY’s nearest competitors are high-energy, traditional play spaces such as indoor bounce houses and fast food restaurant playgrounds where younger, smaller guests are not always safe, and children’s museums where parents can’t always relax due to the size of the facility,” wrote idea creator Kasey Shoemaker on her Start Garden page.

“PLAY is ideal for a franchise because of its relatively low start-up costs and its ability to work in virtually any community. It also presents a unique business opportunity. Moms with young children are presented with a business model that allows them to be with their kids and run a successful business.”

Start Garden's next monthly Update Night, which is when funded entrepreneurs present their progress for additional funding, is April 25.

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