77 Idea Lab

About 77 IdeaLab

Build and launch a company in one semester! In 77 IdeaLab, you’ll solve a problem worth solving, meet with mentors, and have opportunities to fund your business. We’ll support you the entire way so you can grow your business for life after graduation!

In this program, you will:

  • Receive intensive and accelerated entrepreneurial training in a cohort model
  • Funding in the form of $1,000 grant for each team
  • Leverage over $200,000 of funding from regional and national student pitch competitions
  • Meet and work with other student entrepreneurs
  • Learn how to pitch to customers and investors
  • Network with entrepreneurs and mentors in the startup ecosystem

How it Works

How does 77 IdeaLab work?

All you need is a passion for a problem that is worth solving. If you have an idea to solve that problem, that’s a great start. We’ll help develop the idea and business around the problem through one-on-one mentoring, workshops, and a $1,000 grant. This program is open to any student at GVSU.

How can I attend 77 IdeaLab?

First fill out this application by Saturday, December 9th, 2023 at 11:59 pm. Then each applicant will meet with Thomas Coke, Entrepreneur in Residence, in December 2023. Students accepted into 77 IdeaLab will be announced on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024.

Important Dates

December 2023

Application Due Saturday, December 9th at 11:59pm

January 2024

Students accepted will be announced on Tuesday, January 16th

February-April 2024

Detailed schedule of 77 IdeaLab sessions will be released closer to the Winter semester. 

Workshop Topics

Getting the most out of 77 IdeaLab: Introduce the students to one another, set expectations, and give students a framework to use for creating a single metric to measure throughout the program

Problem Interviews and Customer Discovery: Show students how to conduct a problem interview and how to find customers in their potential markets.

Wheel of Life: To help build some trust in the group, have students set goals in the "spokes" of life and share with the group. This session is meant for more personal development for the students.

Alumni Night: Bring in alumni from CEI to share experiences and stories. Give time for alumni and teams to discuss what each other are working on.

Networking Basics and Idea Pitching 101: Demonstrate to students the best practices to network, especially within the entrepreneurial community. Create elevator pitches with students so they can tell anyone about what they are working on in a concise manner.

Networking Basics and Idea Pitching 101: Demonstrate to students the best practices to network, especially within the entrepreneurial community. Create elevator pitches with students so they can tell anyone about what they are working on in a concise manner.
Branding and Design Basics: The look and feel of an idea can help students feel like their business is becoming real. It can also help with customer development as the business will look more put together. We'll bring in a guest speaker to talk about branding and design!

Mentor Madness: Students will meet with 20 or so mentors from the entrepreneurial community. These mentors will meet with students in 10-minute meetings to create intentional serendipity and give feedback to students for their ideas.

Feedback Debrief: At this point in the program, students may feel overwhelmed with customer feedback and feedback from mentor madness. We'll work through the feedback as a group. This way students can help each other process feedback together.

Investor Pitching - Part 1 & 2:

Part 1 will consist of teaching students what's included in an investor pitch, and tips for public presentations. Our hope is that students can put together a framework of a pitch.

Part 2 will consist of students walking through a rough pitch deck and working together to improve decks.

Financial Modeling - Part 1 & 2:

Part 1 will consist of working with students to figure out how revenue is coming into their business. We'll help them with basic costs as well.

Part 2 will consist of putting it all together. We can rely on some Techstars material for putting together the spreadsheets.

Life After 77 IdeaLab and Wrap-Up:

We can show resources and programs that students can connect with to help them after they have left 77 IdeaLab. Also, celebrate a great semester with them!

Contact Info

Jermale Eddie

Jermale Eddie

77 IdeaLab Facilitator 

Phone: (616) 331-7582

Email: [email protected]

Office Hours (Seidman - Rm#1127):

Thursday: 4 pm - 5 pm



How do I apply?

Fill out this application

What is the application process?

Students that are interested need to apply by Saturday, December 9th, 2023 at 11:59 pm. Then you'll be contacted by Thomas Coke for a meet and greet.

How much does it cost to participate in 77 IdeaLab?

Nothing! Actually, we pay you $1,000 as a grant to be a part of the program.

Who is eligible for the program?

Any GVSU student is eligible to be part of 77 IdeaLab.

Do I need to have an idea?

Not necessarily. It can be helpful, however, as long as you're passionate enough about a significant problem in the world, we'll make it work! Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems.

Is there additional funding other than the $1,000?

We will help you find competitions to pitch at so you can win additional funding for your business. Our program doesn't have more grant opportunities, but we will connect you to those that do as much as we can!

How much time should I expect to put into this?

The more time you can give to this, the better. However, classes should still be your priority. Our expectation is that you attend weekly workshops on Wednesday nights, meet bi-weekly with our entrepreneur-in-residence, and work on your business at least a little bit outside of 77 IdeaLab time.

How many team members can I have? Do I need to have a team?

We recommend everyone apply with a team of 2-3 people. In certain situations, solo entrepreneurs will be accepted into the program. The largest team size we will accept is 4 people.

Is there a certain type of company you are looking for?

Nope! We're just looking for passionate, dedicated, and hard-working student entrepreneurs. Our goal is to allow students to launch successful new businesses out of 77 IdeaLab!

Page last modified May 21, 2024