New incubator in Grand Rapids supports tech startups

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan’s newest tech startup incubator, The Bridge, will open in just over a month.

The Entrepreneurial Hub is located on the fourth floor of the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building. The high-tech, high-growth space is the result of a partnership between Spartan Innovations, Health innovation Partners, Rockford Construction, Walsh Investors, Walsh Construction and Murphy Development Group.

“The goal here is to find things that move the needle to make people’s lives better, happier and healthier,” said Kyle McGregor, director of health innovations at Spartan Innovations.

The nearly 20,000 square foot space is intended to promote the networking and growth of promising entrepreneurs. Terra Osman, who founded the Marketplace app farmeris one of the first tenants and beneficiaries of the many resources offered by The Bridge.

“Users can create a free listing for things like backyard chicken eggs, produce, garden supplies, plants, trees, and honey,” Osman explained in his app. “Buyers can search a map by location or keyword, then message the seller to complete the sale.”

Since launching the app from his kids’ playroom in March, Farmish has seen 220,000 unique downloads according to Osman.

“These are the people and the resources that have helped Farmish grow. I was waiting for this (space) to be completed because it is going to have a real impact on my business under the same roof and to be able to work alongside them,” she said.

Rental requests are open. McGregor told News 8 they have about a dozen tenants lined up for the March opening.

“We can make it a one-stop-shop where you don’t just come in to do your business plan,” he said. “It’s getting your business plan, getting your marketing, working on your platform, talking to lawyers, talking to HR…we have it here.”

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