About Emerge

The Emerge Innovation Hub

We are the Hub of Southwest Michigan for Innovation. All are welcomed into this inclusive culture that stimulates creativity and fosters collaborations. We provide business support and the resources you need to succeed.

Our Story

Born out of the heart of Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 2020, Emerge is a living testament to the collaboration of local entrepreneurs, organizations, and businesses. United, we tapped into the rich intellectual capital and fervent entrepreneurial spirit of Southwest Michigan and beyond.

Our mission is clear: foster equity in entrepreneurship. Emerge goes beyond the parameters of a typical innovation hub. Emerge is committed to fostering equity in entrepreneurship while ensuring opportunity and empowerment. From underdeveloped startups and established businesses, we provide a supportive ecosystem where dreams merge seamlessly with reality, mentors and technology. Our suite of offerings, which includes monthly hangouts, pitch competitions, and weekend start-up camps, reflects our community-driven ethos that has garnered nationwide recognition.

Today, Emerge stands at the crossroads where businesses of all magnitudes and phases intersect. We are a beacon of service, connection, and unwavering commitment. Steeped in grassroots growth cadence and a shared passion for progress, we champion every member of our expansive business community.

Join our movement, and immerse in a space where dreams, safety, technology, and success coalesce.

Emerge Innovation Hub Group

Our Mission

Emerge exists to support diverse communities by empowering historically underresourced and underrepresented entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses in Southwest Michigan.

Our Values

Innovation: It takes thinking outside the box to disrupt the status quo. We welcome new and fresh ideas in any form.

Inclusive: Sharing our ideas is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Emerge is a soft place to land for entrepreneurs to dream and grow together in a judgment-free diverse environment.

Equity: True equity requires intentionality of building relational bridges between those that have and those that do not.

Collaboration: We believe it takes a village to raise an entrepreneur. Emerge is always looking to partner with any individual, group or organization wanting to invest in our ecosystem.

Social Change: Entrepreneurs are the bedrock to economic changes and human flourishing in our communities. As such, we empower every entrepreneur to not only become a business owner but a community leader.

The Emerge Team

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

President and CEO

Ambie Bell

Ambie Bell

Executive Director

Emerge Board Members

Todd Gustafson

Chair

President/CEO, Kinexus Group

Scott Dorfman

Secretary

Assistant Corporate Counsel, Whirlpool Corporation

Jeff Wright

President/CEO, Urban Ministries, Inc.

Phill Swanson

Expert in Residence, Centrepolis Accelerator

Lewis Scott

Vice Chair

Vice President of OEM Partnerships, e-Emphasys Technologies

Alexandre Czesnat

Vice President, Refrigeration, Whirlpool Corporation

Dwayne Powell Jr.

Vice-President of Community Development, PNC Bank of Michigan

Alexis Harris

Treasurer

Community Reinvestment Officer, Horizon Bank

Andrew Robinson

Matias Soto Castillo

Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Andrews University