Start Garden announces Wolverine Worldwide as new strategic partner | Business
Start Garden, the $15,000,000 seed fund that selects ideas each week for $5,000 investments, announced that Wolverine Worldwide has joined its list of partners that includes Steelcase, Inc., Fifth Third Bank, Amway, Cascade Engineering, and other regional businesses. Wolverine Worldwide brings to the group its expertise as one of the world’s leading global designers and marketers of footwear.
Start Garden’s partners commit to putting their time and talents into the projects funded by the organization. Wolverine Worldwide works with a global network of manufacturers and retailers to market 12 distinct lifestyle brands, including Merrell, Hush Puppies and Sebago. Members of the company’s strategic team agree to commit at least 20 hours to advising and mentoring specific Start Garden projects that are a good strategic fit with Wolverine’s unique competencies.
“While we have a reputation as a leader in the global footwear industry, Wolverine was once a startup, and it grew steadily over time because of the entrepreneurial spirit and determined dedication of the owners and employees over many decades,” said Blake Krueger, CEO of Wolverine. “We see strong potential for Start Garden to support a new generation of entrepreneurs who can turn creative ideas into ongoing, thriving successful businesses.”
Wolverine’s vision is to excite consumers around the world with innovative footwear and apparel that bring style to purpose. The company is committed to designing products that meet the needs of its consumers, provide exceptional performance and reflect each of it brands’ unique point of view. The company is delivering on its vision, with more than 52 million units of branded footwear or apparel marketed in more than 190 countries around the globe.
“The opportunities our partners bring to the ideas we’re funding are vital to our success,” said Rick DeVos Founder and CEO of Start Garden. “For Start Garden to achieve its goal of funding over a hundred ideas a year from a broad range industries, we need a robust network of partners bring what they know and who they know to help these projects get moving.”
Start Garden keeps a calendar of events that are open to the public, so young entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals can interact and collaborate. Their next event is a happy hour on July 12, 2012. See startgarden.com/events for more details.