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Varnum's MiSpringboard Program Celebrates One Year; Reduces Start-up Obstacles for 34 Michigan Companies

July 5, 2012

More than 34 start-ups in 24 cities across Michigan have received legal counsel free of cost as part of Varnum's MiSpringboard® program.

Last year Governor Rick Snyder announced that Varnum would donate up to $1 million in legal services to start-up, early stage and growing businesses in effort to rejuvenate Michigan's economy through a program called MiSpringboard. MiSpringboard provides free-of-charge legal services associated with starting a business, capital formation, and other legal needs, helping Michigan entrepreneurs put their bright ideas to work quickly and achieve their objectives.

"Michigan has become a phenomenal place to start a new business," said Milton Roye, graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School who started ENRG Power Systems, LLC in 2009 and was among the first entrepreneurs to go through MiSpringboard. "Things like Varnum's MiSpringboard and the various economic development organizations – you just don't find that type of support in any other state. I see nothing but potential here." To date, Varnum has donated 20 percent of the $1 million that will be donated through the five-year program.

MiSpringboard success stories range from an environmentally-friendly fueling system and a high-tech manufacturing device to a web-based  sports information service and a  toy company.

In order to apply for the program, MiSpringboard candidates must have a written business plan as well as a demonstrated need for legal support. Varnum will work with business and economic development organizations throughout Michigan to identify Michigan-based companies that have a need for legal services. Those partner organizations included Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Small Business and Technology Development Center, Southwest Michigan First, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), Michigan Medical Device, and TechTown.

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