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Development News

Start Garden to triple its downtown footprint to serve more startups




Rick DeVos' latest venture, Start Garden, is set to take a huge step in 2015. The early stage venture capital fund, the largest in Michigan with over $2 million in funding over the last two years, will open a Startup Village on the 2nd floor of the historic Trust Building on Pearl Street.

The new space in the Trust Building will be nearly triple the size of Start Garden's existing space on the ground floor of the Trade Center Building at the corner of Louis and Ionia. In addition to providing funding, the current Start Garden space has been home to classes for entrepreneurs, Update Nights and pitch events, as well as large scale seminars on growing small companies.

"After more than two years, this move is not just a relocation of Start Garden, but a major step in our growth," says Rick DeVos, CEO of Start Garden. “This move is a response to our ecosystem as it matures from experimenting with ideas, to building fast-growth startups. Two years ago we didn't have a portfolio. Now, we have a substantial number of companies into which we've invested. Enough to populate a startup village for the region. We expect to make additional announcements after the first of the year.”

The historic Trust Building in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the most notable landmarks on Pearl Street, and was purchased by CWD Real Estate several years ago and underwent a multi-million dollar interior makeover. Earlier in November, CWD announced that Huntington Bank will move its regional headquarters from 50 Monroe into the Trust Building.

Construction partners for the Start Garden build-out include include Lorenz & Co. Interior Design, AMDG Architects and Triangle Associates, Inc.

Photos courtesy of Start Garden
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