Start Garden Expands to Keep Up with Changing Grand Rapids Ecosystem

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Chocko says there is a lot more opportunity in Grand Rapids these days. She says in 2009, during the first pitch contest she participated in, what she heard from the investors in the room was crickets. “They didn’t want to take risks or understand risks,” she says. “That has definitely changed over the years.”

Chocko also says she sees a lot more meet-up groups hosting meetings and entrepreneur-led support organizations in Grand Rapids than she did in the past.

When asked about the area’s challenges, Chocko says Michigan needs a big exit and more investors, especially those from out of state. She adds, “We need more people willing to take risks, more mentors, and entrepreneurs who can act as mentors. We definitely are getting there.”

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