Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)

Economic Development Organization

Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)

Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)

Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)

  • SmartZone

Start Garden originated in 2012 to fund fast growing startups at their very earliest stages. Now, it operates as three different entities. Wakestream Ventures focuses on early-stage investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. Start Garden Foundation is a 501c3 to make entrepreneurship more accessible for everyone in West Michigan. Lastly, Start Garden is a management company administering the Grand Rapids SmartZone and running the Seamless program that bridges new IoT startups to regional enterprises.



  • Joe Lampen
    Controller-Operations, Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)
  • Rick DeVos
    Founder & CEO, Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)
  • Mike Morin
    Director, Start Garden (Grand Rapids SmartZone)
  • Craig Hall
    Managing Partner, Lee Shore Equities

Company Stages Served

  • Growth/Expansion
  • Idea/Pre-Seed
  • Seed

Industry Sectors Served

  • Alternative Energy
  • Business Services
  • Consumer Products
  • Media
  • Mobility

Types of Programs Offered

  • Capital
  • Incubation


  • Assets Under Management $15,000,000

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