Making It In Michigan Conference and Trade Show returns to in-person format for 2023

MSU Product Center hosts 14th annual conference on April 20, 2023.

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This year’s Making It In Michigan Conference and Trade Show will be held in Lansing, Michigan on April 20, 2023. The 14th annual conference is hosted by the Michigan State University Product Center and Michigan State University Extension.

The program will feature educational sessions, an interactive trade show and a unique buyer-supplier matchmaking program. The conference will also incorporate a pitch competition through the Michigan Good Food Fund. The 1st place prize will be $3,000 and the 2nd place prize will be $2,000.

“We are thrilled to bring the Making It In Michigan Conference and Trade Show back to an in-person format,” said Mollie Woods, Director of the MSU Product Center. “This conference has helped food entrepreneurs scale their businesses for 14 years. We know that the formula of specialized educational sessions and face-to-face interactions with industry partners works.”

The educational program will feature panels from leading food industry experts in the areas of grocery, distribution, co-packing and entrepreneurship. Panelists include innovative doers from across the state who are collectively making the Michigan food industry more dynamic, equitable and resilient. This year, the grocery panel (a common favorite) will host Busch’s Market, Meijer, Westborn Market and Kroger. Other prominent attendees include Lipari Foods, Huntington Bank and Hummus Goodness.

The Trade Show will offer new and existing businesses an opportunity to find the right customers and buyers to expand their markets. Retailers from large supermarket chains, institutional buyers, independent grocers, specialty food retailers, co-ops, and more attend the trade show to find and source the latest food products in Michigan. This year, there will be up to 150 vendors of quality Michigan-made food and agricultural products in the trade show. To learn more about becoming a vendor, visit the Making It In Michigan website.

In addition, the MSU Product Center is excited to welcome as conference partners the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). As part of the conference, MDARD and MEDC Pure Michigan Business Connect will host a unique matchmaking opportunity for buyers and sellers. This program will bring together purchasers including grocers, retailers, distributors, institutional buyers, or anyone looking to procure Michigan-made food, with suppliers from around the state to connect in one-on-one virtual meetings, all with one common goal: to strengthen Michigan’s food supply chain.

“Our team at the MSU Product Center and MSU Extension is excited to partner in this event with MDARD and MEDC,” said Woods. “Our collective expertise in food and agriculture is sure to yield a dynamic, memorable conference for Michigan entrepreneurs.”

It will cost $100 to be a trade show vendor and $125 to attend conference educational sessions. Current MSU Product Center clients can receive a $25 coupon off the conference registration cost if they fill out an impact survey. Non-clients, if they register by February 28, have a chance to be selected for special pre- and post-event services from MDARD and MEDC. Don’t delay in registering for the trade show as booths will be assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. Click here to learn more and register.

For detailed conference or trade show information visit canr.msu.edu/miim or contact ANR Event Services at events@anr.msu.edu. The MSU Product Center supports entrepreneurs in the food industry by offering food product businesses the information and tools they need to succeed today. Previous Making It In Michigan conferences have attracted nearly 200 food product businesses and dozens of food business buyers.

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