West Michigan is smack dab between Ann Arbor/Detroit’s tech and startup hub emergence and Chicago’s new habit of minting unicorns about once a month. And Grand Rapids, Michigan, is having its own tech renaissance in 2021.
Next year is expected to be even better. We’ll show you what we’re looking forward to hearing more about in 2022 with our top Grand Rapids startups to watch.
Grand Rapids Startups & Tech Companies to Watch in 2022
Wedge creates one-way video interviewing for recruiting. Wedge’s video interviews take the scheduling hassle out of recruiting by allowing candidates to record their interview on their time and recruiters to review it when it fits their schedule. They have $2 million in funding under their belt and poised to be leaders in the increasingly virtual recruiting space.
2. Relish Works
Relish Works creates solutions for tomorrow’s food industry businesses. Not only do they work in business development, market placement, and research to help develop solutions for the food service industry, but they also run their own startup incubator! The Food Foundry is all about food service startups, and we think that’s super cool. Relish Works is based in Grand Rapids and Chicago.
What happens when your real estate transaction is targeted and isn’t secure? CertifID has a solution. They are wire fraud prevention for real estate. According to CertifID, as many as one in three real estate transactions is targeted by fraud. The CertifID tool is used by real estate companies to insure and accelerate transactions with financial institutions for real estate purchases.
An AI-based online youth athlete coaching startup, MaxOne raised $3.5 million in Series A startup funding in mid-2021. This is coaching for young athletes, and for their coaches. You can also use the tool to schedule workouts, manage training sessions, and handle communications.
5. BAMF Health
BAMF Health of Grand Rapids is a precision-medicine startup that aims to create a world-class radiotracer translational platform through AI-enabled molecular imaging and theranostics. They produce novel tracers for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiac disease, and endometriosis. Treatments aim to create precision diagnostics and solutions for diseases and accelerate treatment onset.
Claira is a new Grand Rapids startup using AI to hire better and make use of human capital. It’s a competency analytics engine for companies who want to understand and hire talent in a better way. They’re backed by Google for Startups, Connetic Ventures, MassChallenge, ID Ventures of Detroit, and TrendForward Capital, so you know they’re on to something.
Fluresh is a cannabis company organized around the idea of diversity in products for diversity of needs that cannabis can address. Their high-end products and storefront come from a hand-cultivated culture, state of the art facilities and a sustainable growing practice. This year, the company raised $2.8 million in funding.
Financial security after health crises is a growing concern among Americans. Even paying for routine care on a high-deductible plan can be prohibitive, leading to low quality of health and lost wages. Grand Rapids startup HealthBridge has created a solution by creating a program to pay patients’ full upfront costs including co-pays and deductibles. The cost is then consolidated into a monthly payment.
9. Airway Innovations
Airway Innovations is one of five first cohort companies out of Grand Rapids taken on by the new Conquer Accelerator run by Michigan State University (founded 2020). Airway designs advanced airway management products, such as oral tracheal tube holders designed to prevent extubation in hospital patients.
Also in the first Grand Rapids Conquer Accelerator cohort, FirstIgnite builds AI business development tools to help research and intellectual property reach commercialization by connecting researchers with companies, consultants, and investors who can help them get to market. FirstIgnite is also a graduate of the Y Combinator startup accelerator (class of Summer '21) and has raised a seed funding round.
11. Building Catalyst
Building Catalyst is also a Conquer Accelerator Grand Rapids pick. They’re a SaaS startup that has created a tool to more accurately predict and guide construction outcomes and facility planning. It’s one of those ideas that sounds obvious in hindsight, right? If you’ve ever built a home or managed a large renovation or construction project, you know how much waste, unexpected overages, and delays is the norm rather than the exception.
12. The Patient Co.
The Patient Company makes fully automated lateral patient transfer devices called SimPulls for healthcare applications. They secured $1 million in seed round funding this year. The product was originally designed in a collaboration between Grand Valley State University students and Spectrum Health.
Finally LawnBot rounds out the Conquer Accelerator cohort from Grand Rapids. LawnBot creates software companies can use to provide instant proposals, make online sales, and grow their business online. Why are they called LawnBot? Because the original idea that won $20,000 in startup funding from Grand Rapids incubator Start Garden was to provide this software tool to lawn companies.
VNN Sports connects high school sports teams with a marketing, communications, and scheduling tool. They’ve been in business since 2011 (founded by entrepreneur coach Ryan Vaughn) and are growing fast. They currently work with 2,000 partner schools.
15. Envoy B2B
Envoy B2B is a wholesale B2B e-commerce platform. They’ve been around since 2010, and that has given them time to rack up such clients as Converse, Merrell, Saucony, and many more. Many Grand Rapids tech companies start local and expand this way, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they achieve.
PhotoUp is a platform for photographers and real estate agents to grow their business through specialized and socially responsible BPO services and online software products. That means photo editing tools, virtual staging, virtual assistants and property websites.
Looking for more startup and tech jobs at top companies? Check out the best companies in the Midwest — many of them are hiring remotely!