Student Launches Company Out Of Local Incubator

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MSU senior Mike Garavaglia didn’t want to waste any time before starting his own business.

While still a student, he works with a manufacturer, leases office space downtown, and conducts business between classes.

“It’s almost a misconception where people think it’s really difficult to start a business,” he said. “Like it’s a gorilla-in-the-room scary process that’s gonna eat your kids and you’ll never be seen again if you try.”

As a tenant of the Hatch, a small business incubator in the heart of downtown East Lansing, Garavaglia has access to workspace, networking, and other resources to help foster entrepreneurial success.

“I’m never more than a few steps from any help I could need here,” he said.

One of thirteen tenants, he is the founder of Spartan Arsenal, a company that makes three-dimensional Spartan helmets that students can wear to sporting events. According to Garavaglia, this provides a unique twist on the typical university sporting attire.

“Every other student section ever has a t-shirt and a little foam thing that they wear on their head,” he said. “So how do we change that? How do we make it better, how do we make it Spartan?”

The prototype was developed entirely in the Hatch, and will be sold across campus as early as this May.

One of the largest benefits of the Hatch is the collaborative atmosphere, according to student director Nate West.

“It’s really important when you’re working on a project that’s never been done before that you have other people who understand the hurdles you’re going through,” said West. “Being able to talk with people about ideas and what you are working on is priceless.”

For Garavaglia, the Hatch helped him to create his own job in a scarce Michigan job market.

To find out more about the Hatch, or get an application to join, visit

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