St. Clair County, Michigan – The Underground business incubator and business service center is awarding a combined $20,000 in entrepreneurial assistance to four area entrepreneurs as a result of an Emerge Fund pitch night held on Wednesday, April 12, in the new facility located below Sperry’s Moviehouse.   

During the event, a business pitch was made by each of the four small businesses in front of a review panel; along with other invited spectators, including Community Capital Club (C3) members to determine eligibility for emerge funds.

We are pleased to congratulate all four companies on an outstanding job and approval of emerge grant funding and acceptance into the Underground virtual incubation program.  They are as follows: 

  • Smart Shelf - patented portable wireless charging station.  Wireless charging is embedded into our platform to energize mobile phones, computers & tablets, electronic wearable devices, medical devices & more
  • Cogent Hex - provides design solutions, equipment builds, programming, integration and verification services; primarily for companies or businesses using automation (machines or processes)  
  • Gro-Hoop - is a design-patented modular plant system
  • Recor – a patent-pending multi-functional brewing, purification and filtration system

Entrepreneurs face a host of challenges when they launch their business, and access to early stage funding can be critical. Emerge fund recipients will also be receiving wrap-around services and help them to launch their businesses and tap into angel and venture capital.

A soft opening of the Underground occurred this month.  Progress on the space continues, as noted on the “Pardon Our Progress” signs located in the facility.  An official grand opening is planned for early to mid-June. 

Emerge pre-seed funding was made possible to support entrepreneurial development in the region through a generous $20,000 grant from the Community Capital Club (C3) of St. Clair County.  The EDA is also contributing $5,000 to the fund, which still remains available for the next big idea!   To learn more about the Emerge Fund or apply, visit the Underground website: www.startunderground.com.