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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., December 20, 2013 -- Start Garden, the $15,000,000 seed fund that selects individual ideas each week for investments, and opportunities for further investment, tonight held their monthly Update Night at 50 Louis St. Entrepreneurs funded at $5,000 and $20,000 levels presented before a live audience to update the public on their experiment and status. Silikids, which makes silicone accessories for children, received $170,000 in additional funding.

Social accountability is essential to the Start Garden program. Entrepreneurs are required by Start Garden to present their experiment during a monthly Update Night. Teams that received a $5,000 discuss their key learnings and prove whether it was viable, desirable and feasible. Teams that received $20,000 explain where they are after nearly a year in the Start Garden ecosystem.

Stacey Feeley, CEO of Silikids, maker of silicone accessories for children, presented on the company’s new product lines, in addition to its national sales and distribution expansion with test marketing at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby. Start Garden announced they will invest an additional $170,000 into Silikids, bringing their total investment in the company to $255,000.

“The recent children’s companies that are backing Silikids demonstrates that our investment is in line with the trending that is happening in the market,” said Rick DeVos, CEO of Start Garden. “Stacey and her co-founder, Giuliana Schwab, have moved Silikids a significant distance in the market in less than a year. They have proven that they are the right people to create a strong sales and distribution network and move their idea forward.”

Four entrepreneurs presented during Start Garden’s December Update Night, but did not proceed to the next level of investment. These include:

•  Virtual Yard Sign, geo-location service for home contractor projects
•, a garage-sharing service
•  Life Document Storage, end-of-life and estate planning document storage
•  Helo Shorts, compression shorts made for wearing under board shorts

“The $5,000 investment is all about experimenting, finding a market and proving an idea is desirable, feasible or viable,” said Paul Moore, communications director at Start Garden. “While these experiments didn’t have a strong result, it is our expectation that the work they did will help each team find a new direction.”

During Update Night, teams have three minutes to present before a live audience and explain how the money was used to complete an experiment that proved their idea is desirable, feasible or viable. Following the presentations, a panel of advisors discusses each project and announces which projects Start Garden will continue to invest in.

The Start Garden management team accepts ideas with potential to become businesses through Each week the Start Garden team selects an idea with input from the broader community to receive $5,000. Start Garden can continue to invest up to $500,000 in a single idea. Learn more about submission criteria at

The next Start Garden Update Night will take place Thursday, January 23. Learn more about Start Garden events at

About Start Garden
Start Garden is an unconventional venture capital fund that invests in more than a hundred ideas a year in small increments. The program brings financial, intellectual and social capital to ideas at the earliest stage by connecting them to the resources of an entire region. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it is founded by Rick DeVos who’s past projects included ArtPrize, 5x5 Night, Momentum and

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Brian Burch
Start Garden

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