- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Six businesses are joining western Michigan entrepreneur Rick DeVos’ Start Garden venture capital effort to help boost the development of new interactive technologies.

Those involved say that Amway, Faurecia, Meijer, Spectrum Health and Priority Health are part of the Seamless Coalition and the Seamless Accelerator. They say the next generation of interactive technologies and connected products will be big business.

The Seamless Accelerator program will provide enterprises with access to emerging technologies and businesses as well as give startups access to ideas and funding. It will include a three-month program. Start Garden will host activity at its 16,000-square-foot site.

“The Seamless Accelerator and Coalition merges the best from startup culture and enterprise experience in order to bring to market innovations for our physical environment,” Steelcase chief executive Jim Keane said in a statement Thursday.

Start Garden began in 2012, investing in potential ideas, projects and startup businesses. Seamless Accelerator is a member of TechStars Global Accelerator Network.

“Knowing solutions starts with understanding a problem, and corporations opening their intelligence to startups with new ideas will inform all of us on the capabilities we need and the types of innovations to pursue,” DeVos said in a statement.






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